Introducing the MapWindow GIS Project

Daniel P. Ames, Christopher Michaelis, Ted Dunsford


MapWindow is an open source geographic information
system (GIS) and an application programming
interface (API) distributed under the Mozilla Public
License (MPL), built upon the Microsoft Dot Net
Framework 2.0. The project is maintained by an
active group of international developers who regularly
release updates and bug fixes through the web site.1
In 2005, the United States Environmental Protection
Agency adopted MapWindow as the core
GIS platform for its BASINS watershed analysis and
modeling software which is used by environmental
professionals at all levels of U.S. government and internationally.
This was followed by adoption at the
United Nations University and many other governmental,
non-profit, and commercial entities throughout
the world. Indeed, from November 2006 through
July 2007 the software was downloaded over 60,000
times and has over 7,000 members on the opt-in mailing
list. There are also currently 630 subscribers to
source code commit notification mailing lists, and 43
regular source code committers.
The MapWindow components and end user application
support manipulation, analysis and viewing
of geospatial data in many standard GIS data formats.
Hence, MapWindow is a mapping tool, a GIS
modeling system, and a GIS API, in a redistributable
open source form that is appealing for its simplicity
of use and for running on Microsoft Windows. This
paper presents the project history, current status, key
elements and future plans.

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