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GIS Programs Similar to Arc GIS (ROW info)

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We are searching for a GIS software that would provide Right of way display and measurement tools.  Im not even sure if there is a program out there that offers all the ROW's nationwide or at least state wide? Seems this may be a real challenge to collect all this data, but maybe someone out there has seen something similar to what Im describing?


Right now we simply use the county GIS sites, but in a lot of cases its simply lacking the information.  Any help or suggestions appreciated! We were hoping for a software package that we could source all our ROW info from rather than jumping to each County GIS site.

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Have a look at QGIS? It's an open source GIS software. You would need to input or source all the ROW information yourself, it's not going to collect the data for you - but if you contact the county GIS departments they may be able to send you GIS shapefiles from their systems which you could load in, combine and amend as necessary? Then you'd at least be able to build up one single source.

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Seconding QGIS - amazing software with a HUGE userbase. I wouldn' dream of using VW as a GIS; simply the wrong tool


ArcGIS is all all good and fine sure but it's so expensive most companies cannot afford it and secondly it's closed source which can be come a problem if your'e working in a legal context. Also closed source software cannot be meaningfully discussed.

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Unless your source data has a field for parcel type, you're gonna have to make some visual assumptions and then either ground-truth or compare the parcels with the aerial or other data, because ROWS (as I'm sure you're aware) are only one type of linear polygon.


Anyway I've been filtering polygons this pm - in QGIS - and along the way I found this:  filter all polygons that are very narrow, so that's a start. IDK where you are but here in NZ government puts all public data on a server and we can DL what we need - QGIS is easily set up to scrape this from the server.

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If the ROW information is public information there is probably a WMS/WFS server that can provide the information you need, you will have to ask your contact for the server address. VW Landmark can connect to such servers, I don't know if VW Architect can do this too. That way you should always have the most recent data available, but it does require a connection to the server to keep the info updated.

It could be that they have the information on ArcGIS Online, what would require a  subscription to be able to access it. (not sure about the UK price, but it is around 100 USD a year if I recall correctly)


Also seconding QGIS as an alternative for ArcGIS, for this kind of stuff it does just as well.

Another good but paid alternative could be GlobalMapper from Blue Marble, they are specialized in GIS software and it is much more affordable than ArcGIS.


The other option is to follow the suggestion from  @lisagravy to ask for the shapefiles etc.

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