TatukGIS on Mac OS X vs. MacGIS Cartographica

I was recently asked the following question in response to an article about the upcoming TatukGIS software support for Mac OS X and iOS (see TatukGIS to Support Windows 8 & Mac OS X with Single Code Base & iOS):

Can you compare TatukGIS software on the Mac to the MacGIS Cartographica software?

Here is my response:


Thanks for your question.

My experience is primarily with ESRI products, TatukGIS software, and Quantum GIS.  So, I can't do a *fair* comparison of TatukGIS software vs. Cartographica, because I have no hands-on experience with Cartographica.

Also, TatukGIS has not *yet* released the aforementioned products for the Mac, so we don't yet know what the final product will look like.

But, if we assume that the Mac versions of the TatukGIS software will be exactly the same as the Windows versions, then I can say the following based upon the screen-shots and videos I've seen on the Cartographica website:

1. If we are comparing the TatukGIS Editor product to Cartographica, I can say that TatukGIS wins on price-point (US$390 vs. US$490), customizability (you can customize the Editor interface, create custom forms and tools, in addition to having access to all of the code in the TatukGIS Developer Kernel), 3D mapping (this is just plain easy to use and !GORGEOUS-SEXY!), and enterprise GIS database support (ESRI ArcSDE, Oracle spatial, etc.).

It's my guess that TatukGIS also wins on speed and visual display (how pretty you can make your maps look and what range of styles you can use), but I can't prove that.

I think that Cartographica has superior map layout functionality.  This has always been a weak point with TatukGIS software.  Note that you can create a nice layout with TatukGIS software, but to do so you need to modify a text file rather than use a WYSIWYG interface within the software.

I think TatukGIS has always assumed that a simple printed map is good enough for most users and that if they want to make a really nice printed map they will output an image of the TatukGIS view to another piece of software like Adobe Illustrator or be willing to 'hack' a text layout file.

2. If we are comparing the TatukGIS Developer Kernel (DK) to Cartographica it's like comparing apples to oranges.

However it raises an excellent point which is that the ability of the TatukGIS DK to create native Mac OS & iOS GIS applications is going to change the GIS environment on the Mac and the iPhone/iPad. 

The same holds true for the Android environment.  An Italian TatukGIS partner has created a TatukGIS Android development environment (and one for Silverlight as well):


The upcoming TatukGIS Internet Server, revamped for HTML 5, will provide even more development power and flexibility on the server.

3. The free TatukGIS Viewer will also soon be available for the Mac.  The TatukGIS Viewer is one of the most popular free GIS viewing applications in the world.  The Viewer is a slimmed-down version of TatukGIS Editor, without feature editing, enterprise GIS database management, 3D mapping, rectification, and scripting/customization features.

IN SUMMARY, I think the combination of the TatukGIS Editor and the free TatukGIS Viewer will put Cartographica out of business (and not on price-point).

I think many new GIS applications will be created in the Mac environment using the TatukGIS DK.  One of these new products could put Cartographica out of business as well.

I've mentioned this before, and I am biased (but keep in mind I have also been working with all levels of ESRI software and code since 1995):

The TatukGIS DK is the best-kept secret in the GIS industry. 

The TatukGIS DK is the fastest, most stable, easiest to learn, and most feature-packed GIS development suite with the lowest overhead on the market for the money.  Sure ESRI products have more features, but ESRI products are not the fastest, most stable, or easiest to learn and the overhead and costs are not low.  And in a practical sense, most businesses don't need the advanced features that ESRI offers.

Imagine if you could develop an application for the following environments with minimal to no code changes: Windows, Windows mobile devices, Mac, iOS, Android, Silverlight, HTML5.  And I'm probably forgetting a few in there somewhere.

Do you have a picture in your mind yet?


TatukGIS Consulting"