Thanks to all those who hit yesterday's poll of technologies at work in the geospatial field. I've got some interesting results below.
First a note on experimental design: This crap is not scientific. First I tweeted, facebook-posted and Google+'d, so I got in contact with the core community of geogeeks with whom I regularly interact. Then I sent it out via the Vermont GIS listserv, the ESRI user conference hashtag and the O'Reilly open-source conference hashtag, hoping for balance. There is surely a geographic skew toward the U.S. Northeast, but I'm pleased with the general distribution of respondents. n = 117, which seems pretty good to me. Hit me on Twitter or on the GeoSprocket contact page if you'd like a copy of the raw survey results.
Here's a look at the participants using the generalized locations of reported companies/institutions (lots were left blank, so who knows):
The results of question 1:
Note: Some of the technologies that went into the "Other" column include FME, MicroStation, ENVI/IDL, GIS Cloud, AutoDesk, Maptitude, Idrisi, Mapserver and Geocortex. Sorry to have ignored those, but it's a big ecosystem out there.
And the results of question 2:
Ayup, ESRI Desktop is the big winner in this circle. But a surprising number of Google Maps folks there too. Also intriguing is the even split among the open-source toolset types, contrasting with the topheavy ESRI lean toward desktop.
Here is primary toolset use by overarching category:
Things get interesting when we parse out some conditional results:
- 40% of users whose primary tool is an ESRI product have also used an open-source geo platform in the past year.
- But a whopping 80% of users whose primary tool is open-source (desktop, web or DB) have also used an ESRI product in the past year.
- Same with Google - 80% of respondents who primarily use Google Maps have also used an ESRI product in the past year.
- That favor is largely returned - 75% of primary-ESRI users have used Google Maps.
- OpenStreetmap and GeoCommons had plenty of casual users, but very few used them/built them as their primary tool (1% each).
There's a venn diagram to be had in there somewhere, but I'm not up to it.
Without leaping to conclusions, I would say that it's still an ESRI world. Even the folks whose day-to-day revolves around open-source or Google tools still fire up an Arc license every now and then. The converse is not equivalent; fewer than half of ArcJockeys use any of the open-source tools, though they are partial to Google Maps.
There's a lot to read here; what are your thoughts? Anything surprising?