ArcGIS and Mapinfo are both geographical information system software that are used for working with geographic information and maps as well. The two software are developed by different corporations. ArcGIS is developed currently by Environmental Systems Research Institute while Mapinfo is developed by Pitney Bowes Software (Kumar, Liu, & Hwang, 2012). The two programs are used in cartography as well as analysis purposes. This paper intends to distinguish the two programs and elucidate on their differences for the purpose of selection.
However, these programs have some differences in how they function and in their interfaces because they are developed by different companies with different designs. Firstly, ArcGIS is written in C++ programming language while Mapinfo was developed using a BASIC-like programming language (Lewis, 2000).
Mapinfo is user friendlier since it gives room for its users to share files and folders that are customable and easier to use. It has made it possible for cross-departmental engagements a dream come true.
Both the programs display options of creating, drawing editing as well as managing created maps. In my opinion, on the basis of metadata handling, navigation is simpler in ArcGIS as compared to Mapinfo (Lewis, 2000). This is made possible by the ArcCatalogue while in Mapinfo it is the Grid Manager that makes it possible.
Moreover, it is not possible to run MapInfo as a standalone program since it requires Mapinof Profssional. In terms of interface, they both have tables of contents that acts to direct the users by offering guidelines. However, the difference is that in ArcGIS the contents that are being used are normally indicated evidently side by side, while in Mapinfo one is not able to see this. Mapinfo has a simpler interface while ArcGIS looks more intricate due to several geoprocessing functions ("27 Differences Between ArcGIS and QGIS - The Most Epic GIS Software Battle in GIS History - GIS Geography", 2015).
Mapinfo makes it simple to retrieve mistakes made by the undo command while ArcGIS does not have this fundamental command. ArcGIS is much slower in that there is no way a user can interrupt screen redraws while in Mapinfo, user can interrupt screen redraws.
In conclusion, for crime mapping, I would choose ArcGIS since it is more dynamic and with improved functionality which includes extensions for exporting maps to Adobe files and it makes it superior for analytical purposes compared to Mapinfo. Mapinfo may be cheap but will not be able to handle large amount of data for the police agency. There is need for analysis of the maps in police department and ArcGIS is worth the task.
Kumar, S., Liu, M., & Hwang, S. (2012). A multifaceted comparison of ArcGIS and MapMarker for automated geocoding. Geospat Health, 7(1), 145. http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/gh.2012.11327 Differences Between ArcGIS and QGIS - The Most Epic GIS Software Battle in GIS History - GIS Geography. (2015). GIS Geography. Retrieved 2 October 2016, from http://gisgeography.com/qgis-arcgis-differences/Lewis, R. (2000). ArcGIS 3.2a, MapInfo 6.0, and Manifold 4.5:A Comparative Review of Geographical Information System Software. Field Methods, 12(4), 358-377. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1525822x0001200407
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