MapWindow GIS is an open source geographic information system that includes a desktop application and a set of programmable mapping and geoanalytical components. Because it is distributed as open source software under the Mozilla Public License, MapWindow GIS can be reprogrammed to perform different or more specialized tasks and can be extended as needed by end users and developers. MapWindow GIS has been adopted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as a platform for its BASINS watershed analysis system and is downloaded over 3000 times per month by end users who need a free GIS data viewer and programmers who need tools for commercial and non-commercial software applications.
MapWindow GIS is a desktop open source GIS and set of programmable objects intended to be used in the Microsoft Windows operating system. Because it is developed using the Microsoft. NET Framework, it is optimized for the Windows environment and can be extended by programmers using the Visual Basic and C# languages. The MapWindow GIS desktop application plug-in interface supports custom tool development by end users and the MapWindow Open Source team. Additionally, software developers can use the core MapWindow ActiveX and. NET programming components to add GIS mapping and geoprocessing functionality to custom standalone applications.
MapWindow GIS has been adopted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, United Nations University and others as a development and distribution platform for several environmental models including BASINS/HSPF, FRAMES-3MRA and SWAT. Other users and developers have modified and applied MapWindow GIS for use in the fields of transportation, agriculture, community planning and recreation. MapWindow GIS is continually maintained by an active group of nearly 50 student and volunteer developers from around the world who regularly release updates and bug fixes through the www.MapWindow.org web site.