“A quick word on GIS software: ESRI’s ArcGIS is the industry standard, but it can be a challenge to learn and costs way too much. My wife, who does some GIS in her research at the Prevention Research Center in Berkeley, has recently become a big fan of another software called Maptitude. It’s extremely intuitive and an order of magnitude cheaper than ArcGIS.”
I posted about this a couple weeks ago as well as my posts about opening up ArcWeb Services to more users. People want to use ESRI products, but the first word out of their mouths is always it costs too much and in many cases it does. ArcExplorer is about the only free tool that ESRI offers to get into GIS. Compared to products such as Google Earth and the many open source GIS tools, it is very weak and not worth mentioning.
It appears that most users are willing to spend about $500 for a professional GIS system, but their choices are very limited.