GIS software packages come in many different formats and designed to handle many applications. Some are more robust then others offering a wide range of tools and applications while others are much more simple, the software you use should depend a lot on what your needs are.
There are also many other things to consider such as cost, usability, supported data formats just to mention a few. Canada has many software companies that offer GIS software related packages and many others that sell packages made abroad but available here.
Free GIS software
Geographic Resources Analysis Support System (GRASS) – GRASS software is a free GIS package with multiple functionality including image processing, both raster & vector compatibly, 2D/3D vector network analysis and much more functionality. It operates on various system platforms including shell and a graphical user interfaces.
Google Earth – new twist on traditional GIS that allows you to create 3D maps with existing aerial data sets
Licensed GIS software
PCI Geomatica – Geomatica 2012 from well known Canadian based PCI Geomatics is a powerful easy to learn GIS and Remote sensing package with a wide range of traditional remote sensing, photogrammetry, GIS, cartography, and web development tools.
MapInfo GIS desktop mapping application that now includes CAD tools and .NET program-ability.
ESRI – ArcGIS v10 is the most popular and dependable GIS desktop mapping application available, used world wide.
More software …
Other Mapping Tools
Need to quickly convert spatial coordinates from MTM, UTM or LAT/LONG?
DataAppeal – Online mapping tool that provides Highly Effective & Interactive 3D Maps
Trimble GPS Planner – handy little FREE software package for planning of GPS Missions, allows you to optimize your base destination region with multiple station locations allowing you to determine where it would be best to record observations, determine elevation masks, generate graphs showing satellite coverage, DOP coverage, and create sky plots of GPS satellites.