This page lists the (open source) GIS software I used in this project. The criteria were that it should be freely available with a permissive license. This allows me to easily share our work without having to worry about expensive licenses or vendor lock-in (ArcGIS and windows-only sollutions). Also, if necessary, we can run the scripts on a supercomputer to speed up the calculations if they are too slow.
Cartographic projection library. Implements all projections you will ever use or need. Don't try to do this yourself. The library is used in most open source GIS software. Licence: MIT
Processing (transformation, format conversion) of vector and raster data. Supports most formats, including proprietary ESRI formats when ESRI libraries are installed. Java bindings exist. License: X/MIT
PostGIS / PostgreSQL
Geospatial extension to PostgreSQL. Implements geospatial queries (intersections, unions, etc.) on vector and raster data. Raster functions require at least version 2.0. Licence is GPLv2.
Opensource GIS-viewer. Can connect to PostgreSQL/PostGIS database for vector data; raster data can be imported via a special plugin. Uses GDAL, so supported formats depend on GDAL installation. Licence: GPLv2.
Visualization of GIS data; can be used to render production quality maps. Uses GDAL for input, but can also connect directly to PostGIS. Best used via the XML interface. Licence: LGPLv2.1
Fiona and Shapely
Alternative to the vector part of PostGIS. Fiona provides clean python bindings to GDAL, Shapely implements GIS operations (intersections, unions, etc.). Both are under a BSD license.
Industry standard GIS environment, with commerical license. Mostly windows oriented.
Compatible alternative for PROJ.4. Pure java project. License: Apachev2
Original java implementation of GIS operators. License LGPL. (v3?)
Geometry Engine - Open Source is a C++ port of the Java Topology Suite (JTS). License LGPLv2.1