Functionally rich, cost-effective platform for the creation and preparation of geographic information.

Cadcorp SIS Desktop can be used for all phases of spatial data handling: preparation, creation, configuration and management, viewing, querying, editing, analysis and modelling.

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Cadcorp SIS Backstage view displays Recent Maps

Intuitive user interface

SIS Desktop uses the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface (the 'Ribbon'). This means that working with SIS Desktop is a very similar user experience to that of using various Microsoft Office products that use the same interface technology. It incorporates a Microsoft Office 2016-compatible “Backstage View”, a "Recent Maps" list, and the ability to pin frequently used maps and projects.

Cursor feedback displays information on-the-go such as co-ordinates, current mode, action, description and status. An accompanying construction circle with crosshairs capabilities further improve the user’s data capture experience.SIS Desktop supports drag and drop for adding basemapping, overlays and project files. Google Maps, Bing Maps, Open Street Map as well as Microsoft Azure Maps can also be added to the web mapping window as a base layer within the current project file. 

Comprehensive mapping and styling tools

Map data can be rapidly assembled and managed using a wide variety of built-in map management tools. SIS Desktop offers an extensive set of map interaction tools, ranging from zooming and panning commands that use the mouse, to touch-based gestures on touch-screen devices.

It is possible to create new map items such as points, line strings, and polygons, and determine their graphic representation. It is also possible to create cartographic output in the form of thematic maps, in which map items are styled or labelled according to their properties or attribute values. Both raster and vector maps can be viewed in 3D as images draped over terrain.

Map display tools can be used to produce beautiful maps, with complex outputs such as road casing, multi-level overlapping line outlines at road junctions, custom dash styles and repeating fill patterns. Pens and brushes can produce radial or linear gradients and a format painter can quickly copy styles between features. Symbols can be defined using Scalable Vector Graphic (SVG) files, with a number of pre-built symbol libraries included, as well as easy-to-use ways to add more.

Highly configurable labelling and annotation tools can be used together with advanced Markdown and Table drawing capabilities to complete the cartographic output.

An expression builder for implementing themes comes as part of the software. A theme can be added based on an Expression (eg. a hazard) and styled accordingly. Process, Particle, and Bivariate themes are included together with Schema options, Kernel Density Estimation (KDE), Offset items in z in 3D Views.


SIS Desktop uses standard Microsoft Windows printing interfaces, allowing print previewing and printing to all paper sizes. A user-friendly, intuitive and interactive Print Wizard leads the user through standard printing steps, using a wide range of predefined, or custom Print Templates that allow map furniture and table items to be included.  Interactive and geo-referenced Adobe PDF files can be published that allow end-user control over layer visibility and full access to feature properties. PDF output can be appended to existing documents if required.

New map data can be created using files or databases, and existing data can be edited, using tools that offer everything from simple and fast mouse or typed coordinate input, to powerful geometry tracing, shortest path searches and CAD functionality.

Spatial analysis and modelling

SIS Desktop supports advanced GIS data buffering operations, Thiessen polygon analysis, grid analysis, contour mapping, flow-line generation and hotspot mapping. Hotspot Analysis output supports multiple patterns (hexagons, diamonds, circles) and can be done using Kernel Density Estimation (KDE) and Getis-Ord Gi*. 

Advanced clustering and dispersal options are supported as well as support for creating concave hulls. Rubber-sheeting is part of the SIS processing framework and includes advanced options for raster data. 

   Terrain modelling capabilities include the ability to create triangulated irregular networks (TINs), digital terrain models (DTMs), relief shading and Point Clouds.

A temporal control bar allows time-series data to be inspected and exported to video. Point-to-point routing can be carried out in milliseconds using the Open Source Routing Machine (OSRM).

Data management and validation

SIS Desktop offers a number of tools for managing both individual map overlays, and their grouping into Projects. Advanced geometric editing tools are included such as creating curved geometry with the added option of saving it in a spatial database.

Other capabilities include item snapping, creation of off sets, line generalisation, trimming and rotating. Users can create link, node, chain and polygon topologies, both by construction and by conversion. It is also possible to create line strings and polygons by the automatic tracing of an existing map item. Tools are also provided to identify and clean up corrupt topology.

SIS Desktop maintains the integrity of attribute data by validating attribute values against attribute type, at the point of attribute data entry. It offers an expanded Process Dataset function for creating brand new geometry and new dynamic datasets.

Automation and customisation

SIS Desktop users can take advantage of a number of productivity tools for automating and customising their workflows. Using the interface, it is possible to define and save Processing operations describing repetitive sequences of tasks. For automation tasks that require even greater flexibility, users and developers can access the Cadcorp SIS API through the high-level programming language Python™ or they can work with a range of SQL functions through a dedicated SQL console. This builds data layers, features and attributes into database tables, rows and columns and allows automation, analysis and data manipulation through SQL scripts.

SIS Desktop provides access to the comprehensive Cadcorp SIS API. This allows the developer granular control over all aspects of their mapping data and interfaces and is used to build routines, extend functionality, and customise interfaces and workflows with Python or any .NET development language.


SIS Desktop is supported on the following Microsoft Windows operating systems, in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions: Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft Windows 8, and Microsoft Windows 10. It is certified Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) compliant.

Over 300 GIS, CAD, web and database formats can be read directly and without the need for translation. Supported formats include ESRI™ Shape, ESRI Personal Geodatabases, MapInfo® TAB and MIF/MID, Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) GML, WFS, WCS, WMTS, KML), AutoCAD® DXF™/DWG™, MicroStation® DGN, OS MasterMap®, ECW, Oracle®, Microsoft SQL Server®, and PostGIS. Data can be exported in over 45 formats. SIS Desktop supports OGC GeoPackage Encoding Standard.

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SIS Desktop can be delivered on-premise or cloud hosted.

For more information and to apply for a 30-day full featured evaluation licence, complete the 'Online Enquiry' form below or email

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