DSTS Series: Free and Open Source Tools (QGIS, Regex, Postman)

Dorris Scott
Social Science Data Curator and GIS Librarian

QGIS is an open source, community built tool to view, analyze and create geospatial data and maps. QGIS is a robust tool that is capable of doing sophisticated spatial analyses. It’s easy to use and facilitates elegant map creation. You can explore both raster and vector data, as it’s capable of bringing in various formats and services.


Jason Bengtson
Head of Library Technology Services

Regex tester/tool Cracking good online tester for regular expressions with a convenient, built-in cheat sheet



Mollie Webb
GIS Programmer

Postman (API platform) This tool has been a lifesaver when it comes to exploring and troubleshooting calls to web APIs. It is easy to set up a web service call with the appropriate parameters and test the response. It also offers code snippets if you need to port the API call to a script. There is so much more to the platform, but so far I have just used for API testing.

About the author

As the Head of Data Services at Washington University in St. Louis, Moore directs services in digital data management, curation, analysis, visualization, literacies, and GIS. She was a co-PI on the IMLS grant, Community Standards for 3D Data Preservation (CS3DP), which continues to bring stakeholders together to establish agreement on how to make 3D data long-lasting (book forthcoming); a partner and curator in the Data Curation Network (DCN), which has created a shared curation model for institutions; a co-PI on the IMLS Specialized Data Curation Workshop grant, which is focused on training curators in DCN methods; and the WashU Representative for the Research Data Alliance, an international organization addressing research data. Moore is program faculty in International and Area Studies and a GIS instructor in the UCollege.