Today the Free Software community celebrates the 30th birthday of GRASS GIS! GRASS (Geographic Resources Analysis Support System) is a free and open source Geographic Information System (GIS) software suite used for geospatial data management and analysis, image processing, graphics and map production, spatial modeling, and 3D visualization. GRASS GIS is currently used in academic and commercial settings around the world, as well as by many governmental agencies and environmental consulting companies. GRASS GIS can be used either as a stand-alone application or as backend for other software packages such as QGIS and R geostatistics. It is a founding member of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) and can be freely downloaded at http://grass.osgeo.org/download/software/.
In 1982, Lloyd Van Warren, a University of Illinois engineering student, began development on a new computer program based on a master's thesis by Jim Westervelt that described a GIS package called LAGRID – the Landscape Architecture Gridcell analysis system. Thirty years ago, on 29 July 1983, the user manual for this new system titled "GIS Version 1 Reference Manual" was first published by J. Westervelt and M. O'Shea. The software continued its development at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (USA/CERL) in Champaign, Illinois; and after further expansion version 1.0 was released in 1985 under the name Geographic Resources Analysis Support System (GRASS). The GRASS GIS community was established the same year with the first annual user meeting and the launch of GRASSnet, one of the internet's early mailing lists. The user community expanded to a larger audience in 1991 with the "Grasshopper" mailing list and the introduction of the World Wide Web. The users' and programmers' mailing lists archives for these early years are still available online.
In the mid 1990s the development transferred from USA/CERL to The Open GRASS Consortium (a group who would later generalize to become today's Open Geospatial Consortium -- the OGC). The project coordination eventually shifted to the actual international development team made up of governmental and academic researchers and university scientists. Reflecting this shift to a project run by the users, for the users, in 1999 GRASS GIS was released the first time under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). A detailed history of GRASS GIS can be found at http://grass.osgeo.org/history/.
Since these early days GRASS development has progressed and grown, adjusting with and often at the forefront of new technologies as they became available. Today GRASS's software development is maintained by a team of domain experts as visualized in this beautiful new video animation which stylistically details the codebase evolution and modifications from 1999 through to 2013, up to and including the latest GRASS GIS 6.4.3 stable release.
30 years of active growth: where are we now?
Recent versions of GRASS GIS come with exciting new features like:
- A new modern graphical user interface complete with integrated workflow-wizards and interactive tools,
- A new Python interface to the core C geoprocessing libraries, permitting Python developers to create powerful new modules in a quick and simple way,
- Fully-fledged topological vector support for editing and tools for topological analysis and data cleaning,
- Hundreds of new modules to analyze raster and vector data of all scales and types, with hundreds more contributed in an active community repository,
- Support for massive data processing (e.g. relevant for LiDAR processing) and Large File Support (> 2GB, 64-bit files on 32-bit systems),
- A codebase portable to all of today's major Operating Systems,
- Installed on everything from low-power dataloggers and field laptops to high performance Grid Engines and TOP500 supercomputers.
GRASS GIS is currently developed by a global team of around twenty core programmers, plus numerous add-on contributors, testers, and translators. Overall, more than seventy core developers have worked on the code in the past thirty years, making over fifty-thousand modifications to the code. All the while, hundreds more have provided peer review and improvements to algorithms and documentation while using GRASS GIS in professional, educational, and research contexts.
Where to next?
Development on GRASS GIS continues with as much energy and interest as ever. Version 6.4.3 has been released as a birthday present. Parallel to the long-term maintenance of the GRASS 6 stable series, effort is well underway on the new cutting-edge major release, GRASS GIS 7, bringing with it many new features, modules, enhancements, and cleanups. As in the past, the GRASS GIS community is open to any contribution, be it in the form of programming, documentation, testing, financial sponsorship or any other form of support.
M. Neteler (GRASS GIS PSC Chair) and GRASS Development Team
First Australian Open Source Geospatial Laboratory to Support Smarter Cities will be built at the University of MelbourneSubmitted by aghisla on Mon, 2013-07-22 19:02.
The University of Melbourne will be home to Australia's first Open Source Geospatial Laboratory. The laboratory will support urban research and educational excellence through the use of location based (geospatial) data and tools.
The Laboratory will undertake research and provide training resources which utilises digital data and analytical and visualisation tools to up-skill a myriad of disciplines in evidenced based decision-making practices. Training will be delivered both into existing University curriculum and through a series of workshops and short-courses.
The laboratory is expected to attract considerable interest from urban geographers, spatial scientists, planners and policy-makers who are keen to contribute to and learn about the latest available data driven techniques to support evidenced based decision-making. The laboratory will utilise the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN). AURIN is a $20 million open source e-infrastructure initiative which is unlocking datasets of relevance to Australia’s cities and providing an analytical toolkit to inform sustainable urban futures.
The software used to support activities of the laboratory is open source, meaning the source code can be modified and re-distributed royalty and fee free. This open source geospatial laboratory is a joint initiative of the International Cartographic Association (ICA) and the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo).
The laboratory will see scientists and practitioners from the International Cartographic Association (ICA) and the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) collaborate closely with University colleagues. This Australian facility will be part of a global network of open geospatial research labs known as ICA-OSGeo labs. Currently there are 22 ICA-OSGeo labs operating globally.
Dr Christopher Pettit, Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne, Victorian Chair of the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI) and Strategic Implementation Co-ordinator of AURIN will lead the initiative.
"The University of Melbourne is one of the top research universities in the world and has been a pioneer in Australian geospatial science research,” said Professor Tom Kvan, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning. “We are delighted to collaborate with the ICA and OSGeo to create this opportunity for our students and researchers, which will encourage open geospatial teaching and related research in other universities.”
The facility will open in Spring 2014.
Dr Christopher Pettit
The University of Melbourne
Email: cpettit AT unimelb.edu.au
Phone: +61 422 301 832
Dr Suchith Anand
University of Nottingham
Phone: +44 (0)115 84 32750
Email: suchith.anand AT nottingham.ac.uk
OSGeo is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2006 whose mission is to support and promote the collaborative development of open source geospatial technologies and data.
ICA is the world authoritative body for cartography, the discipline dealing with the conception, production, dissemination and study of maps.
The GRASS GIS community is delighted to present the outcome of the 4th Community Sprint that took place in a warm and sunny Prague, Czech Republic, from July 12 to July 18, 2013. The event happened after the Geoinformatics conference at the Czech Technical University in Prague. The Community Sprint was once more a creative gathering of both long-term and new developers, as well as users.
This meeting was held in the light of 30 YEARS OF GRASS GIS!
We wish to cordially thank the Department of Mapping and Cartography, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague for hosting and technical support. In particular, we gratefully acknowledge our association sponsors OSGeo and FOSSGIS e.V., and many individual donors: Peter Löwe, Andrea Borruso, Massimo Di Stefano, Alessandro Sarretta, Joshua Campbell, Andreas Neumann, Jon Eiriksson, Luca Casagrande, Karyn O Newcomb, Holger Naumann, Anne Ghisla, Helena Mitasova and Lubos Mitas, Dimitris Tamp, Mark Seibel, Markus Metz, and Tawny Gapinski. These financial contributions were used to cover costs such as meals and to help reducing travelling and accommodation expenses for participants with far arrival who came on own expenses.Developers and users who joined the event came from various countries like Italy, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Poland, Sri Lanka/France, USA and Germany.
The Community Sprint focused on:
- testing/bugfixing of the upcoming GRASS 7 version,
- backporting new functionalities to the stable GRASS 6.4 series,
- testing/bugfixing related to Mac OS X, MS-Windows and Linux,
- presenting and developing the new Temporal GIS Algebra in GRASS 7,
- connecting GRASS 7 with the planetary science software ISIS,
- discussing integration with rasdaman.org software, a powerful multidimensional raster processor,
- creating 3D vector test data for 3D interpolation,
- discussing vector conflation,
- discussing Bundle Block Adjustments,
- presenting the state of image processing in GRASS 7, and discussing its future,
- improving documentation, with focus on image processing and Temporal GIS Algebra,
- developing/refactoring and bugfixing several wxGUI's components,
- further developing customizable wxGUI Toolboxes concept,
- improving translation in Polish and Romanian languages,
- fixing v.krige in GRASS7 and proposing merge with the recently developed v.kriging module,
- meeting between Google Summer of Code 2013 mentor and students.
A lot of topic oriented discussions happened among small groups of participants: for more detailed information, please visit the Wiki pages at http://grasswiki.osgeo.org/wiki/GRASS_Community_Sprint_Prague_2013 and the related discussion page at http://grasswiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Talk:GRASS_Community_Sprint_Prague_2013
About GRASS GIS
The Geographic Resources Analysis Support System, commonly referred to as GRASS GIS, is an Open Source Geographic Information System providing powerful raster, vector and geospatial processing capabilities in a single integrated software suite. GRASS GIS includes tools for spatial modeling, visualization of raster and vector data, management and analysis of geospatial data, and the processing of satellite and aerial imagery. It also provides the capability to produce sophisticated presentation graphics and hardcopy maps. GRASS GIS has been translated into about twenty languages and supports a huge array of data formats. It is distributed freely under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). GRASS GIS is an official project of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo).
GRASS GIS Development Team, July 2013
Do you know somebody who is involved with Open Source geospatial software, education or geospatial open data and could contribute to OSGeo's mission and goals? Each year new Charter Members are elected to grow and diversify the activities of the Foundation. Anybody can nominate anybody, there is no requirement for a prior formal involvement with OSGeo. Why not consider to make a nomination for Charter Membership? Find out more about positive attributes expected from new Charter Members.
OSGeo Charter Members maintain the integrity of the Foundation. They "own" the Foundation, elect new Charter Members and the Board of Directors. OSGeo uses the term "Charter" Member to explicitly indicate that these members are responsible for upholding the "Charter" of the Foundation. We emphasize that the only real difference between any regular member and a Charter Member is the responsibility to vote at the Foundation level. It is not our intent to make the Charter Members some "privileged" class. All mailing lists, projects, committees, and other Foundation activities are uniformly open and available to all friends of the Foundation.
Charter Members are eligible to serve on the Board of Directors which is responsible for regular day to day operations of the Foundation. Part of the Board of Directors is renewed each year. Nominations and election of new board members take place in August. Read more about the Foundation Membership.
The 2013 Charter Member nomination period runs for two weeks starting from 2013-07-09 and ending on 2013-07-23. Find all details here: http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Election_2013
The Open Source Geospatial Foundation would like to open nominations for
the 2013 Sol Katz Award for Geospatial Free and Open Source Software.
The Sol Katz Award for Geospatial Free and Open Source Software (GFOSS)
will be given to individuals who have demonstrated leadership in the
GFOSS community. Recipients of the award will have contributed
significantly through their activities to advance open source ideals in
the geospatial realm.
Sol Katz was an early pioneer of GFOSS and left behind a large body of
work in the form of applications, format specifications, and utilities
while at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. This early GFOSS archive
provided both source code and applications freely available to the
community. Sol was also a frequent contributor to many geospatial list
servers, providing much guidance to the geospatial community at large.
Sol unfortunately passed away in 1999 from Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, but
his legacy lives on in the open source world. Those interested in making
a donation to the American Cancer Society, as per Sol's family's
request, can do so at https://donate.cancer.org/index.
Nominations for the Sol Katz Award should be sent to
SolKatzAward@osgeo.org with a description of the reasons for this
nomination. Nominations will be accepted until 23:59 UTC on July 31st.
A recipient will be decided from the nomination list by an OSGeo
designated selection committee.
The winner of the Sol Katz Award for Geospatial Free and Open Source
Software will be announced at the FOSS4G-Nottingham event in September.
The hope is that the award will both acknowledge the work of community
members, and pay tribute to one of its founders, for years to come.
It should be noted that past awardees and selection committee members
are not eligible.
2012: Venkatesh Raghavan
2011: Martin Davis
2010: Helena Mitasova
2009: Daniel Morissette
2008: Paul Ramsey
2007: Steve Lime
2006: Markus Neteler
2005: Frank Warmerdam
Selection Committee 2013:
Jeff McKenna (chair)
The pycsw team announces the release of pycsw 1.6.0.
The 1.6.0 release brings numerous features, enhancements and fixes to the codebase. The full list of enhancements and bug fixes is available at https://github.com/geopython/pycsw/issues?milestone=7&state=closed
This release also moves pycsw forward as an OSGeo project in incubation.
pycsw is an OGC CSW server implementation written in Python.
pycsw fully implements the OpenGIS Catalogue Service Implementation Specification [Catalogue Service for the Web]. Initial development started in 2010 (more formally announced in 2011). The project is certified OGC Compliant, and is an OGC Reference Implementation.
pycsw allows for the publishing and discovery of geospatial metadata. Existing repositories of geospatial metadata can also be exposed via OGC:CSW 2.0.2, providing a standards-based metadata and catalogue component of spatial data infrastructures.
pycsw is Open Source, released under an MIT license, and runs on all major platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X).
Source and binary downloads
The source code is available at:
Testers and developers are welcome.
The pycsw developer team. http://pycsw.org/