GRASS GIS 5.3.0 released 15 May 2004
Saturday, May 15, 2004
The GRASS Development Team announces:
GRASS GIS 5.3.0 released 15 May 2004
A new release of GRASS has been published. This is a “technology
preview” release from the 5.3 development series, which is undergoing
testing in preparation for creation of the stable 5.4 branch (see the
GRASS Development Roadmap). GRASS 5.3 is already
in reliable daily production use at many locations worldwide.
The Geographic Resources Analysis Support System, commonly referred to
as GRASS GIS, is a Geographical Information System (GIS) used for data
management, image processing, graphics production, spatial modelling,
and visualization of raster, vector and sites data. It is open source
Free Software released under the GNU General Public License
Platforms supported by GRASS:
GNU/Linux, Sun Solaris (SPARC/Intel), Silicon Graphics Irix, Mac OS
X/Darwin, Microsoft Windows with Cygwin, HP-UX, DEC-Alpha, AIX, BSD,
iPAQ/Linux and other UNIX compliant platforms (32/64bit).
The new source code is available now, and selected binary distributions
for major operating systems will be published shortly.
For details on GRASS software capabilities please refer to:
What’s new in GRASS 5.3.0
5.3.0 represents a significant improvement in functionality over 5.0.3
(the most recent release in the old 5.0 stable series) and in addition
includes many bugfixes. Selected major changes are outlined below. For a
more comprehensive list of changed modules see the Developers’
Notes; the full
ChangeLog is also available.
- Datum Transformation
- Re-projection of GPS and satellite-derived data into a national
co-ordinate system often requires datum transformation, otherwise
shifts in the data of the order of several hundred metres can occur.
The GRASS re-projection modules r.proj, v.proj and s.proj now
support datum transformation. This is built on top of the
implementation in the PROJ.4
library. If you are not sure
whether your existing locations in the database contain enough
information to perform datum transformations, please re-run
g.setproj, which has been improved.
- Shared library support
- Using the configure option –enable-gmake=no (this will become the
default for 5.4 when it is reliable on all supported platforms)
makes use of a new build mechanism which compiles the core GRASS
libraries as shared by default. This results in a much smaller size
for the installed binaries. Not yet fully compatible with Mac OSX
- External PROJ.4 library support
- Users can avail of the latest updates to the projections and datums
supported by the RemoteSensing.org PROJ.4
library by compiling GRASS against
it. This is the default; note that PROJ.4 must be installed before
GRASS. Using the –with-proj=no configure option will result in the
old version of PROJ.4 contained within the GRASS sources being used
- New tcltkgrass Graphical User Interface menu structure
- Additional commands are also supported via the GUI. g.help is
still there, but an enhanced task-oriented GUI is now also available
to guide novice users through typical GIS tasks
- Improvements to 3-D Visualisation
- Updates to the nviz 3-D visualisation tool include experimental
loading and saving of 3d.view files from the GRASS database,
off-screen rendering and implementation of many planned features for
which ‘stub’ functionality only has existed up to now. In addition
the new module d.nviz allows automated creation of fly-through
animations in nviz.
- Improved Inverse distance weighted interpolation
- An improved algorithm in s.surf.idw indexes sites and allows
greatly improved performance when the region resolution and number
of sites are both very large.
- Experimental LIDAR processing tools (not compiled by default)
- s.bspline.reg, s.correction, s.edgedetection, s.growing,
- Experimental hydrology and sediment transport simulation tools (not compiled by default)
- r.sim.sediment, r.sim.water
- Experimental large-scale watershed computation
- G3D 3-D Raster Voxel tools enabled
- The 3-D raster processing tools are fully enabled in this release of
GRASS. This includes the modules g3.region, g3.list,
g3.remove, g3.rename, g3.setregion, r3.colors,
r3.in.ascii, r3.in.grid3, r3.in.v5d, r3.info, r3.mapcalc,
r3.mask, r3.mkdspf, r3.null, r3.out.ascii, r3.out.v5d,
r3.showdspf, r3.timestamp, r3.to.sites, g3.createwind,
s.to.rast3, s.vol.idw and s.vol.rst
- MATLAB import and export (not compiled by default)
- GRASS can now import and export rasters from the MATLAB binary
‘.mat’ format. The relevant modules are r.in.mat and r.out.mat
- Raster time series Statistical Analysis (not compiled by default)
- r.series can be used to create an output raster map where each
cell value is a statistical function (average, count, median, mode,
minimum, maximum, stddev, sum, variance, diversity, slope or offset)
of the values of the corresponding cells in all the input raster
- Vis5D Output (not compiled by default)
- r3.in.v5d and r3.out.v5d already exist to allow data conversion
between Vis5D and GRASS G3D format. Now in addition 2-D raster and
vector data can be output to a Vis5D model (for further enhanced
visualisation) using the new modules r.out.v5d.topo and
v.out.v5d.map. g.region.v5d sets the region from a Vis5D file.
- TrueColor Support
- All the core display modules (*d.**) now support 24-bit colour.
- More reliable raster import
- Technical changes and bugfixes to the r.in.gdal raster import
module mean that by default it will operate reliably with all recent
and older versions of GDAL.
- Other new modules (not all compiled/installed by default)
- Miscellaneous new modules include d.3d.views, d.info,
d.out.png, d.sites.icons, i.tasscap.tm7, m.cogo, r.grow2,
r.out.gdal, r.texture, r.univar2, s.cellstats, s.kernel
Note on changes in datum transformation functionality for locations using the ‘nad27’ and ‘nad83’ datums
Released versions of GRASS 5.0.x from 5.0.0pre4 onward (i.e. up to and
including 5.0.3) have included the capability to perform
NAD27<–>NAD83 datum conversions. This was done using the published
NADCON conversion tables, if and only if the line ‘datum: nad27’
appeared in the PROJ_INFO file for one location and ‘datum: nad83’ in
the other. Even if datum transformation parameters were specified (e.g.
dx, dy, dz) they were ignored and the NADCON tables used. In GRASS 5.3
any datum transformation parameters present in the PROJ_INFO file will
be used. These are likely to be less accurate than the NADCON
transformation (unless g.setproj is re-run for the location and the
NADCON parameters specifically selected). Many more datum transformation
options are available in this release of GRASS and g.setproj should be
re-run if in any doubt that the location is using the most up-to-date
Why is 5.4.0 not yet released?
The developers want to ensure that 5.4.0 is a stable release. GRASS
development relies on people willing to help. This 5.3.0 release is a
candidate for becoming the 5.4.0 release. It can only be made stable if
it enjoys a lot of testing. Please give it a spin. Report bugs to the
GRASS bugtracker. Don’t hesitate to
report a bug which you find in the new release.
If you are interested in joining the developers team, and/or share
algorithms or ideas with the GRASS community, contact us!
Concurrent Development Series 5.7
Major changes and improvements to the vector engine and attribute
management system have been implemented in the 5.7.x
line, which is very usable today and will become the next
major production series as 5.8.x. At present development is taking place
concurrently on both the 5.3.x and 5.7.x lines, but once the stable
release of 5.4.0 is made, all development effort will transfer to 5.7.x.
We are always looking for both testers and developers to help us
maintain and accelerate this development cycle.
GRASS Development Team