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First Stable Release - GRASS 5 Free Geographic Information System 5. September 2002


  1. September 2002

GRASS Development Team

GRASS 5 Stable Release - Free Geographic Information System

Today the GRASS Development team led by Markus Neteler released the first stable version (5.0.0) of the fifth generation of the well known Geographic Resources Analysis Support System (GRASS).

GRASS 5 is Free Software under GNU GPL, the sources of which can be found at ITC-irst, Italy, on http://grass.itc.it and several mirrors along with documentation and sample data. In addition to traditional Unix platforms such as GNU/Linux, Solaris and IRIX, experimental versions of GRASS 5 also run under Microsoft Windows ® using the Cygwin tools and Apple Macintosh OS-X ®, also known as Darwin. It was also ported to handheld devices such as Compaq/iPAQ ® and SHARP/Zaurus ®.

This new version is the first major change in GRASS functionality since GRASS 4 was released several years ago.  Notable improvements include support for floating point and null values.  Users can opt to use a new windowing interface based on Tcl/Tk on those platforms supporting X Window.

A successful series of beta and pre-releases of GRASS 5 over the last two years has shown the software sufficiently stable to justify a wider audience release in the view of developers and users alike.

“This release was long in coming, because the GRASS source code base is huge.” explains the team coordinator Markus Neteler. “In the last few years GRASS also completely changed the development model adopting an open volunteer driven process and fully going the Free Software way.”

“This is a milestone release.” reveals Professor Helena Mitasova of North Carolina State University. “Markus Neteler has successfully coordinated many developers to undertake this huge endeavor.” Professor Mitasova views GRASS 5.0 as a unique geospatial research environment which encourages experiments and innovation.

GRASS development in the last years has been supported by many people and organisations. Apart from the organisations already mentioned thanks from the GRASS community goes to Baylor University, USA which has long been associated with supporting GRASS (also running a mirror site http://www3.baylor.edu/~grass/) and Intevation GmbH, Germany which hosts development resources like the CVS respository and bugtracker.


GRASS (Geographic Resources Analysis and Support System) web sites with software download:

 http://grass.itc.it/  http://www3.baylor.edu/grass/  http://grass.ibiblio.org/

GNU Project:  http://www.gnu.org/

© 1999-2002 GRASS Development Team