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GRASS GIS 6.1.0 released 11 August 2006

The GRASS Development Team announces:

GRASS GIS 6.1.0 released 11 August 2006

A new technology preview version of GRASS GIS is being released today in preparation for the next benchmark release, GRASS 6.2. This feature release, version 6.1.0, improves upon the previous stable version of GRASS by adding hundreds of new features as well as support for the latest GIS data formats.

The Geographic Resources Analysis Support System, commonly referred to as GRASS, is a Geographic Information System (GIS) combining powerful raster, vector, and geospatial processing engines into a single integrated software suite. GRASS 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 is currently used around the world in academic and commercial settings as well as by many governmental agencies and environmental consulting companies. It runs on a variety of popular hardware platforms and is Free open source software released under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

Joining GRASS’s well-developed raster engine the GRASS 6 series introduced a new topological 2D/3D vector engine featuring support for vector network analysis and SQL-based DBMS management of linked attributes. This release improves the integration and functionality of the raster and vector engines, and 3D raster (voxel) support has been greatly enhanced.

A new graphical GIS manager and menu system has been implemented, while the old GUI display manager has been retained and improved for legacy support. The NVIZ visualization tool has been enhanced to display 3D vector data and voxel volumes and supports the creation of on-the-fly MPEG animations. Additional improvements include substantial message translation (i18n) with support for FreeType fonts, including multi-byte Asian characters, and tools to allow new project locations to be automatically generated from input data or EPSG code.

This is the first release of GRASS as a proposed founding project of the new Open Source Geospatial Foundation. In support of the movement towards consolidation in the open source geospatial software world, GRASS is tightly integrated with the latest GDAL/OGR libraries. This enables access to an extensive range of raster and vector formats, including OGC-conformal Simple Features. GRASS also makes use of the highly regarded PROJ.4 software library with support for most known map projections and the easy definition of new and rare map projections via custom parameterization.


Platforms supported by GRASS:

GNU/Linux, Mac OS X/Darwin, Microsoft Windows (native using MinGW or with full UNIX support via Cygwin), Sun Solaris (SPARC/Intel), Silicon Graphics Irix, HP-UX, DEC-Alpha, AIX, BSD, iPAQ/Linux and other UNIX compliant platforms. GRASS runs on both 32 and 64 bit systems with large files (>2GB) supported by many key modules.

Software download/CDROM:

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: http://grass.itc.it/intro/general.php, the previous GRASS 6.0.0 Announcement, and the newly renovated Wiki collaborative help system.

What’s new in GRASS 6.1.0

(selected improvements)

  • Numerous bug fixes
  • Source code quality/libraries:
    • GRASS is now in large part ANSI C compliant
    • Ported natively to MS-Windows (MinGW based)
    • Included header files improved, many compiler warnings fixed
    • Compilation: compatibility with GCC 4
    • Programmer’s Manual: continued doxygen integration and automated extraction into PDF/HTML formats. Publicly available for download and perusal.
    • SUBMITTING, SUBMITTING_SCRIPTS, SUBMITTING_TCLTK: Improved instructions for code submission
    • GRASS-SWIG prototype interface added (library bindings for PERL and Python)
    • DBMI: SQLite driver added; SQL parser extended (support for expressions, new types, etc.)
    • DBMI: MySql driver rewritten; MeSql added
    • Support for long map/mapset names
    • Raster maps: ZLIB compression bug fixed for tiny maps
    • Raster maps: optional large file support (LFS, experimental) for maps > 2GB
    • Display: X11/PNG driver rewritten, added RGB-raster operations
    • Display: Working towards X-Windows as an optional dependency (new multi-platform GUI support)
    • Display: 100% CPU use during interactive mouse functions fixed
    • Projection code database: updated to EPSG 6.9
    • TclTk 8.4 supported for Debian and other platforms using threaded libraries
    • Full FFTW3 support for fast Fourier Transforms
    • NetBSD configuration fixes
  • New Quality control systems:
  • Graphical User Interface (GUI):
    • Major improvements in the Tcl/TK based autogenerated GUI
    • gis.m: new GIS manager added as an optional replacement for d.m
    • d.m: Legacy support provides access to the latest features together with continued system maturity
    • QGIS integration: fixes for GRASS plugin and toolbox in Quantum GIS
    • Continued behind-the-scenes infrastructure refinements for the next generation GUI
  • Modules/Scripts:
    • Message translation (i18N): added and extended to more than a dozen languages, Tcl/Tk GUI and shell script messages are now translatable
    • Documentation/man pages: various fixes and improvements (more examples added, including graphics, improved style, new introductory pages)
    • d.correlate: [NEW]{.c1} - create a graph of the correlation between data layers
    • d.graph: rewritten and extended, merged with d.mapgraph
    • d.grid: added support for geographic grid overlay on non Lat/Lon map projections
    • d.labels, v.label: d.paint.labels renamed d.labels; significant fixes and improvements to the label subsystem
    • d.m: improved layout; added functionality
    • d.menu: [NEW]{.c1} - Creates and displays a menu within the active graphics monitor (tool for interactive scripts) (port from GRASS 5)
    • d.mvmon: [NEW]{.c1} - move current displayed maps to another monitor
    • d.out.file: [NEW]{.c1} - saves active display monitor graphics to an image file (PNG,JPEG,…)
    • d.out.gpsdrive: [NEW]{.c1} - exports display monitor to a GpsDrive compatible backdrop image
    • d.polar: [NEW]{.c1} - draws a polar diagram for an angle map such as topographic aspect or flow direction
    • d.text: added support for text rotation
    • d.vect: variable vector line width added, random colors for points and lines, dynamic width and colors from attribute data
    • d.vect.thematic: [NEW]{.c1} - thematic mapper for vector map displays
    • g.html2man: fixes for improved man page output
    • g.transform: [NEW]{.c1} - utility to compute coordinate transformations based upon GCPs and output error measurements
    • gis.m: [NEW]{.c1} alternative graphical GIS manager (see above)
    • i.in.spotvgt: [NEW]{.c1} - import of SPOT VGT NDVI file into a raster map
    • i.landsat.rgb: [NEW]{.c1} - auto-enhancement of colors for LANDSAT imagery
    • i.ortho.photo/i.rectify: no longer signals completion with email notification
    • i.spectral: fix for finding gnuplot
    • i.vpoints: various fixes, including reverse transform overlay of vector maps from target projection
    • m.proj: [NEW]{.c1} - utility to convert coordinates from one projection to another (automated frontend for cs2cs)
    • NVIZ: integrated into single user interface; animation labels; new fly-through navigation; direct output of animations to MPEG with FFMPEG library; menus polished; full Tcl/Tk 8.4 support
    • ps.map: many improvements (extended RGB support, etc), new vector fill patterns including vector legend support
    • r.carve: [NEW]{.c1} - hydrological module for transforming vector data of a stream to raster, and subtracts depth from the output DEM
    • r.flow: disallow erroneous Lat/Lon calculations
    • r.in.srtm: support for US 1-arcsec tiles
    • r.in.wms: [NEW]{.c1} - download and import data from WMS servers
    • r.in.xyz: [NEW]{.c1} - creates a raster map from an assemblage of many coordinates using univariate statistics (LIDAR/Swath bathymetry import tool)
    • r.lake: [NEW]{.c1} - raises lakes in a DEM from a seed at a given water level
    • r.mapcalc, r3.mapcalc: acos(), asin(), pow(), &&& and ||| added for more intuitive handling of null data
    • r.mask: [NEW]{.c1} - create a MASK for limiting raster operations (rewritten for GRASS 6)
    • r.out.gdal: added support for multiple CREATEKEY and METAKEY parameters
    • r.out.vtk: [NEW]{.c1} - converts raster maps into the VTK-ASCII format
    • r.profile: improved data input
    • r.sim.sediment: [NEW]{.c1} - overland flow hydrologic erosion model based on duality particle-field concept (SIMWE)
    • r.sim.water: [NEW]{.c1} - overland shallow water flow hydrologic model based on duality particle-field concept (SIMWE)
    • r.sun: fixed units in description; new shadow algorithm; correction factor for shadowing to account for the earth curvature
    • r.support: [NEW]{.c1} - raster map layer support module (port from GRASS 5)
    • r.thin: fixed maximum iterations for lines
    • r.to.rast3: [NEW]{.c1} - converts 2D raster map slices to one 3D raster volume map
    • r.to.vect: add flag to not build topology (for r.in.xyz + v.surf.rst)
    • r3.*: code improvements and extended functionality for voxel data
    • r3.out.vtk: [NEW]{.c1} - converts 3D raster maps into the VTK-ASCII format
    • v.db.addcol: [NEW]{.c1} - adds one or more columns to the attribute table connected to a given vector map
    • v.db.addtable: [NEW]{.c1} - creates and adds a new attribute table to a given layer of an existing vector map
    • v.db.droptable: [NEW]{.c1} - removes existing attribute table of a vector map
    • v.db.reconnect.all: [NEW]{.c1} - reconnect vector maps to a new database
    • v.db.select: multiple column support added
    • v.db.update: [NEW]{.c1} - allows the user to assign a new value to a column in an attribute table
    • v.drape: [NEW]{.c1} - converts a 2D vector map to a 3D vector map by sampling an elevation raster
    • v.digit: new tools added, bugs fixed
    • v.external: GID search added; auto-search of FID added
    • v.extrude: [NEW]{.c1} - extrudes a flat vector objects to 3D vector faces of a defined height
    • v.in.dxf: [NEW]{.c1} - rewritten for GRASS 6, 3D support added
    • v.in.ogr: –overwrite flag repaired, selective import with WHERE option
    • v.in.e00: fixes
    • v.in.gns: [NEW]{.c1} - imports US-NGA GEOnet Names Server (GNS) country files
    • v.in.gpsbabel: [NEW]{.c1} - import Waypoints, Routes, and Tracks from a GPS receiver or a GPS ASCII file into a vector map
    • v.in.mapgen: [NEW]{.c1} - imports Mapgen or Matlab vector maps (port from GRASS 5)
    • v.kernel: improved speed
    • v.lrs.*: [NEW]{.c1} - Linear Reference System for vector line networks
    • v.out.ogr: Faces export added (3D vectors, for KML etc)
    • v.patch: attribute transfer, if table structures are identical
    • v.rast.stats: [NEW]{.c1} - calculates univariate statistics from a GRASS raster map based on vector objects
    • v.report: [NEW]{.c1} - calculate and report geometry statistics for vector maps
    • v.surf.rst: default npmin option fixed; fix for reading spatially variable smoothing
    • v.to.rast: added option to compute the direction (angle) of lines
    • v.to.rast3: [NEW]{.c1} - converts a vector points map into a 3D raster map
    • v.univar.sh: [NEW]{.c1} - calculates extended univariate statistics on a selected vector map attribute table column
    • v.what.vect: [NEW]{.c1} - upload vector values at positions of vector points to a vector’s attribute table
    • Misc. display modules: Increased support for true-color RGB decorations
    • Misc. vector modules: Support for dynamic fill color and dynamic feature sizing from DB attribute columns
    • Scripts: Fixes for awk and related calculation problems for various locales
    • Scripts: Variable test portability issues fixed
  • GRASS Extensions Manager (GEM): [NEW]{.c1}
    • Configure, compile and install additional GRASS modules without needing the GRASS source code. Simplifies the addition of new modules or themed module groups.

For a comprehensive list of changes to modules see the ChangeLog_6.1.0.gz file.

For a complete list of commands available in GRASS 6.1.0 see the online manuals.

We are always looking for both testers and developers to help us maintain and accelerate this development cycle. The GRASS GIS project is developed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (the GPL) in the open by volunteers the world over. GRASS differs from many other GIS software packages used in the professional world in that it is developed and distributed by users for users; mostly on a volunteer basis, in the open, and is given away for free. Emphasis is placed on interoperability and unlimited access to data as well as software flexibility and evolution rate (both added features and bug minimization).

Release history:

  • GRASS GIS 6.1.0beta1 released 14 July 2006
  • GRASS GIS 6.1.0RC1 released 2 Aug 2006
  • GRASS GIS 6.1.0 released 11 August 2006

GRASS Development Team