Earth Imaging Journal: Remote Sensing, Satellite Images, Satellite Imagery
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February 24, 2015
GRASS GIS 7.0.0 Released

Feb. 22, 2015—After many years of development the new stable major release GRASS GIS 7.0.0 is available. The graphical user interface based on wxPython has been enriched with many new features in order to make complex GIS operations available as simple as possible. The old Tcl/Tk based GUI has been dropped. The developers added important new functionality to the core system, among that the new Python interface to the C library. This new API permits users to create new GRASS GIS-Python modules in a simple way while yet obtaining powerful and fast modules. Furthermore, the vector library was significantly improved to make it faster and more efficient, along with support of huge files. This required a easy to manage topology format update including a new spatial index. A lot of effort has been invested to standardize parameter and flag names. Finally, there are a series of new modules to analyse raster and vector data; some of the already existing modules were improved and made faster (some even 1000 x faster). For details see below.

The first release candidate GRASS GIS 7.0.0 ships 10,500 fixes and improvements with respect to GRASS GIS 6.4.0 after more than six years of development. As a stable release 7.0 will enjoy long-term support.

GRASS GIS 7.0.0 also offers significantly improved performance for many raster and vector modules: "Many processes that would take hours now take less than a minute, even on my small laptop!" explains Markus Neteler, the coordinator of the development team composed of academics and GIS professionals from around the world.

Source code download:

Binaries download:

  • ... further binary packages for other Linux distributions will follow shortly.

More details:

Display system and graphical user interface: New portable display system, used in the graphical user interface but as usual also with command line support. Histogram support in legends added and much more. The existing graphical user interface has been significantly improved and extended with new functionality not easily found in other GIS.

Image Processing: Many new modules for creation of albedo, emissivity and vegetation index maps, TOA calibration, biomass growth and evapotranspiration estimation, image classification, hierarchical image segmentation, pansharpening, cloud detection in LANDSAT data, MODIS QA bitpattern management, graphical tool for Ground Control Points for geocoding imagery, Tasseled-Cap transform support for Landsat 8 and MODIS.

Raster support: Direct output to standard GIS raster formats implemented, new LAS LiDAR point binning using univariate statistics, support for WMS and WMTS, new multiple linear regression from raster maps (results conformant with R), resampling using an analytic kernel, and much more. Speed gain for viewsheds, cost surfaces, raster import, geomorphometry, watershed calculation.

Vector support: The topology engine has been improved in speed and precision. LAS LiDAR point clouds support added, new PostGIS 2 interface, various vector networking improvements, notable speed improvements for vector import, generalization, kernel density calculation, intersection, vector grid and hexagon calculation, automated line vertex densification in reprojection for error minimization, optionally constraining of random points to selected polygons, vector area skeletonizer added and much more.

3D raster support: New modules for 3D raster color table management, cleanup of the caching system.

New Temporal GIS support: A new temporal GRASS GIS 7 framework has been developed to manage, process and analyse (big) spatio-temporal environmental data. It supports querying, map calculation, aggregation, statistics and gap filling for raster, vector and 3D raster data. A temporal topology builder is available to build spatio-temporal topology connections between map objects for 1D, 3D and 4D extents.

Bash and Python Scripts: All Bash scripts known from GRASS GIS 6 have been converted to Python for portability and speed reasons. Users may obviously continue to run their shell scripts as before. Furthermore a completely new Python interface has been developed.

See also our detailed announcement:

http://trac.osgeo.org/grass/wiki/Grass7/NewFeatures

First time users may explore the first steps tutorial after installation.

About GRASS GIS

The Geographic Resources Analysis Support System (http://grass.osgeo.org), 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 can be used either as a stand-alone application or as backend for other software packages such as QGIS and R geostatistics. It is distributed freely under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). GRASS GIS is a founding member of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo).

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