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The GRASS Development Team announces

GRASS GIS 6.4.2 released 19 February 2012


We are pleased to announce the release of a new stable version of GRASS GIS 6.4.2. This release fixes bugs found in version 6.4.1 of the program and adds a number of new features. This release includes over 770 updates to the source code since 6.4.1. As a stable release series, the 6.4 line will enjoy long-term support and incremental enhancements while preserving backwards-compatibility with the entire GRASS 6 line.

What's new in GRASS 6.4.2

The new wxPython graphical user interface (wxGUI) has been updated with many new features and tools. Python is now a fully supported scripting language, including an updated Python toolkit to simplify the authoring of personal scripts, support for NumPy based array calculations, and a Python application interface (API) for the GRASS C libraries. Additionally, Microsoft Windows support continues to mature. GRASS 6.4.2 debuts ten new modules, a new GUI cartographic composer tool, a new GUI object-oriented modeling environment, an interactive Python shell, and improved infrastructure for installing and managing community supplied add-on modules.

New modules

  • i.topo.corr - Computes topographic correction of reflectance in satellite imagery
  • m.nviz.image - Creates a 3D rendering of GIS data (renamed from nviz_cmd)
  • v.net.allpairs - Computes the shortest path between all pairs of nodes in the network
  • v.net.bridge - Computes bridges and articulation points in the network
  • v.net.centrality - Computes degree, centrality, betweeness, closeness and eigenvector centrality measures in the network
  • v.net.components - Computes strongly and weakly connected components in the network
  • v.net.connectivity - Computes vertex connectivity between two sets of nodes in the network
  • v.net.distance - Computes shortest distance via the network between the given sets of features
  • v.net.flow - Computes the maximum flow between two sets of nodes in the network
  • v.net.spanningtree - Computes minimum spanning tree for the network
  • v.net.timetable - Finds shortest path using timetables

Major module changes

  • g.extension - Many improvements and a new GUI extension manager; better support for building and installing add-ons when the GRASS source code is not available
  • i.rectify - Add new resampling methods and options to set the target resolution and control memory usage
  • r.regression.line - Rewritten in C (much faster)
  • r.univar, r3.univar - Zonal support; add ability to export as a table and to a file
  • v.generalize - Major bug fixes
  • v.kernel - Add additional kernel functions, equal split on networks
  • v.out.ogr - Transaction support (major speed up for data-sources which support transactions like PostGIS)

Minor module changes

  • d.barscale - Add ability to change font size
  • d.legend - Support for custom tick mark labels (e.g. for logarithmic legends)
  • db.select - Output can be directed to a file
  • g.version - Add ability to output in shell script style
  • i.atcorr - Add support for VGT1_spot4, VGT2_spot5, RapidEye sensors
  • r.in.bin - Add ability to explicitly set byte order (endianness)
  • r.out.bin - Add ability to explicitly set byte order (endianness), number of bytes per cell, and force floating-point output
  • v.out.ogr - Add ability to export to a 3D Shapefile
  • v.surf.bspline - Change to a more reasonable default smoothing coefficient
  • Many more; see the detailed ChangeLog since 6.4.1

GUI changes

(wxGUI)
  • Major wxGUI update (pictorial overview)
  • Add embedded interactive Python shell (view)
  • Debut of the new Graphical Modeler (view)
  • Debut of the new Cartographic Composer front-end to ps.map (view)
  • Debut of the new multi-platform extension manger for community supplied add-on modules (view)
  • Numerous stability fixes including ability to more gracefully handle stale lock-files and missing graphics support
  • Support for languages which use double-byte characters (e.g. Japanese)
  • Make the vector query tool more robust to maps with missing or no data

Library changes

  • New GRASS Python ctypes interface
  • Added NumPy 'arrays' support to GRASS Python Scripting Library
  • GRASS Python Scripting Library: mlist() replaced by mlist_grouped()
  • A new vector network library has been added
  • A type mismatch has been fixed in the ODBC driver
  • New symbols: extra/n_arrow3, geology/strike_half-bowtie, geology/half-arrow_left, geology/half-arrow_right (view)
  • New color rules: population_dens

Map projection changes

  • Support for alternate ETRS89 spelling

Portability changes

(MS-Windows)
  • Numerous back-end changes and bug fixes making the experience more robust
  • Better support for spaces in path names
  • See the bug-fix-list for WinGRASS tagged items
(Mac OSX)
  • Offer alternate methods when GNU tool extensions are not available
(All)
  • Fix support for make versions older than 3.81

Message translation updates

  • Many languages updated with many new translations (see stats)
  • Improved translation support for NVIZ

A detailed description of changes and a list of fixed bugs can be found in the GRASS 6.4.2 Release News page. For a comprehensive list of changes see the full GRASS ChangeLog file.



Software download and CD-ROM/DVD

The new source code is available now along with selected binary packages.

About GRASS GIS

The Geographic Resources Analysis Support System, commonly referred to as GRASS, is a Geographic Information System (GIS) and geospatial analysis toolkit. For nearly three decades, GRASS has provided powerful raster, vector, and geospatial processing engines in a single integrated software suite. GRASS includes tools for spatial modeling of raster and vector data, visualization, the management and analysis of geospatial information, and the processing of satellite and aerial imagery. It also provides the capability to produce sophisticated presentation graphics and publication-quality hardcopy maps. GRASS has now been translated into twenty languages and supports an extensive array of data formats.

GRASS differs from many other GIS software packages used in the academic and professional worlds in that it is developed and distributed by users for users, mostly on a volunteer basis. Its code and spatial processing algorithms are open and transparent, and the software is distributed free of charge. The source code is also freely available, allowing for immediate customization, examination of the underlying algorithms, addition of new features, and faster identification and patching of bugs.

Users are encouraged to study, customize, extend, improve, and (if necessary) diagnose and modify the inner workings of any part of the program. We believe that scientific progress depends on the reproducibility of results, which in turn depends on the unhindered ability of the user to know, evaluate, double-check, and learn from all algorithms and methodologies used in the process of their work.

The GRASS software includes over 435 built-in analysis modules and more than 100 community supplied add-on modules and toolboxes. It can be downloaded for free from the main GRASS website at http://grass.osgeo.org, or from many local mirrors worldwide. In addition to the extensive documentation which comes with the software, our Wiki collaborative help system contains a wealth of user supplied tips and tricks, tutorials, and guides. On the wiki you'll find information about import and export of a diverse range of data formats and interoperability with such software as Quantum GIS, MapServer, PostGIS, R Statistics, GMT (journal quality cartography), Matlab, Paraview 3D visualization, and more.

GRASS is currently used around the world in many 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 and open-source software released under the terms of the GNU General Public License. While its most popular role is as a desktop GIS, GRASS includes native support for multi-user collaboration suitable for research team and classroom environments, or can be used embedded for back-end server jobs (including HPC) with no user interaction at all.

We are a founding member of The Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo), a non-profit legal entity which has enjoyed extraordinary growth in recent years and brings together many of today's best geospatial software projects under a single umbrella. We expect that this formal infrastructure will guarantee that the GRASS community will be well supported and vibrant far into the future.

Screenshots


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, the BSD family, iPAQ/Linux and other UNIX compliant platforms. GRASS runs on both 32 and 64 bit systems with large data file (>2GB) support for most key modules and has been ported to run on both handheld tablets and high performance super-computers.

Documentation and Support

For details on GRASS software capabilities please refer to the introduction page on the GRASS website and the rich documentation and tutorials held in the Wiki collaborative help system. For a complete list of commands available in GRASS 6.4.2 see the online manuals collection and the GRASS 6.4 module synopsis.

We are always looking for testers, code developers, and technical writers to help us maintain and accelerate the 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.

Experimental work on the source code of the future GRASS 7 series continues to go well and is the main focus of current development. Bug fixes, selected non-invasive improvements, and new GUI tools will continue to be back-ported into the 6.4 line as necessary.

Release history:


Short version
GRASS Development Team
Date: 19 February 2012 (last changed: $Date: 2012-07-16 05:25:46 -0700 (Mon, 16 Jul 2012) $)