Friday, April 25, 2008
We are happy to announce the latest release of GRASS GIS, the first major release with new features since GRASS 6.2 first arrived in October 2006.
Officially this is a "technology preview" release, the first beta on the path to GRASS 6.4-stable, and it also marks the start of work on GRASS 7. As such GRASS 6.3.0 is not intended to be a stable release with ongoing support, but after five months of quality-assurance review we are very pleased with the results. Users can be confident to use this version for their day to day work, indeed due to the open development model many already do.
Besides the hundreds of new module features, supported data formats, and language translations, GRASS 6.3 brings a number of exciting enhancements to the GIS. A prototype of the new wxPython user interface is debuted, and for the first time since its inception with a port from the VAX 11/780 in 1983, GRASS will run on a non-UNIX based platform: MS-Windows. This is currently still in an experimental state and we hope that widespread testing of 6.3.0 will mean the 6.4 release of WinGRASS will be fully functional and robust. Existing UNIX and Mac users will be happy to know that these new features do not disrupt the base GIS which remains as solid as ever and fully backwards compatible with earlier GRASS 6.0 and GRASS 6.2 releases.
Several infrastructure changes accompany this release with the project becoming a founding member of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo). This includes a new home for the website, the Wiki help system, source code repository, community add-on module repository, integrated bug tracking system, and formal membership for the project in a non-profit legal entity. We hope that these changes will guarantee that the GRASS community will be well supported and vibrant well into the future.
The Geographic Resources Analysis Support System, commonly referred to as GRASS, is a Geographic Information System (GIS) providing powerful raster, vector, and geospatial processing engines in 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.
Press Release - GRASS