[OSGeo-Discuss] Open Source Raster Tracing - Results

Landon Blake lblake at ksninc.com
Fri Feb 5 14:37:05 PST 2010

Thank you for all of the responses. I will summarize here for everyone's benefit:

- Line Trace Plugs was a raster to vector conversion program used by the SCS, BLM and Forest Service. It was historically distributed with GRASS. It may now be available at ltplus.org.

- The OTB plug-ins for QGIS will do this task or something similar in the Python programming language.

- Grass has the r.thin and r.to.vect commands.

- Inkscape has Potrace.

- gvSIG uses Potrace as well.

- Sextant has some raster tracing functions.

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From: discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of Miller, Craig
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2010 12:23 PM
To: OSGeo Discussions
Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Open Source Raster Tracing - What Is Available?

Line Trace Plus was a very powerful raster to vector conversion program used by the SCS, BLM, and US Forest Service for years.  At one point it was distributed along with GRASS, but that no longer seems to be the case.  It pretty much dropped out of existence after project 615 made the ESRI suite available to all of these Federal Agencies.  
We used a port of it on 24 Linux kernel 0.9.1 slackware boxes in 1992 to convert a huge amount aerial photo interpretation data to vector polygons as part of the Interior Columbia Ecosystem Management Project (ICBEMP) mid-scale assesment.  As far as I know, this was the first large scale use of Linux within the US Forest Service/BLM.  I digress though....
The product continued to be developed by Infotec as a commercial product and I believe David Mandel who once worked for them still has a copy of the public domain source code.
The GRASS source code and Linux Binaries are available at http://grass.itc.it/oldprojects/ltplus/
David had a page up at ltplus.org, but it seems to be dead today.

On Thu, Feb 4, 2010 at 11:40 AM, Landon Blake <lblake at ksninc.com> wrote:
Is anyone aware of a raster tracing tool for geospatial users released under an open source license? I'm looking for something similar to:
I found the Autotrace program (http://autotrace.sourceforge.net/), but it seems to be a little more limited, and not geared to the GIS user. Vextractor allows you to georeference your tracing output and supports export of the traced vectors to SHP and DXF.
The price for a single license of Vextractor isn't bad ($99 US), but I'd love to find a similar open source project. I've thought about trying to write something up using JTS, but I know it would be a very challenging project. I'd like to know if any of you have worked on open source projects in this area.
Thanks for any info.

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Craig Miller
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