[OSGeo-Discuss] Celebrating 30 years of GRASS GIS!
gcpp.kalxas at gmail.com
Tue Jul 30 12:28:38 PDT 2013
Happy birthday GRASS GIS!
On 07/30/2013 07:32 PM, Markus Neteler wrote:
> *Press release*
> *29 July 2013*
> Today marks 30 years of GRASS GIS development
> Today the Free Software community celebrates the *30th birthday of GRASS GIS
> *! GRASS (Geographic Resources Analysis Support System) is a *free and open
> source* Geographic Information System (GIS) software suite used for
> geospatial data management and analysis, image processing, graphics and map
> production, spatial modeling, and 3D visualization. GRASS GIS is currently
> used in academic and commercial settings around the world, as well as by
> many governmental agencies and environmental consulting companies. GRASS
> GIS can be used either as a *stand-alone application* or as *backend* for
> other software packages such as QGIS and R geostatistics. It is a founding
> member of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo<http://www.osgeo.org/>)
> and can be freely downloaded at http://grass.osgeo.org/download/software/.
> [image: 30 YEARS OF GRASS GIS!]
> Brief history
> In 1982, Lloyd Van Warren, a University of Illinois engineering student,
> began development on a new computer program based on a master's thesis by
> Jim Westervelt that described a GIS package called LAGRID -- the Landscape
> Architecture Gridcell analysis system. Thirty years ago, on 29 July 1983,
> the user manual for this new system titled "*GIS Version 1 Reference Manual*"
> was first published by J. Westervelt and M. O'Shea. The software continued
> its development at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Construction
> Engineering Research Laboratory (USA/CERL) in Champaign, Illinois; and
> after further expansion version 1.0 was released in 1985 under the
> name *Geographic
> Resources Analysis Support System (GRASS)*. The GRASS GIS community was
> established the same year with the first annual user meeting and the launch
> of GRASSnet, one of the internet's early mailing lists. The user community
> expanded to a larger audience in 1991 with the "Grasshopper" mailing list
> and the introduction of the World Wide Web. The users' and programmers'
> mailing lists archives for these early years are still available
> In the mid 1990s the development transferred from USA/CERL to The Open
> GRASS Consortium (a group who would later generalize to become today's Open
> Geospatial Consortium -- the OGC <http://www.opengeospatial.org/>). The
> project coordination eventually shifted to the actual *international
> development team* made up of governmental and academic researchers and
> university scientists. Reflecting this shift to a project run by the users,
> for the users, in 1999 GRASS GIS was released the first time under the
> terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). A detailed history of GRASS
> GIS can be found at http://grass.osgeo.org/history/.
> Since these early days GRASS development has progressed and grown,
> adjusting with and often at the forefront of new technologies as they
> became available. Today GRASS's software development is maintained by a
> team of domain experts as visualized in this beautiful new video
> animation<http://youtu.be/MR4_5GSID2A>which stylistically details the
> codebase evolution and modifications from
> *1999 through to 2013*, up to and including the latest GRASS GIS 6.4.3
> stable release.
> 30 years of active growth: where are we now?
> Recent versions of GRASS GIS come with exciting new features like:
> - A *new modern graphical user
> * complete with integrated workflow-wizards and interactive tools,
> - A *new Python interface<http://grasswiki.osgeo.org/wiki/GRASS_and_Python>
> * to the core C geoprocessing libraries, permitting Python developers to
> create powerful new modules in a quick and simple way,
> - Fully-fledged *topological vector
> editing and tools for topological analysis and data cleaning,
> - Hundreds of *new modules* to analyze raster and vector data of all
> scales and types, with hundreds more contributed in an active community
> - Support for *massive data processing* (e.g. relevant for LiDAR
> processing) and Large File Support (> 2GB, 64-bit files on 32-bit systems),
> - A codebase *portable* to all of today's major Operating Systems,
> - Installed on everything from low-power dataloggers and field laptops
> to high performance Grid Engines and TOP500 supercomputers.
> GRASS GIS is currently developed by a global team of around twenty core
> programmers, plus numerous add-on contributors, testers, and translators.
> Overall, more than seventy core developers have worked on the code in the
> past thirty years, making over fifty-thousand modifications to the code.
> All the while, hundreds more have provided peer review and improvements to
> algorithms and documentation while using GRASS GIS in professional,
> educational, and research contexts.
> Where to next?
> Development on GRASS GIS continues with as much energy and interest as
> ever. *Version 6.4.3 has been released as a birthday
> Parallel to the *long-term maintenance* of the GRASS 6 stable series,
> effort is well underway on the new cutting-edge major release, *GRASS
> GIS 7*<http://trac.osgeo.org/grass/wiki/Grass7/NewFeatures>,
> bringing with it many new features, modules, enhancements, and cleanups. As
> in the past, the GRASS GIS community is open to any contribution, be it in
> the form of programming, documentation, testing, financial sponsorship or
> any other form of support.
> * <http://grass.osgeo.org/>*M. Neteler (GRASS GIS PSC Chair) and GRASS
> Development Team*
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
Remote Sensing Laboratory
National Technical University of Athens
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