ANSWERS on GRASS
rewerts at zorro.cecer.army.mil
Mon Apr 19 15:55:07 EDT 1993
Announcing the release of ANSWERS on GRASS. Ready for Earth Week Celebration!
GRASS tools for simulating watershed behavior for the prediction of erosion
and runoff/nonpoint source pollution.
I just uploaded two files to the GRASS ftp site (moon.cecer.army.mil
or 126.96.36.199), answers.README and answers.cpio.Z , so that they
may be shared by the GRASS community.
The answers.README file is included below, to provide more of the
Chris Rewerts Spatial Analysis and Systems Team
Constructon Engineering Research Laboratory, Environmental Division
rewerts at zorro.cecer.army.mil 1.800.USA.CERL/217.352.6511
README file/Release announcement
ANSWERS on GRASS Integration Project
Beta release (Version 1.0 of r.answers)
Chris C. Rewerts
rewerts at zorro.cecer.army.mil
rewerts at ecn.purdue.edu
USA CECER ECS
(US Army Corps of Engineering
Construction Engineering Research Laboratories)
PO Box 9005
Champaign, IL 61826-9005
Phone: (217) 352-6511
Bernie A. Engel
engelb at ecn.purdue.edu
West Lafayette, IN, 47901-1146
Phone: (317) 494-1198
This is a distribution copy of the programs developed for the
integration of ANSWERS (a watershed simulation) with GRASS. The
integration and the associated GRASS tools were created as a part of a
research project I (Chris Rewerts) did under the guidance of Bernie
Engel at the Agricultural Engineering Department of Purdue University.
The key to understanding the ANSWERS on GRASS work is to know that my
goal was to create an integration of a GIS and a spatial simulation and
thereby explore the issues involved. I don't wish to reiterate a
dissertation here, but the upshot of all this is that you will find a
set of tools that are not only designed for a specific function but
also can serve as a reference for GIS-integration work of your own (as
in: "this is how one group decided to do this
integration-with-GIS-thing, let's use the good parts and avoid the bad
parts"). Meanwhile, if you are someone or agency that wants to work
with ANSWERS doing watershed simulation, the tools included in the
distribution will do that (see disclaimers, below). Also, the tools
are put together to allow a wide amount of flexibility, so that you can
mold them to your needs with a little programming and/or GRASS
ABOUT THE RELEASE
This should be considered as a "beta" version of r.answers, (some
initial "alpha" testing has taken place before this release). If you
decide to test or use these programs, we would like hear about it, with
your comments, criticisms, and a description of how and why you are
using the tools. Please send mail or email to the addresses above.
We need to give the usual disclaimers, primarily that the software
is provided "as is" without expressed or implied warranty, and
that we or our employers cannot be held responsible for anything
that may happen if you choose to make use of any or all of the tools.
If you have problems or find bugs, send email or otherwise contact
Chris Rewerts (addresses and phone above), although I cannot guarantee
that I will always have an answer or can promptly fix all bugs.
The programs were developed on SUN SparcStations, and have been
compiled and run successfully on a number of other architectures.
ABOUT THE INTEGRATION
The central GRASS program used in the integration is r.answers, which
I call a 'project manager'. Basically, it treats the ANSWERS simulation
as a 'black box'. The ANSWERS program (included) has not been changed
for use with this integration. This means, in part, that the model proper
theoretically does not need re-validation.
Since ANSWERS simulates rainfall events on a watershed, we treat a
simulation scenario (rainfall event) as a 'project'. Thus r.answers
provides a menu-driven interface to pull together the GRASS maps and
other ANSWERS inputs as a project, and saves all this information in
your GRASS mapset database under a project name. You can then use
r.answers to recall, copy, or manipulate projects. The r.answers
program also keeps track of the status of the project, each time
r.answers reads an existing project, it recalls the last status, and
when one exits from r.answers it will save the current status.
r.answers will indicate when a project has all the inputs needed to run
ANSWERS. At that point r.answers can be used to run the simulation and
process the outputs.
Part of the assumption of the integration was that the user would have
the basic maps of elevation, soils, and landuse, and with the help
of the standard GRASS tools and others we created, s/he would be
able to create the inputs needed by the model.
Under the src.answers directory is the program code for GRASS raster
and display programs that are a part our 'hydrologic toolbox' for the
ANSWERS-GRASS integration. Under the raster directory are the primary
players, r.answers and ANSWERS.
The other included programs were developed as accessories for the
preparation of r.answers input maps, and for specialized display of
input and output maps. Note that some of these programs have been
distributed with GRASS 4.0 and 4.1, as part of the "src.contrib" and
"src.alpha" directories. So, you may have already seen or used some of
our programs before. I am putting all the related programs together
in this release since it makes a more complete package.
Of course, you don't necessarily have to use our programs to prepare all
inputs to ANSWERS. (This is in keeping with our philosophy of open GIS
and providing the user with more control over what goes on in their
modeling). I advise you to play around with how your inputs are created
(especially those that are elevation-based), to see what effect this has
on simulation results.
Following is a brief description of the programs, so you can know what
you are getting into before you go too far (for more information, see
the "man" files included in each program's directory. The man pages
can be installed "by hand" with your local GRASS documentation or
viewed with "nroff -man <filename> | more"):
Raster Programs (under src.answers/raster)
answers - Areal Nonpoint Source Watershed Environmental Response
Simulation, version 4.880215. An event oriented, distributed
parameter model that was developed to simulate the behavior
of watersheds having agriculture as their primary use.
(The source code for ANSWERS is placed in the r.answers
directory in this distribution.) Note: ANSWERS is a
FORTRAN program, and will require a FORTRAN compiler,
such as f77.
r.answers - interface and simulation scenario management for ANSWERS.
(NOTE: r.fill.dir, r.direct, and r.slope were created to
meet the specialized needs of ANSWERS (and AGNPS) for
inputs based on elevation - flow direction and slope).
r.fill.dir - filters and generates a depressionless elevation map and
a flow direction map from a given elevation surface map.
Note: this program (and r.direct) use modules that are
FORTRAN programs, thus must be compiled with a suitable
r.direct - generates a flow direction map from a given elevation
surface map. This is the same as r.fill.dir, minus the
filling done to remove depressions in the elevation map.
r.slope - generates a slope map for ANSWERS from a given elevation
d.rast.arrow - given a displayed aspect map, draws arrows on individual
cells to visually indicate the flow direction.
d.rast.num - given a displayed map, draws the category value number on
d.rast.zoom - a graphically interactive region zoom program
d.rast.edit - a raster map editor. Uses d.rast.arrow, d.rast.num, and
d.rast.zoom as sub-programs.
d.linegraph - creates and displays X-Y line graphs on the GRASS graphics
d.answers - a sample shell script for displaying the inputs and outputs
of r.answers simulation scenarios.
Sample GRASS Database
Included under the "data" directory is a small sample database provided
so that you can play with r.answers to see what it is all about without
having to go to all the work of putting together the maps needed to run
r.answers from your local mapsets. The sample mapbase is the Purdue
Animal Science Farm Study Watershed that was extracted from the Indian
Pine Natural Resource Laboratory Map Database, created and maintained
at Agricultural Engineering, Purdue University. To use, you will need
to install the mapbase to where ever you keep GRASS mapsets on your
After the raster and display programs (described above), or at least
r.answers and answers, have been installed and compiled on your system,
you can set your LOCATION to "answers" and the MAPSET as "PERMANENT"
when you start GRASS (unless, of course, you defined different names
when you installed the sample mapbase on your system. You should then
be able to run r.answers, and choose "Work on an existing project" as
the option to its first menu. Then select "sample" as the name of the
project to work on. (To be safe, you can first choose the "Copy an
existing project" option, to create a back-up copy of the "sample"
project.) The "sample" project is a completed scenario using the maps
from the included mapbase.
Class Exercise and User's Manual Excerpts
In the "misc" directory are a couple documents which may be
1. A classroom exercise -
The file "exercise.troff" is troff/ascii; "exercise.ps" is postscript)
You may find this helpful to introduce you to r.answers and its
associate programs. It is a step-by-step exercise created as a class
assignment using r.answers and associated programs for data preparation
display with maps in the sample mapbase. Reading through this will
hopefully provide some of the context to understand how all the parts fit
together and how (we thought) the tools may be used.
2. Excerpts from the ANSWERS User's Manual -
It seemed to me that the primary information that was lacking from
this distribution was how to come up with the soil and landuse parameters.
Therefore, I scanned in the parts of the User's Manual that explains
this. The file is straight ASCII, and is called "manual.txt".
I suggest you move the answers.cpio.Z file to the $GIS/src.garden
directory and use the command:
zcat answers.cpio.Z | cpio -iduc
This will extract the files and directory structure from the
cpio archive format, creating an 'answers' directory.
You can then 'cd' to the 'answers/src.answers' and use your
'gmake' command (i.e. 'gmake4.1') to compile the programs.
(After the compilation is complete, don't forget to run the
'$GIS/src/CMD/MAKE.LINKS' command to properly link commands
in your grass bin with their executables).
Next you can install the sample database found under
'answers/data' in the same manner/system area as your other
Take a look at the 'answers/scripts/README' file to explain
how to install/use the d.answers shellscript.
More information about the grass-user