Info request on establishing GRASS Locations/Mapsets

Greg Koerper greg at
Tue Aug 3 12:35:04 EDT 1993

> We have, so far, run into a basic obstacle on defining the region.  We would
> greatly appreciate if someone could take the time to briefly outline the 
> protocol of commands to establish a new Location/Mapset (independent of
> spearfish/PERMANENT), set the extents and projection of this Mapset, and import
> data in the form of rasters and site lists that are not in GRASS format.
> Thank you for any responses and assistance.
> Thaddeus J. Bara
> Research Scientist
> NOAA/National Climate Data Center
> Asheville, NC
> tbara at

It's rather simple, but certainly not obvious or easy to locate help on.

To create a new location, simply start up GRASS (I haven't tried this with
XGRASS, but I expect it must provide for the same).  Enter a unique location
name and GRASS will ask you if you wish to create this location.  Answering
yes, you proceed to answer a series of questions that establish the name of
the location (a string label) and the default region for all mapsets which
will be created under this location.  The result is that the mapset PERMANENT
is created under this location with the files MYNAME and DEFAULT_WIND.

Quoting from the GRASS Programmer's Manual (p. 19):  Each location must have a 
PERMANENT mapset.  This mapset ... contains ... two special files that are only 
found in this mapset [per location!].  These files are MYNAME and DEFAULT_WIND...

MYNAME is a descriptive name for the location.  You will find a template in
spearfish/PERMANENT.  DEFAULT_WIND is the important one.  It is used to 
initialize the WIND file when GRASS creates a new mapset, and can be used by
the user as a reference region at any time.

p. 50 of the manual details the simple ASCII format of this type of file.  And
again, you have a template in spearfish.

When you have finished defining the default region, GRASS returns you to the
entry point where you may now set a new mapset name as well (I prefer not to
put any other data in PERMANENT).  This dir is also created by GRASS, and you
will enter your session with the region set to the default.

Data import is another matter.  You need to examine man pages for programs
like,, and application specific utilities such
as,,  Using these and others, you can begin to
assemble data in the new location/mapset. 


Greg Koerper                            Internet: greg at
ManTech Environmental Technology, Inc.  UUCP:     hplabs!hp-pcd!orstcs!koerper
US EPA Environmental Research Lab
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