New GRASSLinks site now running

Simon Cox S.Cox at
Thu Nov 23 07:00:00 EST 1995

I have installed a customised GRASSLinks site at

which people may want to take a look at.
On this site you can build-your-own-map from
elements provided covering topography, geology
and geophysics of Australia.  It uses a standard
WWW-forms interface.

So far I have only implemented the "display" module, but have made
a few enhancements over the original GRASSLinks developed by Sue Huse,
James Ganong and Kenn Gardels at REGIS, Berkeley - the main non-cosmetic
one is that multiple vector and site maps can be displayed.

While working on this (and earlier) it occurred to me that this kind of
point-and-click interface is what has been lacking and criticised
in GRASS all these years, for the casual user.  There have been a
couple of attempts to develop GUI's - viz. XGrass and LAS's
still-to-be-released tcl/tk interface.  I wonder how much of the
functionality could actually be provided through html & "forms",
so making XGrass and tcl/tkGrass potentially obselete?

Continuing my musing:  tools such as these really provide a strong
support for the direction that Grass development has been taking over
the years - ie emphasising the development of geographical analysis
tools, rather than fussing over the interface.  The latter can
"take care of itself" in ways like this by taking advantage of
generic GUI and vis. tools.  In similar fashion, the database
management bits of GIS's have already gone a similar way, by
simply attaching themselves to 3rd party products like Oracle,
which does the job better than the internal ones could.
(If only GRASS had made this leap!)

[Putting in my 2c worth on the ArcView
thing, which briefly reared its head on
this list a few weeks ago: I think that
ArcView arrived about 5 years too late,
is fatally compromised to protect "daddy's"
(Arc/Info's) market, and may be superceded
by more "generic" GUI's, like html-forms
in 2-3 years anyway.]

Simon Cox

Dr Simon Cox                          __  \
CSIRO Exploration & Mining         ,~'  L_|\    Australian
39 Fairway, PO Box 437,         ;-'         \   Geodynamics
Nedlands, WA  6009  Australia   (            \  Cooperative
      Phone +61 9 284 8443      +    ___     /  Research
      Fax   +61 9 389 1906       L~~'   "\__/   Centre
simon at                     W
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