[GRASSLIST:6653] Re: Advice for a GRASS newbie

Ian MacMillan ian_macmillan at umail.ucsb.edu
Wed Apr 27 20:10:06 EDT 2005

Paul, not sure if this helps, but . . .

Rasters should be almost exactly the same between 5.3 and 6.0.
Sites have been converted to vector points from 5.3 to 6.0 so all 
previus site functions are now vector functions.
Vectors are all kinds of different between 5.3 and 6.0 and the book 
will probably not be that useful for them.
Nviz is essentially the same between 5.3 and 6.0
The GIS Manager is a great improvement in 6.0 and should be intuitive 
to learn though the book I don't think covers any of it.

Vectors now require that you are comfortable handling databases such as 
sql and the like.  If you aren't comfortable with these (like me) it 
can be a bit frustrating, though you can still hammer through.  The 
vector format change was definitely a good one, just one more thing to 
learn.  You might try this tutorial for vectors.


The book is still a great place to start, especially if you want to 
learn the basics about how GIS's work.


On Apr 27, 2005, at 4:17 PM, Paul A. Levine wrote:

> Hello all,
> Apologies in advance if this list is not the right place for these 
> kind of questions, but I wanted to get the opinion of real-world GRASS 
> users, so I figure there is no better place than here.
> I am a new GRASS user who is attempting to learn the program so I can 
> use it for my master's thesis in hydrology. I purchased the second 
> edition of "Open Source GIS: A GRASS GIS Approach " by M. Neteler and 
> H. Mitasova, which was recommended to me as THE definitive 
> GRASS-learning guide.
> Unfortunately, the book was written for GRASS 5.3, and very early on 
> in one of the tutorials, I came across a command that has become 
> obsolete in GRASS 6 (the d.sites command, directed on page 30 of the 
> book, which I now understand has been replaced by new functionality of 
> d.vect). OK, so that's a good learning experience about how software 
> changes.  Then, a few pages later, I came across another obsolete 
> command that was a little harder to get updated info on.  At this 
> point, having to figure out what commands are obsolete is slowing down 
> my progress through the book.  Furthermore, it seems like all of the 
> GRASS 6 tutorials that are out there assume some familiarity with 
> GRASS in general that I am lacking.
> So, my question is this: Which of the following strategies would the 
> users on this list recommend?
> a) installing GRASS 5.3, going through the Neteler and Mitasova book, 
> coming out of it knowing GRASS 5.3, then making the switch to GRASS 
> 6.0 when I have some chops with 5.3
> b) continuing what I am doing right now, which is going through the 
> book and learning the changes as I go (and assuming that any time 
> GRASS says "command not found" that it's another example of something 
> that changed in the 6.0 update)
> c) finding an altogether different resource for learning GRASS 6.0 and 
> ditch the book (this is the least desirable option, especially because 
> the book was not cheap, so I would like to get some use out of it)
> Thanks in advance for any advice you may have to offer me!
> Paul

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