[GRASS-user] GRASS Primer

Sampson, David dsampson at NRCan.gc.ca
Tue Oct 31 10:00:08 EST 2006

Welcome to the woderfull and exciting world of open source GIS, Linux
and all the related brain activity.
First I'd like to say congratulations for your attempt to explore GRASS
and linux (or Cygwin if you're going the windows route). The learning
curve is steep but rewarding. And if you are a small of medium sized
company then you'll notice some unique benifits of open source
As was previously noted in one of the responses, you have found some
GREAT groups for users. Your challenge, as also previously noted is
learning how to use it. If you are new the user list type community
support then here are some tips, and maybe a quasi process..
The GRASS resources are stored in a sort of library. Lots of good
resources in bite sized books. No one source will provide ALL the
answers. So lets take a little tour.
1. get the software (http://grass.itc.it/download/index.php)
2. Learn the install process. This link is an old one and for a past
version, but hopefully it will bee a good intro....
note there is a difference between a MANUAL, a TUTORIAL, and MAILING
list...  In our world a manual holds content and information. A tutorial
is our source of process, and finaly the mailing list covers special
issues or undocumented processes.
3. Refer to the manual
4. grab a link to a tutorial and follow the process. HINT: KEEP IT
SIMPLE, the learning curve is steep and deep
5. Now you will inevitably have a question. So you start your search
    A. Search the manual by keywords or key command
    B. Search the archived mailing lists. Note that there are some
specialty lists. http://grass.itc.it/community/support.php
    C. GOOGLE is your friend... eg
    D. Read the Tabe of Contents (TOC) of the "How to ask a smart
question" http://catb.org/esr/faqs/smart-questions.html (not to
belittle, just to bring you up to speed)
    E. Pick your forum and ask your question and wait for the onslaught
of answers. The better the question, the more response, and broader
response you'll get
6. Next build a self guided tutorial.
You have choosen GIS as a tool to answer a question. GRASS is great
tool. So take your question and break it down to it's simplest term
(generic GIS workflow). Find the comman to do each small task. Build
them in order and voila you have your own Tutorial.  Now share that
information back to the community and the process continues.
Did you find something that you wanted more info on as a new user. Then
help future new users get up to speed even quicker.
Hope this helped,
keep your head up and have fun


From: grassuser-bounces at grass.itc.it
[mailto:grassuser-bounces at grass.itc.it] On Behalf Of gotnidea! Business
Development Centre
Sent: October 31, 2006 05:04
To: grassuser at grass.itc.it; wingrass at grass.itc.it
Subject: [GRASS-user] Which is the best forum/resource for GRASS

Dear All,
I think I have gotten into group of developers rather than mere users.
Or may be my questions are a bit trivial or out of context for most of
Well, while I certainly thank you all for your patience and quick
response, I think I am really a novice in an area for experts.
So, my first question is which is the forum of GRASS users particularly
for the starters and persons with little knowledge about GIS but do have
a desire to learn it. May be one could even guide me to a book? My
problem is that I am new to both GRASS as well as Linux world, and as I
happened to notice that GRASS can run on Windows, I went ahead to work
on it. 
Secondly I reiterate what I had asked in my last email:
I want to have a display like: 
Is it possible on GRASS?? If at all it is not possible on a web page,
can I reproduce a similar map on my desktop, linking the data with SQL
or even by using the existing postgreSQL?
Thanks for all your help and patience once again.
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