Batch Geonews: Google Views and 150 New 3D Cities, Future of National Mapping Agencies, Sentinel Imagery Free, and much more

A batch mode edition while on holidays. Next one will be late August since I'll be away from computers (and even without electricity!) for a few weeks.

From the open source / open data front:

From the Esri front:

From the Google front: 

A big bunch of geospatial-related news discussed over Slashdot:

In the everything-else category:

In the maps category:

Summer Break - Geonews Aggregation to Resume Late August

It's our Summer break! The site will be silent for the coming weeks. Geonews aggregation will resume at the end of August. As usual, I'll share every major geospatial news at my return and you won't miss anything major. Comments and story submissions have been temporarily disabled to reduce spam. Thank you for your comprehension. Cheers! -- Alex for Slashgeo

Celebrating 30 years of GRASS GIS!

Today the Free Software community celebrates the 30th birthday of GRASS GIS! GRASS (Geographic Resources Analysis Support System) is a free and open source Geographic Information System (GIS) software suite used for geospatial data management and analysis, image processing, graphics and map production, spatial modeling, and 3D visualization. GRASS GIS is currently used in academic and commercial settings around the world, as well as by many governmental agencies and environmental consulting companies. GRASS GIS can be used either as a stand-alone application or as backend for other software packages such as QGIS and R geostatistics. It is a founding member of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) and can be freely downloaded at http://grass.osgeo.org/download/software/.

30 YEARS OF GRASS GIS!

Brief history

In 1982, Lloyd Van Warren, a University of Illinois engineering student, began development on a new computer program based on a master's thesis by Jim Westervelt that described a GIS package called LAGRID – the Landscape Architecture Gridcell analysis system. Thirty years ago, on 29 July 1983, the user manual for this new system titled "GIS Version 1 Reference Manual" was first published by J. Westervelt and M. O'Shea. The software continued its development at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (USA/CERL) in Champaign, Illinois; and after further expansion version 1.0 was released in 1985 under the name Geographic Resources Analysis Support System (GRASS). The GRASS GIS community was established the same year with the first annual user meeting and the launch of GRASSnet, one of the internet's early mailing lists. The user community expanded to a larger audience in 1991 with the "Grasshopper" mailing list and the introduction of the World Wide Web. The users' and programmers' mailing lists archives for these early years are still available online.
In the mid 1990s the development transferred from USA/CERL to The Open GRASS Consortium (a group who would later generalize to become today's Open Geospatial Consortium -- the OGC). The project coordination eventually shifted to the actual international development team made up of governmental and academic researchers and university scientists. Reflecting this shift to a project run by the users, for the users, in 1999 GRASS GIS was released the first time under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). A detailed history of GRASS GIS can be found at http://grass.osgeo.org/history/.

Since these early days GRASS development has progressed and grown, adjusting with and often at the forefront of new technologies as they became available. Today GRASS's software development is maintained by a team of domain experts as visualized in this beautiful new video animation which stylistically details the codebase evolution and modifications from 1999 through to 2013, up to and including the latest GRASS GIS 6.4.3 stable release.

30 years of active growth: where are we now?

Recent versions of GRASS GIS come with exciting new features like:

  • new modern graphical user interface complete with integrated workflow-wizards and interactive tools,
  • new Python interface to the core C geoprocessing libraries, permitting Python developers to create powerful new modules in a quick and simple way,
  • Fully-fledged topological vector support for editing and tools for topological analysis and data cleaning,
  • Hundreds of new modules to analyze raster and vector data of all scales and types, with hundreds more contributed in an active community repository,
  • Support for massive data processing (e.g. relevant for LiDAR processing) and Large File Support (> 2GB, 64-bit files on 32-bit systems),
  • A codebase portable to all of today's major Operating Systems,
  • Installed on everything from low-power dataloggers and field laptops to high performance Grid Engines and TOP500 supercomputers.

GRASS GIS is currently developed by a global team of around twenty core programmers, plus numerous add-on contributors, testers, and translators. Overall, more than seventy core developers have worked on the code in the past thirty years, making over fifty-thousand modifications to the code. All the while, hundreds more have provided peer review and improvements to algorithms and documentation while using GRASS GIS in professional, educational, and research contexts.

Where to next?

Development on GRASS GIS continues with as much energy and interest as ever. Version 6.4.3 has been released as a birthday present. Parallel to the long-term maintenance of the GRASS 6 stable series, effort is well underway on the new cutting-edge major release, GRASS GIS 7, bringing with it many new features, modules, enhancements, and cleanups. As in the past, the GRASS GIS community is open to any contribution, be it in the form of programming, documentation, testing, financial sponsorship or any other form of support.

--
M. Neteler (GRASS GIS PSC Chair) and GRASS Development Team
http://grass.osgeo.org/

GeoTools 9.4 & GeoServer 2.3.4 Released

The development teams of GeoTools and GeoServer are pleased to announce the release of GeoTools 9.4 and GeoServer 2.3.4. 

GeoTools 9.4 is available for download from source forge:

If you are using Maven this release is deployed to our OSGeo Maven Repository: For more information on setting up your project with Maven see the Quickstart (included in the userguide documentation pack above). For a detailed description of the release see the Geotools blog.

For the release of GeoServer 2.3.4 downloads (zipwardmg and exe) are listed on the GeoServer 2.3.4 page along with documentation and extensions. See the blog page for full details of this release.

Batch Geonews: 89% Use Google Maps, New Google Maps UI and iPad app Available, Esri UC Round Up, and much more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode. Several interesting bits in there that may have deserved a full entry, but it's Summer time and I'm on holidays :-)

On the open source / open data front:

On the Esri front:

On the Google front:

Geonews discussed over Slashdot:

In the miscellaneous category:

In the maps category:

Batch Geonews: New Google Maps App, 3D Printing in Windows 8.1, GeoServer Enterprise, MapBox Real-time Satellite Imagery, and much more

Here's the geonews in batch mode. Some of them may have deserved their own entry.

On the open source / open data front:

On the Esri front:

On the Google front:

Geo-related news discussed over Slashdot:

In the miscellaneous category:

In the maps category:

United States and Canada Weather Radar Mosaic Now Available in WMS and KML

[since the weather radar mosaic has been proven very popular, I felt it deserved it's own announcement]

Part of the sister announcement of the global and regional weather prediction  layers, in GeoMet services, there's also the popular weather radar North-American mosaic. It covers United States and Canada in a single layer available in WMS and KML. The data is refreshed every 10 minutes and can be easily animated via the KML file. Here's the link to the WMS GetCapabilities and the KML file for Google Earth. For Esri users, here's the ArcGIS Online map with the layers. Interested in staying in touch with the improvements to GeoMet, join the announce mailing list. (Disclaimer: I am personally involved with GeoMet)

According to the WMS GetCapabilities, the weather radar mosaic is provided as 4 different layers:

  • RADAR_RDBR: Rain mode reflectivity (dbz)
  • RADAR_RDBS: Snow mode reflectivity (mm/hr)
  • RADAR_RRAI: Rain precipitation (mm/hr)
  • RADAR_RSNO: Snow precipitation (cm/hr)

From the documentation page: "Meteorological layers are dynamically served through the Web Map Service (WMS) standard to enable end-users to display meteorological data within their own tools and on interactive web maps, and served through KML standard for easy display in tools such as Google Earth™. [...] This service is aimed at specialized users and developers with good meteorological and information technology knowledge who want to visualize raw NWP models and the weather radar mosaic layers in common geospatial tools; want to integrate meteorological layers into their own platforms, or; want to display meteorological layers on interactive web maps for the web or on mobile devices."

Those interested in the U.S.-only weather radar layer in WMS and WCS described as "Mosaic of National Weather Services RADAR for CONUS 1x1 Km resolution" can head on this NOAA website. The following image provided by Environment Canada comes from the GeoMet services but that's not the weather radar mosaic layer.

Global Weather Forecast Layers Now Available in WMS and KML

Environment Canada's Meteorological Service of Canada now provides global and regional weather prediction layers to the public in WMS and KML via a new service called 'GeoMet'. Here's the link to the WMS GetCapabilities and the KML file for Google Earth. For Esri users, here's the ArcGIS Online map with the layers (select which layers you want displayed). Interested in staying in touch with the improvements and changes to GeoMet? Join the Info mailing list. (Disclaimer: I am personally involved with GeoMet)

From the project's page: "Meteorological layers are dynamically served through the Web Map Service (WMS) standard to enable end-users to display meteorological data within their own tools and on interactive web maps, and served through KML standard for easy display in tools such as Google Earth™. [...] This service is aimed at specialized users and developers with good meteorological and information technology knowledge who want to visualize raw NWP models and the weather radar mosaic layers in common geospatial tools; want to integrate meteorological layers into their own platforms, or; want to display meteorological layers on interactive web maps for the web or on mobile devices."

Google Geonews: Cloudless Imagery in Maps and Earth, New Google Earth 7.1 for Mobile with Street View, 50 New Cities in 3D, and more

Here's the recent Google-related geonews.

From official sources:

From other sources:

Launch of India's First Navigation Satellite Successful

Slashdot reports on the successful launch of India's First Navigation Satellite. We mentioned India's GNSS interests in 2006.

Their summary: ""India's first dedicated navigation satellite, the IRNSS-1A, developed by the Indian Space Research Organization, was successfully put in orbit on Monday night. The launch vehicle, PSLV-C22, bearing the 1,425-kg navigation satellite, blasted off the launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Center here at the scheduled lift-off time of 11.41 p.m." The satellite is the first of seven that will eventually provide a regional equivalent of GPS under complete Indian control."

 

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