New Categorized List of Free GIS Data

A new categorised list of freely available GIS datasets is available at It includes both world-wide data and country-specific data, and is sorted by category (such as Natural Disasters, Land Cover, Hydrology etc).

All the datasets linked to on the site are free for academic and/or non-commercial use, some are also free for commercial use.

The datasets have been gathered from a number of internet sites, from discussions on forums such as LinkedIn and from personal email contact with data developers. Of course, the site is nowhere near finished yet - and I would welcome any extra links for free GIS data to add to the site.

Please see for more details, or my personal website at





Open Source ETL Tools: GeoKettle 2.0 and Spatial Data Integrator 4.2.0 Released

Last week was announced GeoKettle 2.0, an open source spatial ETL (extract transform and load) tool

From the announcement: "GeoKettle, as its name suggests, is based on the widely used and robust generic ETL tool Kettle (aka Pentaho Data Integration or PDI) made « geo-capable » by integrating and leveraging the power of geospatial libraries such as of JTS, GeoTools, OGR, deegree and of course, brand new Spatialytics code." Here's the details of what's new for version 2.0. We mentioned quite a few times GeoKettle the past three years.

There's another open source spatial ETL tool out there that we haven't mentioned for a while, it's Talend's Spatial Data Integrator, with its version 4.2.0 released earlier this month

From their main page: "Spatial module for Talend Open Studio (aka. Spatial Data Integrator or SDI) is an ETL with geospatial capabilities. Likewise regular TOS components, there are basically three sorts of Geo components: input, output and transform components. Input and output components read features from and write feature to datastores, respectively. Transform components read features from their input flows, possibly transform those features, and write features to their output flows. The term transform is to be taken loosely here as it represents any sort of operation."

Jaspa (JAva SPAtial) 0.2.0 Released

We are pleased to announce the release 0.2.0 of Jaspa (JAva SPAtial). Jaspa potentially brings around 200 spatial functions to any relational database system that supports Java stored procedures. In this 0.2.0 version Jaspa supports PostgreSQL and H2. The biggest change from the previous release is a new topology rules system with around 70 topology rules.

New features:

  • A new web page dedicated to Jaspa. It has a blog and links to the documentation and download section.
  • A new driver for gvSIG 1.11 (Jaspa for PostgreSQL).
  • A new driver for Kosmo 2.0.1 (Jaspa for PostgreSQL).
  • A new topology rules system with around 70 topology rules.
  • A new workshop material of more than 100 pages (in English and Spanish) which can be very useful to a new user who wants to get started into spatial databases and Jaspa. It covers the installation, spatial analysis exercises, topology rule exercises and even a guide about developing new stored procedures in Jaspa using Java.

Best regards,

The Jaspa team
Jose Martinez-Llario
Marta Gonzalez-Alcaide
Universidad Politecnica de Valencia

[Editor's note: Jaspa is open source software]

pycsw 1.0.0 Released

The pycsw team announces the release of pycsw 1.0.0. This is the first formal release (previous version 0.1.0), and adds numerous core features since 0.1.0 (see below).

pycsw is an OGC CSW server implementation written in Python. pycsw implements clause 10 (HTTP protocol binding (Catalogue Services for the Web, CSW)) of the OpenGIS Catalogue Service Implementation Specification, version 2.0.2.

pycsw allows for the publishing and discovery of geospatial metadata. Existing repositories of geospatial metadata can be exposed via OGC:CSW 2.0.2. pycsw is Open Source, released under an MIT license, and runs on all major platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X).

Source and binary downloads:

Version 1.0.0 (2011-06-29):

  • simplified setup and configuration
  • support for INSPIRE Discovery Services
  • support for CSW-T
  • support for additional databases
  • Ubuntu and openSUSE installer
  • support GetCapabilities updateSequence parameter
  • support for FGDC profile
  • support for NASA DIF

Testers and developers are welcome.

The pycsw developer team.

10,000 ASTER Scenes for Russia and Canada Freely Available

More than 500 GB (10 thousand scenes) from year 2001 to 2003 are freely distributed on Cover areas of Russia and Canada. See:

[Editor's note: you might be interested in taking a look at previous ASTER-related stories]

JTS 1.12 Released

Good news, JTS 1.12 has been released. It matters since a lot of other open source software uses it. GEOS, which recently went to 3.3.0, is a C++ port of the JTS. We also mentioned a month ago the new JSTS project, the JavaScript port.

From it's main website, JTS is: "The JTS Topology Suite is an API for modelling and manipulating 2-dimensional linear geometry. It provides numerous geometric predicates and functions. JTS conforms to the Simple Features Specification for SQL published by the Open GIS Consortium."

What's new for 1.12:

GeoServer 2.1.1 Released

The GeoServer team is happy to announce the release of GeoServer 2.1.1.  This release is primarily a bug fixing release, with patches and enhancements submitted from many users.  The GeoServer development team would like to thank the contributors for their development efforts, the users for their feedback and the companies the provided sponsorship to implement new features and bug fixes.  In particular, we would like to thank the following contributors whose patches have been included in this release:

  • Rudi Hochmeister for improvements to our logging configuration and documentation.
  • Gianna Barrotta, Andrea Di Nora and Pietro Arena for the addition of three new WPS processes.
  • Robert Coup for efforts to bring KML and GeoRSS formats in line with normal URL-assembling practises.
  • Matt Bertrand for adding character set support for to uploads.

Thanks also go to LISAsoft for sponsoring this release.

The GeoServer Team

Opticks 4.7.0 Released

Via AGISRS, I learned that last Friday was released Opticks 4.7.0, an open source remote sensing and imagery application that we mentioned a few times in the past. Opticks's IDL, Spectral and Python extensions were also updated.

Instead of the what's new, here's a reminder of what Opticks is according to their main page:

  • Free and open source
  • Supports the following file formats: NITF 2.0/2.1, GeoTIFF, ENVI, ASPAM/PAR, CGM, DTED, Generic RAW, ESRI Shapefile, HDF5, AVI, MPEG, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP
  • Zoom, pan, rotate spatially large datasets
  • Quickly layer GIS features, annotations, results, and other information over your data to provide context
  • Many image display controls such as colormap, histogram, transparency, etc.
  • Support for datasets larger than four gigabytes
  • Analysts can quickly combine steps using graphical wizards
  • Support for processing data in it's native interleave of BIP, BSQ or BIL
  • Get extensions to drop in new capability.

QGIS 1.7.0 Released

One of the most popular open source GIS just got updated, Quantum GIS "QGIS" 1.7.0 has been released. That's the last major version before the 2.0 release. "This release includes over 277 bug fixes and many new features and enhancements." Here's the headers of the major additions and changes, head to the announcement to see screenshots and learn more.

  • Symbology labels and diagrams
  • New Tools
  • User interface updates
  • CRS Handling
  • Rasters
  • Providers and Data Handling
  • Api and Developer Centric
  • QGIS Server
  • Plugins
  • Printing

In addition to the announcement, here's Tim Sutton's informative thoughts on the future of QGIS, a snippet: "It’s a difficult trade off though – QGIS in many respects is still an immature GIS with many features that people expect from a GIS missing. This is especially true if you consider the ‘core’ QGIS application without the GRASS plugin (which introduces many tools from the excellent GRASS toolset). In order to meet the mainstream GIS user’s needs, we need to close this feature gap – and we have been making rapid strides in this direction over the last few years. But closing this feature GAP means that we don’t tend to have bug fix only releases and a strong focus on code stabilisation. [...] As you can see from the charts, QGIS is becoming more and more popular, we are just shy of 190,000 downloads for the windows standalone installer for QGIS 1.6."

FOSS4G 2011 Conference Program Published & Early Registration Extended

Last Friday was published the FOSS4G 2011 Conference program. We mentioned quite a few times the upcoming FOSS4G 2011 Conference, to be held in Denver September 12-16. This is going to be a major geospatial conference. is a media sponsor and should provide, like we did in the past two years, on-site coverage.

From the program announcement: "We are pleased to announce the publication of the FOSS4G 2011 program. You can view the program details here. Selection was very competitive - we had almost 300 submissions for around 150 sessions. [...] Since we were slightly later than planned in publishing the program, we have extended the early registration deadline to June 30.

We have also announced our plenary speakers. They include several speakers new to FOSS4G, and several FOSS4G veterans. Michael Byrne, GIO of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), will talk about their work on the National Broadband Map, which is based entirely on an open source software stack, and implements some innovative ideas regarding open data. Peter Ter Haar, Director of Products at the Ordnance Survey, the national mapping agency of Great Britain, will talk about their experience with open data initiatives over the past 18 months, as well as how they are using open source. Paul Ramsey will talk on "Why do you do that? An exploration of open source business models". Steve Coast, founder of OpenStreetMap, will talk about the past, present and (mainly) future of OpenStreetMap. We will have a panel on "Open x 4" discussing various aspects of openness, chaired by Matt Ball and featuring Arnulf Christl, President of OSGeo, Steve Coast, and Carl Reed, CTO of OGC. Schuyler Erle and Brian Timoney have accepted the challenge of giving us a couple of short and entertaining but also insightful presentations to close proceedings on Wednesday and Thursday. And Jeff McKenna will be leading the ever-popular web mapping performance shootout in the final session. Check the full list to see all the plenary speakers."

Syndicate content