The GRASS Development Team announces:
GRASS GIS 5.3.0 released 15 May 2004
A new release of GRASS has been published. This is a "technology preview" release
from the 5.3 development series, which is undergoing testing in preparation for
creation of the stable 5.4 branch (see the GRASS Development
Roadmap). GRASS 5.3 is already in reliable daily production use at many
The Geographic Resources Analysis Support System, commonly referred to as
GRASS GIS, is a Geographical Information System (GIS) used for data
management, image processing, graphics production, spatial modelling, and
visualization of raster, vector and sites data. It is open source
Free Software released under the GNU
General Public License (GPL).
Platforms supported by GRASS:
GNU/Linux, Sun Solaris (SPARC/Intel), Silicon Graphics Irix,
Mac OS X/Darwin, Microsoft Windows with Cygwin, HP-UX, DEC-Alpha, AIX, BSD,
iPAQ/Linux and other UNIX compliant platforms (32/64bit).
The new source code is available now, and selected binary distributions for
major operating systems will be published shortly.
For details on GRASS software capabilities please refer to:
What's new in GRASS 5.3.0
5.3.0 represents a significant improvement in functionality over 5.0.3 (the
most recent release in the old 5.0 stable series) and in addition includes many
bugfixes. Selected major changes are outlined below. For a more comprehensive
list of changed modules see the
Developers' Notes; the full
ChangeLog is also available.
- Datum Transformation
- Re-projection of GPS and satellite-derived data into a national co-ordinate
system often requires datum transformation, otherwise shifts in the data of the
order of several hundred metres can occur. The GRASS re-projection modules
r.proj, v.proj and s.proj
now support datum transformation. This is built on top of the implementation in
the PROJ.4 library. If you are not
sure whether your existing locations in the database contain enough information
to perform datum transformations, please re-run g.setproj, which has
- Shared library support
- Using the configure option --enable-gmake=no (this will become the default for
5.4 when it is reliable on all supported platforms) makes use of a new build
mechanism which compiles the core GRASS libraries as shared by default. This
results in a much smaller size for the installed binaries. Not yet fully
compatible with Mac OSX and Cygwin.
- External PROJ.4 library support
- Users can avail of the latest updates to the projections and datums supported
by the RemoteSensing.org PROJ.4 library
by compiling GRASS against it. This is the default; note that PROJ.4 must be installed
before GRASS. Using the --with-proj=no configure option will result in the old
version of PROJ.4 contained within the GRASS sources being used instead.
- New tcltkgrass Graphical User Interface menu structure
- Additional commands are also supported via the GUI. g.help is still
there, but an enhanced task-oriented GUI is now also available to guide novice users
through typical GIS tasks
- Improvements to 3-D Visualisation
- Updates to the nviz 3-D visualisation tool include experimental loading
and saving of 3d.view files from the GRASS database, off-screen rendering and
implementation of many planned features for which 'stub' functionality only has
existed up to now. In addition the new module d.nviz allows automated
creation of fly-through animations in nviz.
- Improved Inverse distance weighted interpolation
- An improved algorithm in s.surf.idw indexes sites and allows greatly
when the region resolution and number of sites are both very large.
- Experimental LIDAR processing tools (not compiled by default)
- s.bspline.reg, s.correction, s.edgedetection,
- Experimental hydrology and sediment transport simulation tools
(not compiled by default)
- r.sim.sediment, r.sim.water
- Experimental large-scale watershed computation
- G3D 3-D Raster Voxel tools enabled
- The 3-D raster processing tools are fully enabled in this release of
GRASS. This includes the modules
- MATLAB import and export (not compiled by default)
- GRASS can now import and export rasters from the MATLAB binary '.mat'
format. The relevant modules are r.in.mat and r.out.mat
- Raster time series Statistical Analysis (not compiled by
- r.series can be used to create an output raster map where each
cell value is a statistical function (average, count, median, mode, minimum,
maximum, stddev, sum, variance, diversity, slope or offset)
of the values of the corresponding cells in all the input raster maps.
- Vis5D Output (not compiled by default)
- r3.in.v5d and r3.out.v5d already exist to allow data
conversion between Vis5D and GRASS G3D format. Now in addition 2-D raster
and vector data can be output to a Vis5D model (for further enhanced
visualisation) using the new modules r.out.v5d.topo and
v.out.v5d.map. g.region.v5d sets the region from a Vis5D
- TrueColor Support
- All the core display modules (d.*) now support 24-bit colour.
- More reliable raster import
- Technical changes and bugfixes to the r.in.gdal raster import
module mean that by default it will operate reliably with all recent and
older versions of GDAL.
- Other new modules (not all compiled/installed by default)
- Miscellaneous new modules include
Note on changes in datum transformation functionality for locations using the
'nad27' and 'nad83' datums
Released versions of GRASS 5.0.x from 5.0.0pre4 onward (i.e. up to and including
5.0.3) have included the capability to perform NAD27<-->NAD83 datum conversions.
This was done using the published NADCON conversion tables, if and only if the line
'datum: nad27' appeared in the PROJ_INFO file for one location and 'datum: nad83'
in the other. Even if datum transformation parameters were specified (e.g. dx, dy,
dz) they were ignored and the NADCON tables used. In GRASS 5.3 any datum
transformation parameters present in the PROJ_INFO file will be used. These are
likely to be less accurate than the NADCON transformation (unless g.setproj is re-run
for the location and the NADCON parameters specifically selected). Many more
datum transformation options are available in this release of GRASS and g.setproj
should be re-run if in any doubt that the location is using the most up-to-date
Why is 5.4.0 not yet released?
The developers want to ensure that 5.4.0 is a stable release. GRASS development
relies on people willing to help.
This 5.3.0 release is a candidate for becoming the 5.4.0 release. It can
only be made stable if it enjoys a lot of testing. Please give it a spin.
Report bugs to the GRASS bugtracker.
Don't hesitate to report a bug which you find in the new release.
If you are interested in joining the developers team, and/or share algorithms or
ideas with the GRASS community, contact us!
Concurrent Development Series 5.7
Major changes and improvements to the vector engine and attribute
management system have been implemented in the 5.7.x
line, which is very usable today and will become the next major production
series as 5.8.x. At present development is taking place concurrently on both
the 5.3.x and 5.7.x lines, but once the stable release of 5.4.0 is made, all
development effort will transfer to 5.7.x.
We are always looking for both testers and developers to help us maintain
and accelerate this development cycle.
GRASS Development Team
Date: 17 May 2004 (last changed: $Date: 2008-04-17 23:56:37 +0000 (Thu, 17 Apr 2008) $)