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Workshop at FOSS4G 2014: Spatio-temporal data handling and visualization in GRASS GIS 7

Drowning in too many maps? Have some fun exploring fascinating geometries of changing landscapes in Space Time Cube and creating 2D and 3D animations from time series of geospatial data. Learn about the new capabilities for spatio-temporal data handling in GRASS GIS 7 ( and explore various techniques for dynamic visualizations.

First, we will introduce you to GRASS GIS 7, including its spatio-temporal capabilities and you will learn how to manage and analyze geospatial data time series. Then, we will explore new tools for visualization of spatio-temporal data. You will create both 2D and 3D dynamic visualizations directly in GRASS GIS 7. Additionally, we will explain the Space Time Cube concept using various applications based on raster and vector data time series. You will learn to manage and visualize data in space time cubes (voxel models). No prior knowledge of GRASS GIS is necessary, we will cover the basics needed for the workshop. All relevant material including an overview of the tools and hands-on practical instructions along with the sample data sets will be available on-line. And, by the way, GRASS GIS is a free and open source geographic information system (GIS) used for geospatial data management, analysis, modeling, image processing, and visualization which runs on Linux, MS Windows, Mac OS X and other systems.

Presenters: Vaclav Petras, Anna Petrasova, Helena Mitasova, Markus Neteler

When:  FOSS4G 2014, Sept 8th-13th 2014, Portland, OR, USA

Register at:

Will the sun shine on us?

Recently, in order to nicely plan ahead for a birthday lunch at the agritur Malga Brigolina (a farm-restaurant near Sopramonte di Trento, Italy, at 1,000m a.s.l. in the Southern Alps), friends of mine asked me the day before:

Will the place be sunny at lunch time for a nice walk?

[well, the weather was close to clear sky conditions but mountains are high here and casting long shadows in the winter time].


A rather easy task I thought, so I got my tools ready since that was an occasion to verify the predictions with some photos! Thanks to the new EU-DEM at 25m I was able to perform the computations right away in a metric system rather than dealing with degree in LatLong.

Direct sunlight can be assessed from the beam radiation map of GRASS GIS’ r.sun when running it for a specific day and time. But even easier, there is a new Addon for GRASS GIS 7 which calculates right away time series of insolation maps given start/stop timestamps and a time step: r.sun.hourly. This shrinks the overall effort to almost nothing.

1. Creating the direct sunlight maps

The first step is to calculate where direct sunlight reaches the ground. Here the input elevation map is the European “eu_dem_25″, while the output is the beam radiation for a certain day (15 Dec 2013 is DOY 349).

Important hint: the computational region must be large enough to east/south/west to capure the cast shadow effects of all relevant surrounding mountains.

I let calculations start at 8am and finish at 5pm which an hourly time step. The authors have kindly parallelized r.sun.hourly, so I let it run on four processors simultaneously to speed up:

# calculate DOY (day-of-year) from given date:
date -d 2013-12-15 +%j

# calculate beam radiation maps for a given time period
# (note: minutes are to be given in decimal time: 30min = 0.5)
r.sun.hourly elev_in=eu_dem_25 beam_rad=trento_beam_doy349 \
      start_time=8 end_time=17 time_step=1 day=349 year=2013 \

The ten resulting maps contain the beam radiation for each pixel considering the cast shadow effects of the pixel-surrounding mountains. However, the question was not to calculate irradiance raster maps in Wh/m^2 but simply “sun-yes” or “sun-no”. So a subsequent filtering had to be applied. Each beam radiation map was filtered: if pixel value equal to 0 then “sun-no”, otherwise “sun-yes” (what my friends wanted to achieve; effectively a conversion into a binary map).
Best done in a simple shell script loop:

[Edit 30 Dec 2013: thanks to Anna you can simplify below loop to the r.colors call thanks to the new -b flag for binary output in r.sun.hourly!]

for map in `g.mlist rast pattern="trento_beam_doy349*"` ; do
    # rename current map to tmp
    g.rename rast=$map,$map.tmp
    # filter and save with original name
    r.mapcalc "$map = if($map.tmp == 0, null(), 1)"
    # colorize the binary map
    echo "1 yellow" | r.colors $map rules=-
    # remove cruft
    g.remove rast=$map.tmp

As a result we got ten binary maps, ideal for using them as overlay with shaded DEMs or OpenStreetMap layers. The areas exposed to direct sunlight are shown in yellow.

Trento direct sunlight 15 Dec 2013 Animation

Trento, direct sunlight, 15 Dec 2013 between 10am and 5pm (See here for creating an animated GIF). Quality reduced for this blog.

2. Time to look at some details: So, is Malga Brigolina in sunlight at lunch time?

Situation at 12pm (noon): predicted that the restaurant is still in shadow – confirmed in the photo:


(click to enlarge)

Situation at 1:30/2:00pm: sun is getting closer to the Malga, as confirmed in photo (note that the left photo is 20min ahead of the map). The small street in the right photo is still in the shadow as predicted in the map):

malga_brigolina_direct_sunlight_15dec2013_14pm_foto(click to enlarge)

Situation at 3:00pm: sun here and there at Malga Brigolina:

malga_brigolina_direct_sunlight_15dec2013_15pm_3DSunlight map blended with OpenStreetmap layer (r.blend + r.composite) and draped over DEM in wxNVIZ of GRASS GIS 7 (click to enlarge). The sunday walk path around Malga Brigolina is the blue/red vector line shown in the view center.

Situation at 4:00pm: we are close to sunset in Trentino… view towards the Rotaliana (Mezzocorona, S. Michele all’Adige), last sunlit summits also seen in photo:

rotaliana_direct_sunlight_15dec2013_16pm_foto(click to enlarge)

3. Outcome

The resulting sunlight/shadow map appear to match nicely realty. Perhaps r.sun.hourly should get an additional flag to generate the binary “sun-yes” – “sun-no” maps directly.

trento_direct_sunlight_15dec2013_15pm_3DDirect sunlight zones (yellow, 15 Dec 2013, 3pm): Trento with Monte Bondone, Paganella, Marzolan, Lago di Caldonazzo, Lago di Levico and surroundings (click to enlarge)

4. GRASS GIS usage note

The wxGUI settings were as simple as this (note the transparency values for the various layers):


Data sources:

Video: GRASS GIS development visualization from 1999 to 2013

Watch how the community based GRASS GIS 6.4 software development evolved! You can see how the individual contributors modify and expand the source code:

  • Dec 29, 1999: GRASS GIS 5.0 is being stored in an online source code repository in December 1999…
  • Dec 02, 2000: The developers work on all parts of the code…
  • Jan 15, 2002: Working on the future GRASS GIS 5.1 release
  • Nov 25, 2002: Starting GRASS 5.1 development with code restructuring
  • Jun 14, 2004: GRASS GIS 5.7 released in June 2004
  • Nov 09, 2004: Source code restructuring to get a better directory layout (all other developers waiting…)
  • Nov 09, 2004: … thousands of files are modified in this operation …
  • Nov 10, 2004: All developers resume their activities after the restructuring
  • Jan 10, 2005: Preparing the GRASS GIS 6.0.0 release…
  • Apr 09, 2005: GRASS GIS 6.0.0 published, release branch being split off from trunk for easier maintenance
  • Feb 22, 2006: Release of GRASS GIS 6.0.2 and new source code refactoring startedApr 05, 2006: Heavy development activity in trunk (development branch) …
  • Oct 25, 2006: GRASS GIS 6.2.0 released in October 2006
  • Apr 10, 2007: Preparing the GRASS GIS 6.2.2 release…
  • Jun 16, 2007: GRASS GIS 6.2.2 released in June 2007
  • Nov 01, 2007: Raster and vector modules being actively maintained…
  • Apr 02, 2007: New graphical user interface development speeding up (wxGUI)
  • Feb 20, 2008: Copyright statements prettified in many files
  • May 31, 2008: New GRASS 6 development branch being split off from trunk (which becomes GRASS 7)
  • Jun 10, 2008: Developers moving over to new branch
  • Feb 23, 2009: GRASS 6.4 release branch split off from GRASS 6 development branch
  • Apr 03, 2009: GRASS GIS 6.4 preparations starting…
  • Feb 24, 2010: Intense maintenance in GRASS 6.4 release branch
  • Sep 15, 2010: GRASS GIS 6.4.0 released in September 2010
  • Apr 12, 2011: GRASS GIS 6.4.1 released in April 2011
  • Jun 27, 2011: GRASS GIS 6.4.svn matures for the upcoming 6.4.2 release
  • Aug 16, 2011: Intense maintenance in GRASS 6.4 release branch (GRASS GIS 7 development not shown here)…
  • Feb 19, 2012: GRASS GIS 6.4.2 released in February 2012
  • Nov 13, 2012: Backporting graphical user interface bugfixes from GRASS GIS 7 to GRASS GIS 6.4
  • Apr 17, 2013: Further maintenance in GRASS 6.4 release branch
  • Jul 10, 2013: Fixing odds ‘n ends for the new stable release
  • Jul 27, 2013: GRASS GIS 6.4.3 released in July 2013

The corresponding timeline is also available at


Rendering: Markus Neteler
Audio track editing: Duccio Rocchini & Antonio Galea

Le bruit peut rendre sourd – Track 6/18 Album “Sensation electronique” by Saelynh (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Software used:
Gource software: (GPL)
OpenShot video editor: (GPL

Using the 25m EU-DEM for shading OpenStreetMap layers

Inspired by Václav Petráš posting about “Did you know that you can see streets of downtown Raleigh in elevation data from NC sample dataset?” I wanted to try the new GRASS GIS 7 Addon r.shaded.pca which creates shades from various directions and combines then into RGB composites just to see what happens when using the new EU-DEM at 25m.

To warm up, I registered the “normally” shaded DEM (previously generated with gdaldem) with r.external in a GRASS GIS 7 location (EPSG 3035, LAEA) and overlayed the OpenStreetMap layer using WMS with GRASS 7′s An easy task thanks to University of Heidelberg’s Indeed, they offer a similar shading via WMS, however, in the screenshot below you see the new EU data being used for controlling the light on our own:

OpenStreetMap shaded with EU DEM 25m

OpenStreetMap shaded with EU DEM 25m (click to enlarge)

Next item: trying r.shaded.pca… It supports multi-core calculation and the possibility to strengthen the effects through z-rescaling. In my example, I used:

r.shaded.pca input=eu_dem_25 output=eu_dem_25_shaded_pca nproc=3 zmult=50

The leads to a colorized hillshading map, again with the OSM data on top (50% transparency):


OpenStreetMap shaded with r.shaded.pca using EU DEM 25m (click to enlarge)

Yes, fun – I like it :-)

Data sources:

EU-DEM: new Digital Surface Model at 25m


EU DEM 25m upper Garda Lake area with Riva del Garda and Arco (Italy). 3D view in wxNVIZ – GRASS GIS 7

The 25m European Digital Elevation Model (EU-DEM, Version 1) is a Digital Surface Model (DSM) representing the first surface as illuminated by the sensors:


EU DEM Rotaliana with Mezzocorona and S. Michele (Italy). Produced using Copernicus data and information funded by the European Union – EU-DEM layers.

Its elevations were captured at 1 arc second postings (2.78E-4 degrees). The tiles are provided at 25m resolution in EU-LAEA (EPSG. 3035) projection, temporal coverage: 2000, published in Oct 2013. It is a realisation of the Copernicus programme, managed by the European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry. Metadata are provided here. According to their “Methodology” page it is a hybrid product based on SRTM and ASTER GDEM data fused by a weighted averaging approach and it has been generated as a contiguous dataset divided into 1 degree by 1 degree tiles, corresponding to the SRTM naming convention. In addition to the DEM data, a colour shaded relief image over Europe is provided.

From the metadata page: “The EU-DEM data are provided as is, i.e. without a formal validation yet. An independent statistical validation is scheduled as part of the GIO land monitoring service activities, and will be made available in the course of 2014.

1. Data download

Note that the GeoTIFF files are of major size, up to 5 GB:

Hint for GRASS GIS users: instead of importing the data, you can use r.external to simply register the GeoTIFF file within a EU LAEA projected location.


News in GRASS GIS 7

GRASS GIS, commonly referred to as GRASS (Geographic Resources Analysis Support System), is the free Geographic Information System (GIS) software with the longest record of development as FOSS4G community project. The increasing demand for a robust and modern analytical free GIS led to the start of GRASS GIS 7 development in April 2008. Since GRASS 6 more than 10,000 changes have been implemented with a series of new modules for vector network analysis, image processing, voxel analysis, time series management and improved graphical user interface. The core system offers a new Python API and large file support for massive data analysis. Many modules have been undergone major optimization also in terms of speed. The presentation will highlight the advantages for users to migrate to the upcoming GRASS GIS 7 release.

50th ICA-OSGeo Lab established at Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM)

We are pleased to announce that the 50th ICA-OSGeo Lab has been established at the GIS and Remote Sensing Unit (Piattaforma GIS & Remote Sensing, PGIS), Research and Innovation Centre (CRI), Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM), Italy. CRI is a multifaceted research organization established in 2008 under the umbrella of FEM, a private research foundation funded by the government of Autonomous Province of Trento. CRI focuses on studies and innovations in the fields of agriculture, nutrition, and environment, with the aim to generate new sharing knowledge and to contribute to economic growth, social development and the overall improvement of quality of life.

The mission of the PGIS unit is to develop and provide multi-scale approaches for the description of 2-, 3- and 4-dimensional biological systems and processes. Core activities of the unit include acquisition, processing and validation of geo-physical, ecological and spatial datasets collected within various research projects and monitoring activities, along with advanced scientific analysis and data management. These studies involve multi-decadal change analysis of various ecological and physical parameters from continental to landscape level using satellite imagery and other climatic layers. The lab focuses on the geostatistical analysis of such information layers, the creation and processing of indicators, and the production of ecological, landscape genetics, eco-epidemiological and physiological models. The team pursues actively the development of innovative methods and their implementation in a GIS framework including the time series analysis of proximal and remote sensing data.

The GIS and Remote Sensing Unit (PGIS) members strongly support the peer reviewed approach of Free and Open Source software development which is perfectly in line with academic research. PGIS contributes extensively to the open source software development in geospatial (main contributors to GRASS GIS), often collaborating with various other developers and researchers around the globe. In the new ICA-OSGeo lab at FEM international PhD students, university students and trainees are present.

PGIS is focused on knowledge dissemination of open source tools through a series of courses designed for specific user requirement (schools, universities, research institutes), blogs, workshops and conferences. Their recent publication in Trends in Ecology and Evolution underlines the need on using Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) for completely open science. Dr. Markus Neteler, who is leading the group since its formation, has two decades of experience in developing and promoting open source GIS software. Being founding member of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (, USA), he served on its board of directors from 2006-2011. Luca Delucchi, focal point and responsible person for the new ICA-OSGeo Lab is member of the board of directors of the Associazione Italiana per l’Informazione Geografica Libera (, the Italian Local Chapter of OSGeo). He contributes to several Free and Open Source software and open data projects as developer and trainer.

Details about the GIS and Remote Sensing Unit at

Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2006 whose mission is to support and promote the collaborative development of open source geospatial technologies and data.

International Cartographic Association (ICA) is the world authoritative body for cartography and GIScience. See also the new ICA-OSGeo Labs website.

Processing Landsat 8 data in GRASS GIS 7: RGB composites and pan sharpening


In our first posting (“Processing Landsat 8 data in GRASS GIS 7: Import and visualization“) we imported a Landsat 8 scene (covering Raleigh, NC, USA). In this exercise we use Landsat data converted to reflectance with i.landsat.toar as shown in the first posting.

Here we will try color balancing and pan-sharpening, i.e. applying the higher resolution panchromatic channel to the color channels, using i.landsat.rgb.

1. Landsat 8 – RGB color balancing: natural color composites

After import, the RGB (bands 4,3,2 for Landsat 8) may look initially less exciting than expected.This is easy to fix by a histogram based auto-balancing of the RGB color tables.


To brighten up the RGB composite, we can use the color balancing tool of GRASS GIS 7:


As input, we specify the bands 4, 3, and 2:


Using a “Cropping intensity (upper brightness level)” of 99 (percent), the result look as follows:


For special purposes or under certain atmospheric/ground conditions it may be useful to make use of the functions “Preserve relative colors, adjust brightness only” or “Extend colors to full range of data on each channel” in the “Optional” tab of i.landsat.rgb.


You will need to experiment since the results depend directly on the image data.

2. Landsat 8 pansharpening

Pansharpening is a technique to merge the higher geometrical pixel resolution of the panchromatic band (Band 8) with the lower resolution color bands (Bands 4, 3, 2).

GRASS GIS 7 offers several methods through the command i.pansharpen.

1) Brovey transform:


This module runs in multi-core mode parallelized. The management of the resolution (i.e., apply the higher resolution of the panchromatic band) is performed automatically.


2. IHS transform

Here we select as above the bands in the i.pansharpen interface but use the “ihs” method.


HINT: If the colors should look odd, then apply i.landsat.rgb to the pan-sharpened bands (see above).

Color-adjusted IHS pansharpening (with “Cropping intensity: strength=99″):


Comparison of Landsat 8 RGB composite (39m) and IHS pansharpened RGB composite (15m):

landsat8_rgb432_color_adjusted_zoom landsat8_rgb432_pansharpen_ihs_color_adjusted_zoom

3. PCA transform

Here we select as above the bands in the i.pansharpen interface but use the “pca” method.


Likewise other channels may be merged with i.pansharpen, even when originating from different sensors.

3. Conclusions

Overall, the IHS pansharpening method along with auto-balancing of colors appears to perform very well with Landsat 8.

Compiling QGIS 2.0.1 for Fedora 19 in a few steps

Thanks to Volker Fröhlich’s efforts, a source code RPM package (SRPM) of QGIS 2.0.1 is now available for Fedora. If you are not yet F20 user (like me), you can just take the F20 package and compile it for F19 (or even F18) since there will be no backport of QGIS 2 to F19 (it comes with QGIS 1.8). But: we do want QGIS 2 on Fedora19!

Solution: compile it yourself.

1. 1. Preparations

The best way is  to use “mock” which is used to recompile SRPMS in a separate local environment (“chroot”) without cluttering the system with extra packages needed for the compilation (run as “root”):

yum install mock

2. 2. Get the source code

Next download the SRPM package from the Koji  server:
QGIS: (–> src – download) or check here for more recent versions.

3. 3. Compile it locally as RPM package

The general compilation command (“mock”) would be:

mock -r my_fedora_version_config --rebuild my_source_rpm.src.rpm

So, check for Fedora version config name which is suitable for your system (“my_fedora_version_config“)

ls /etc/mock/

In my case of a 64bit machine, it is “fedora-19-x86_64″. Hence we can compile QGIS 2.0.1 directly from the SRPM file:

mock -r fedora-19-x86_64 --rebuild qgis-2.0.1-2.fc20.src.rpm

Note: the compilation takes 40min on my tiny core i3 laptop (ASUS X202). Use the time to donate some coins to the QGIS project :-)

4. 4. Install and enjoy

Once the compilation job is done, i.e. the binary RPM files are available for installation. To install the freshly compiled QGIS 2.0.1 RPMs, run:

cd /var/lib/mock/fedora-19-x86_64/result/

# an existing QGIS1.8 installation will be replaced: 
yum localinstall qgis-2.0.1-2.fc19.x86_64.rpm \
qgis-grass-2.0.1-2.fc19.x86_64.rpm qgis-python-2.0.1-2.fc19.x86_64.rpm

# consider to cleanup (or keep it for the next update, it is about 1.5GB):
rm -rf /var/lib/mock/fedora-19-x86_64/
# leave the "root" shell

Now we can happily use QGIS 2.0.1 on Fedora 19!



GFOSS DAY 2013 a Bologna: 10-11 Ottobre 2013

Dal 10 al 11 Ottobre 2013 si terrà a Bologna presso i laboratori della Scuola di Ingegneria e Architettura (V.le del Risorgimento, 2), e le sale conferenze della Regione Emilia-Romagna (V.le della Fiera, 8), la sesta conferenza italiana sul software geografico e sui dati geografici liberi (GFOSS DAY 2013).

Lo scopo principale della conferenza è quello di coinvolgere imprese, enti pubblici, scuole, università, centri di ricerca, sviluppatori, cittadini, operatori del settore ed appassionati dei temi del software libero geografico e degli open data.

Sarà inoltre possibile seguire in diretta streaming il convegno.


La partecipazione alla conferenza è libera e gratuita ma è richiesta una registrazione (meglio anticipata) per consentire una migliore organizzazione dell’evento e garantire la stampa di badge e attestati.

L’accesso ai workshop è garantito fino al raggiungimento numero massimo di partecipanti.

Section 1. Programma

Section 2. Sede della conferenza

Parteciperete a #gfoss13? Ditelo al mondo!

Allegato Dimensione
Locandina_GFOSSDAY13.pdf 3.13 MB

Call for Papers FOSSGIS 2014 in Berlin

(reposting from here, Note to English speakers below)FOSSGIS Konferenz 2014 Berlin 19. - 21. März 2014

Sie forschen, Sie entwickeln, Sie beschäftigen sich mit Open-Source-Geo-Software oder freien Geodaten? Sie haben neue Ideen in diesem Themenbereich oder sind bereits dabei, freie Software und freie Geodaten zu nutzen oder zu entwickeln? Dann sind Sie auf unserer Konferenz – der FOSSGIS-Konferenz 2014 - genau richtig.

WIR BIETEN: Eine Plattform für Ihre Idee, Ihr Projekt, Ihren Erfahrungsbericht auf der größten deutschsprachigen Anwenderkonferenz für freie Geoinformationssysteme und freie Geodaten. Im Jahr 2014 findet die FOSSGIS vom 19. bis 21. März auf dem Gelände der Beuth Hochschule für Technik in Berlin statt. Wir rechnen mit über 400 Teilnehmern. An der Konferenz 2013 in Rapperswil (Schweiz) nahmen über ca. 350 Besucher teil.

WIR SUCHEN: Ihre Idee. Ihr Projekt. Ihren Erfahrungsbericht. Ihr Thema. Genauer gesagt, suchen wir Vorträge für Einsteiger und Fortgeschrittene, um spannende Themen zu behandeln, Diskussionen zu entwickeln, praxisorientierte Workshops* runden unser Programm ab. Vorträge zum Thema freie Geodaten, zum Beispiel OpenStreetMap, Open Data sind ebenso möglich wie Beiträge zu beispielsweise Softwarelösungen aus dem Bereich WebGIS, Desktop GIS, Geodatenbanken oder Location-Based-Services. Bewerben Sie sich jetzt mit einem Vortrag, Lightning Talk oder Workshop* beim Call for Papers.

ABSTRACT: Die Einreichung eines Abstracts für die FOSSGIS 2014 ist ab sofort bis zum 15. November 2013 über unsere Konferenzsoftware Pentabarf möglich. Beitrags-Einreichungen ohne Abstract müssen leider abgelehnt werden, da sich das Programm-Komitee anhand des Abstracts ein Bild von Inhalt und Relevanz des Beitrags macht. Der Abstract sollte ca. 1500 Zeichen umfassen. Ob die Einreichung angenommen wurde, wird im Dezember 2013 bekanntgegeben. Es besteht die Möglichkeit einen Lightning Talk einzureichen. Ein Lightning Talk ist eine kurze, knackige Auseinandersetzung mit einem Thema, welches in 5 Minuten, gern humorvoll, Anregung zur Diskussion bietet. Weiterhin können Poster eingereicht werden.

*Workshops: Bitte berücksichtigen Sie bei der Planung, dass für die Workshops nur 90 Minuten vorgesehen sind und die Teilnehmer ein Mix aus Theorie und vor allem Praxis erwarten. Die Beschreibung des Workshops soll erreichbare Lernziele und die notwendigen Vorkenntnisse der Teilnehmer enthalten. Ein Workshop findet ab einer Teilnehmerzahl von 5 statt.

WER WIR SIND: Veranstaltet wird die Konferenz vom FOSSGIS e.V., von der OSGeo Foundation und der Beuth Hochschule für Technik Berlin.

Unsere Konferenz lebt von Ihren Beiträgen und Ihrem Besuch. Werden Sie Teil der Konferenz – wir freuen uns auf Sie!

Noch Fragen? Wir haben versucht, in unseren FAQs alle wichtigen Fragen zu beantworten. Falls weitere Fragen bestehen, zögern Sie nicht uns eine E-Mail zu schreiben.

Note to English speakers

The FOSSGIS-conference is the largest German-language conference for Free and Open Source Software for GIS and Free Geodata hosting about 400 participants.

Today, the Conference Committee announced the “Call for papers” for 2014. Because the conference-language is German, the CfP is either.

The program committee will, however, also consider applications for talks or workshops held in English if they are deeemed to add to the quality of the conference. So if you don’t speak German, but are a FOSS/Open Data celebrity, or have a story that only you can tell, please do submit your talk. We are unlikely to be able to provide interpreters, but we’ll make sure you don’t get lost in Berlin. Please be aware that you can submit paper until November, 15. 2013. You can submit your abstract using our Conference Software.

We are looking forward to see you in Berlin March 19-21, 2014!

OSGeo Receives 501(c)(4) Tax Exempt Status

The Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) is pleased to announce that the U.S. Internal Open Source Geospatial FoundationRevenue Service (IRS) has accepted their application (PDF) for non-profit status under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code. Our 501(c)(4) status declares that OSGeo is a Social Welfare Organization. This determination affirms OSGeo’s role in serving the public through their mission, focused around Open Source Geospatial software.

This determination helps ensure that the organization will not have to pay US federal taxes on money accumulated toward the fulfilment of their mission. Unfortunately, unlike a 501(c)(3) (Charitable) status, this does not allow financial contributors to OSGeo to treat the contributions as a charitable contribution which can have a tax benefit for US tax payers. There should still be no problem with commercial organizations treating contributions to OSGeo as a business expense.

OSGeo owes a special debt to past Executive Director Tyler Mitchell, and current Treasurer Daniel Morissette who have carried this process to a successful conclusion after several years of work. Current OSGeo President, Jeff McKenna, says “Both Daniel and Tyler should be thanked by the entire community for their dedication to such a challenging task. Our future foundation events, and OSGeo in general, will benefit from their hard work for years to come.”

About the Open Source Geospatial Foundation

The Open Source Geospatial Foundation, or OSGeo, is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2006 whose mission is to support and promote the collaborative development of open geospatial technologies and data.  The Foundation provides financial, organizational and legal support to the broader open source geospatial community. It also serves as an independent legal entity to which community members can contribute code, funding and other resources, secure in the knowledge that their contributions will be maintained for public benefit.

OSGeo Board Election 2013 Results

On 7th Sep 2013 the final results from the 2013 elections for the open seats of the OSGeo Board of Directors have been published. There were four seats open and they have been filled by (in no particular order):

Thanks to all candidates for going through the elections and exposing themselves. All six candidates received excellent support with more then 60 votes each. Overall voting participation was 72% (129 out of 180) and there were no tie scores to arbitrate. Thanks to all Charter Members who voted!

The complete resulting OSGeo Board is:

With the election results published the new board of directors becomes immediately effective.

OSGeo wishes to thank the outgoing directors for their continued support of OSGeo and for helping to run a fantastic organizations with a great membership and lots of energy. We thank all candidates who stood in this election and all OSGeo Charter Members for their contribution and votes.

OSGeo-Live 7.0 Released

The OSGeo-Live geospatial software collection version 7.0 has been released, featuring more than sixty open source, standards compliant geospatial desktop applications, web applications and frameworks. A complete installation kit and high-quality sample data in multiple industry standard formats are included. The OSGeo Live will be officially launched at FOSS4G 2013 in Nottingham, UK, 17-21 September, 2013.

Release Highlights

Projects new to this release include:

  • GeoNode — a web-based application and platform for developing geospatial information systems (GIS) and for deploying spatial data infrastructures (SDI)
  • Leaflet — a modern, open source JavaScript library for mobile-friendly interactive maps
  • ncWMS — a Web Map Service (WMS) for geospatial data stored in CF-compliant NetCDF files
  • netCDF dataset — daily maximum temperature and rainfall, worldwide

All geospatial applications on the disc have been updated to their latest stable releases.

About OSGeo-Live

OSGeo-Live is a self-contained bootable DVD, USB flash drive and Virtual Machine based upon Ubuntu Linux (version 12.04 LTS). OSGeo-Live is pre-configured with a wide variety of robust open source geospatial software. All applications can be trialled without installing anything on your computer, simply by booting the computer from a DVD or USB drive, or running in a Virtual Machine environment. Each featured package is accompanied by both a publication quality one page descriptive summary and a short tutorial on how to get started using it.

OSGeo-Live includes:

  • Over sixty quality geospatial Open Source applications installed and pre-configured
  • Free world maps and geodata
  • One page overview and quick start guide for every application
  • Overviews of key OGC standards
  • Translations to multiple languages


Over 160 people have directly helped with OSGeo-Live packaging, documenting and translating, and thousands have been involved in building the packaged software.

Packagers, documenters and translators include:

Activity Workshop, Agustín Dí­ez, Aikaterini Kapsampeli, Alan Beccati, Alan Boudreault, Alessandro Furieri, Alexander Bruy, Alexander Kleshnin, Alexander Muriy, Alexandre Dube, Alexey Ardyakov, Alex Mandel, Amy Gao, Andrea Antonello, Andrea Yanza, Andrey Syrokomskiy, Andry Rustanto, Angelos Tzotsos, Anna Muñoz, Antonio Falciano, Anton Novichikhin, Anton Patrushev, Argyros Argyridis, Ariel Núñez, Assumpció Termens, Astrid Emde, Barry Rowlingson, Benjamin Pross, Brian Hamlin, Bruno Binet, Cameron Shorter, Christophe Tufféry, Christos Iossifidis, Cristhian Pin, Damian Wojsław, Dane Springmeyer, Daniel Kastl, Daria Svidzinska, David Mateos, Denis Rykov, Diego González, Diego Migliavacca, Dimitar Misev, Dmitry Baryshnikov, Dominik Helle, Edgar Soldin, Eike Hinderk Jürrens, Elena Mezzini, Eric Lemoine, Estela Llorente, Etienne Delay, Etienne Dube, Evgeny Nikulin, Fran Boon, François Prunayre, Frank Gasdorf, Frank Warmerdam, Friedjoff Trautwein, Gavin Treadgold, Giuseppe Calamita, Gerald Fenoy, Grigory Rozhentsov, Guy Griffiths, Hamish Bowman, Haruyuki Seki, Henry Addo, Hernan Olivera, Howard Butler, Hyeyeong Choe, Ian Edwards, Ian Turton, Ilya Filippov, Jackie Ng, Jan Drewnak, Jane Lewis, Javier Rodrigo, Javier Sánchez, Jesús Gómez, Jim Klassen, Jing Wang, Jinsongdi Yu, Jody Garnett, Johan Van de Wauw, John Bryant, Jorge Arévalo, Jorge Sanz, José Antonio Canalejo, José Vicente Higón, Judit Mays, Klokan Petr Pridal, Kristof Lange, kuzkok, Lance McKee, Lars Lingner, Luca Delucchi, Lucía Sanjaime, Mage Whopper, Manuel Grizonnet, Marc-André Barbeau, Marco Curreli, Marco Puppin, Marc Torres, Margherita Di Leo, Maria Vakalopoulou, Mario Andino, Mark Leslie, Massimo Di Stefano, Mauricio Miranda, Mauricio Pazos, Maxim Dubinin, Michaël Michaud, Michael Owonibi, Micha Silver, Mike Adair, Milena Nowotarska, M Iqnaul Haq Siregar, Nacho Varela, Nadiia Gorash, Nathaniel V. Kelso, Ned Horning, Nobusuke Iwasaki, Oliver Tonnhofer, Òscar Fonts, Otto Dassau, Pasquale Di Donato, Patric Hafner, Paul Meems, Pavel, Pedro-Juan Ferrer, Pirmin Kalberer, Raf Roset, Ricardo Pinho, Roald de Wit, Roberta Fagandini, Roberto Antolin, Roberto Antolí­n, Roger Veciana, Ruth Schoenbuchner, Samuel Mesa, Scott Penrose, Sergey Grachev, Sergio Baños, Simon Cropper, Simon Pigot, Stefan A. Tzeggai, Stefan Hansen, Stefan Steiniger, Stephan Meissl, Steve Lime, Thierry Badard, Thomas Baschetti, Thomas Gratier, Tom Kralidis, Toshikazu Seto, Trevor Wekel, Valenty González, Vera, Xianfeng Song, Yoichi Kayama, Zhengfan Lin

Sponsoring organisations


4th GRASS GIS Community Sprint: Exciting achievements

The GRASS GIS community is delighted to present the outcome of the 4th Community Sprint that took place in a warm and sunny Prague, Czech Republic, from July 12 to July 18, 2013. The event happened after the Geoinformatics conference at the Czech Technical University in Prague. The Community Sprint was once more a creative gathering of both long-term and new developers, as well as users.
This meeting was held in the light of 30 YEARS OF GRASS GIS!

We wish to cordially thank the Department of Mapping and Cartography, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague for hosting and technical support. In particular, we gratefully acknowledge our association sponsors OSGeo  and FOSSGIS e.V., and many individual donors: Peter Löwe, Andrea Borruso, Massimo Di Stefano, Alessandro Sarretta, Joshua Campbell, Andreas Neumann, Jon Eiriksson, Luca Casagrande, Karyn O Newcomb, Holger Naumann, Anne Ghisla, Helena Mitasova and Lubos Mitas, Dimitris Tamp, Mark Seibel, Markus Metz, and Tawny Gapinski. These financial contributions were used to cover costs such as meals and to help reducing travelling and accommodation expenses for participants with far arrival who came on own expenses.

Developers and users who joined the event came from various countries like Italy, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Poland, Sri Lanka/France, USA and Germany.
The Community Sprint focused on:

  • testing/bugfixing of the upcoming GRASS 7 version,
  • backporting new functionalities to the stable GRASS 6.4 series,
  • testing/bugfixing related to Mac OS X, MS-Windows and Linux,
  • presenting and developing the new Temporal GIS Algebra in GRASS 7,
  • connecting GRASS 7 with the planetary science software ISIS,
  • discussing integration with software, a powerful multidimensional raster processor,
  • creating 3D vector test data for 3D interpolation,
  • discussing vector conflation,
  • discussing Bundle Block Adjustments,
  • presenting the state of image processing in GRASS 7, and discussing its future,
  • improving documentation, with focus on image processing and Temporal GIS Algebra,
  • developing/refactoring and bugfixing several wxGUI’s components,
  • further developing customizable wxGUI Toolboxes concept,
  • improving translation in Polish and Romanian languages,
  • fixing v.krige in GRASS7 and proposing merge with the recently developed v.kriging module,
  • meeting between Google Summer of Code 2013 mentor and students.

A lot of topic oriented discussions happened among small groups of participants: for more detailed information, please visit the Wiki pages at and the related discussion page at

The Geographic Resources Analysis Support System, commonly referred to as GRASS GIS, is an Open Source Geographic Information System providing powerful raster, vector and geospatial processing capabilities in a single integrated software suite. GRASS GIS includes tools for spatial modeling, visualization of raster and vector data, management and analysis of geospatial data, and the processing of satellite and aerial  imagery. It also provides the capability to produce sophisticated presentation graphics and hardcopy maps. GRASS GIS has been translated into about twenty languages and supports a huge array of data formats. It is distributed freely under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). GRASS GIS is an official project of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo).

GRASS GIS Development Team, July 2013

Stable GRASS GIS 6.4.3 released

GRASS GIS 6.4.3 released – Birthday release for 30 years of GRASS GIS


We are pleased to announce the release of a new stable version of GRASS GIS. This release fixes bugs discovered in 6.4.2 version of the program and adds a number of new features. This release includes over
830 updates to the source code since 6.4.2. As a stable release series, the 6.4 line will enjoy long-term support and incremental enhancements while preserving backwards-compatibility with the entire GRASS 6 line.

Key improvements of this release include some new functionality (assistance for topologically unclean vector data), major speedup for some vector modules, fixes in the vector network modules, fixes for the wxPython based portable graphical interface (attribute table management, wxNVIZ, and Cartographic Composer). A number of new modules have been added for processing LANDSAT and MODIS satellite data, and a new vector statistics module is also introduced. Many new symbols and north arrows are available, and the user will find an improved and easier to use wizard for creating custom project locations with precise map projection and datum support. Community-contributed add-on modules are now more easily and robustly installed from an online archive. Other major developments include enhancements to the Python scripting library and numerous software-compatibility fixes and translation updates. Important is the enhanced portability for MS-Windows (native support, fixes in case of missing system DLLs). And we welcome Romanian as our twenty-fourth language!

Source code download:

Binaries download:

  • … further packages will follow shortly.

To get the GRASS GIS 6.4.3 source code directly from SVN:
svn checkout

See also our detailed announcement: time users should explore the first steps tutorial after installation.

Video of GRASS GIS 6.4 development visualization from 1999 to 2013 (with soundtrack)
GRASS GIS 6.4 development visualization from 1999 to 2013 (with soundtrack)

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).

GRASS GIS 6.4.3RC4 released

Fourth (and last) release candidate of GRASS GIS 6.4.3 with improvements and stability fixes
A fourth release candidate of GRASS GIS 6.4.3 is now available.

Source code download:

Binaries download:

To get the GRASS GIS 6.4.3RC4 source code directly from SVN:
 svn checkout

Key improvements of this release include some new functionality (assistance for topologically unclean vector data), fixes in the vector network modules, fixes for the wxPython based portable graphical interface (attribute table management, wxNVIZ, and Cartographic Composer), fixes in the location wizard for Datum transform selection and support for PROJ.4 version 4.8.0, improvements for selecting the Python version to be used, enhanced portability for MS-Windows (native support, fixes in case of missing system DLLs), and more translations (esp. Romanian).

See also our detailed announcement:

First time users should explore the first steps tutorial after installation.

Release candidate management at

Please join us in testing this release candidate for the final release.

Consider to donate pizza or beer for the upcoming GRASS GIS Community Sprint in Prague:
Thanks to all contributors!

Support the upcoming GRASS GIS Community Sprint with a (micro)donation!

Have you been using GRASS GIS within your company or for your daily tasks? Would like to express your satisfaction and give something back to these terrific software developers to make them even happier during the July’s GRASS GIS Community Sprint in Prague?
Sure – so don’t think twice and support the developers with a (micro)donation!
Please contact Markus Neteler ( – GRASS GIS PSC Chair) for further details.
Wait – it is also possible to buy a round of beer for the developers with a quick click using the PayPal “Buy [pizza/beer/...] Now” button below: (… more pizza & beer for the developers)

About the Community Sprint

A “Community Sprint” is a get-together for members and supporters of GRASS GIS and related OSGeo projects to make decisions and tackle larger problems. Developers and contributors are donating their valuable time, so appreciate direct or in-kind funding made available for the sprint meeting to cover out-of-pocket expenses. All of the work that takes place at the community sprint will be directly contributed back into the GRASS GIS project to the benefit of everyone who uses it.
See the outstanding results from 2011, and 2012!

FOSS4G-CEE 2013: Program published!

Join us at FOSS4G Central and Eastern Europe (FOSS4G-CEE) 2013 from 16th – 20th June, National Library of Romania, Bucharest, Romania.

You will meet well known Keynote Speakers (random order): Jeff McKenna, Paul C. Smits, Jáchym Čepický, Schuyler Erle, Maria Antonia Brovelli, Dirk Frigne, Markus Neteler, Alyssa Wright, and Radu Puchiu.

Check the long list of Practical Workshops and Oral Presentations at:
Check out for the additional Code Sprint, the Open GeoData Hackathon, and the Open Data Side Event.

How to arrive? See

Back home from heart surgery

Disclaimer: strictly offtopic :) Just a personal health state report, nutshell version…

Maybe some have noted my temporal “disappearance” from email and such in January. The reason was that I spent almost 50 days in hospital since beginning of December. So, what happened?

On 10th December I went to the “Centro Gallucci” of the Padua University Hospital for “routine” examinations in preparation for a future surgery (I know of my heart problems for years; they did not have much effect on my life since I was asymptomatic). But after the initial examinations they scheduled me for an emergency surgery. Err, little shock…

Eventually, I got the open heart surgery on 3rd January (“Bentall-De Bono” method, 7hs of surgery in total, 2hs heart in standstill). During the surgery they realized that the heart state was even worse than known before, with an estimated life expectancy of perhaps months only not having it done immediately (they got me from the cliff). Anyway, the surgery went well, I have now a mechanical valve + ascending aorta (so, you can hear me now :p). BTW: you go in awake, the Padua staff was really nice. And interesting to see how they prepare the surgery, a busy moment (then send make you sleep in no time).

On 10th January I was send to the rehabilitation center (Codivilla-Putti hospital, Cortina d’Ampezzo). However, I got a complication which is not uncommon: inner bleedings with a starting cardiac tamponade as discovered some days later. On 14th January, during heavy snowfall at Cortina, high speed ambulance ride back to Padua, with immediate drainage surgery (lung area and heart, removing more than 2l of liquid). Not really fun… (this little surgery also on a Monday, same time, same room, same staff!). But after some days I got way better. Just 10% of my body weight was meanwhile gone.

On 23rd January I was brought back again to the Cortina rehabilitation center where I spend two nice weeks – no more issues so far :-)

Since 5th February I am back home – and will stay here for a longer while. Various odds and ends need to be resolved first – the recovery is long but steady!


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