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ILWIS GIS Is Now Open Source

ILWIS (the Integrated Land and Water Information System), a GIS software package from the International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation in the Netherlands, has moved from paid (100 euros) proprietary status to free open source status as of today. Its key features (listed by the original website) include:

  • Integrated raster and vector design
  • Import and export of widely used data formats
  • On-screen and tablet digitizing
  • Comprehensive set of image processing tools
  • Orthophoto, image georeferencing, transformation and mosaicking
  • Advanced modeling and spatial data analysis
  • 3D visualization with interactive editing for optimal view findings
  • Rich projection and coordinate system library
  • Geo-statistical analysis, with Kriging for improved interpolation
  • Production and visualization of stereo image pairs
  • Spatial Multiple Criteria Evaluation

But that only begins to describe its capabilities.

Supervision and support of ILWIS development has been handed over to the 52 North Organization, and as of today, they have an ILWIS page up with download links and installation directions. 52North also has a download page for the 500+ page user’s guide for ILWIS, along with sample data for the demos in the user’s guide. However, 52 North doesn’t have the 700+ page Reference Guide or the Applications Guide With Data up yet on their site, and there’s no indication whether they will be posted there in the future. These additional documents are still up on the original website, and definitely worth getting. While they mainly reference version 2.1, most of the information is still valid for the final 3.3 version converted to open source.

The Applications Guide in particular contains descriptions of how to use the software in specific applications, along with the actual data used in the example applications. To give you a feeling for ILWIS’s capabilities, among the 27 chapters in the Application Guide are:

  • Modelling erosion from pyroclastic flow deposits on Mount
  • Seismic landslide hazard zonation
  • Assessing aquifer vulnerability to pollution in the Piana Campana
  • Remote sensing and GIS techniques applied to geological survey
  • Tools for map analysis applied to the selection of a waste
    disposal site
  • Analysis of urban change and spatial pattern
  • Cibodas: analyzing the fuelwood demand

I’ll have more posts on ILWIS’s capabilities in the near future.

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2 Responses to “ILWIS GIS Is Now Open Source”

  1. 1 Darren Cope

    Glad to see a post on this. I’ve had the “open sourced date” in my calendar for a while, and hope to download it and give it a go soon! I’d love to see some specific posts on it here, especially regarding georeferencing and digitizing of features.

  2. 2 Manjusha Mishra

    The software is really good. However I have noticed that it is giving wrong Hypsometric curve. Has anybody else noticed it? can I rectify these results?

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