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Archive for the 'GIS' Category Page 3 of 23

GeoServer News

GeoServer is …

an open source software server written in Java that allows users to share and edit geospatial data. Designed for interoperability, it publishes data from any major spatial data source using open standards.

GeoSolutions, an open-source consulting company, has created a free GeoServer workshop disc in iso format. You can run this iso in a free virtual machine environment like VirtualBox, or burn it on a DVD to use as a bootable Ubuntu Linux OS disc, or to install it on a computer. The disc contains:

  • Tutorials on installing GeoServer, running it, adding data and querying it, and Google Earth/Maps support
  • An installation of GeoServer with sample data
  • Copies of the GIS programs uDIG and qGIS, which support creating datasets for use with GeoServer

OpenGeo, another consulting company, has also recently released the latest version of the Community Edition of their OpenGeo Suite. This is the free unsupported version, and includes not only GeoServer, but some additional tools: GeoWebCache, a web map caching app, and GeoExt, a “JavaScript library that provides a groundwork for creating rich web mapping applications”.

GIS-Related Material From Oxford Archaeology

From Oxford Archaeology’s many efforts in open-source archaeology and mapping, a few links:

Free Geology Mapping Toolkit From The British Geological Survey

The British Geological Survey has made SIGMA, the System for Integrated Geologic Mapping, available for free:

The BGS·SIGMA project (System for Integrated Geoscience MApping) is an integrated workflow for geoscientific surveying and visualisation using digital methods for geological data visualisation, recording and interpretation in both 3D and 4D…

BGS·SIGMA has … defined and documented an underpinning framework of best practice for survey and information management, which has then informed the design brief and specifications for an integrated toolkit. This toolkit enables assembly and interrogation/visualisation of existing geological information, capture of new data and geological interpretations, and delivery of 3D digital products and services. We have made the 2nd version of our award-winning digital field data capture tool available free with the expectation that geoscientists globally can use the system and share any modifications or developments in future BGS releases.

There is a catch, though – you’ll need to have ArcGIS and Microsoft Access installed on your computer. And it’s primarily intended for use with field-rugged tablet PCs. You can download SIGMA here.

Quantum GIS News: Updated To Version 1.6, Python qGIS Cookbook Released

Over the Thanksgiving Day weekend, the Quantum GIS blog announced the release of the latest version of qGIS, 1.6. Along with gvSIG, qGIS is one of the premier free multi-platform GIS programs (and unlike qGIS, gvSIG hasn’t yet created a Mac version of their latest release, 1.10). Extensive change list from the last version (from the blog post):

General Improvements
  • Added gpsd support to live gps tracking.
  • A new plugin has been included that allows for offline editing.
  • Field calculator will now insert NULL feature value in case of calculation error instead of stopping and reverting calculation for all features.
  • Allow user specific PROJ.4 search paths and update srs.db to include grid reference.
  • Added a native (C++) raster calculator implementation which can deal with large rasters efficiently.
  • Improved interaction with extents widget in statusbar so that the text contents of the widget can be copied and pasted.
  • Many improvements and new operators to the vector attribute table field calculator including field concatenation, row counter etc.
  • Added –configpath option that overrides the default path (~/.qgis) for user configuration and forces QSettings to use this directory, too. This allows users to e.g. carry QGIS installation on a flash drive together with all plugins and settings.
  • Experimental WFS-T support. Additionally ported wfs to network manager.
  • Georeferencer has had many tidy ups and improvements.
  • Support for long int in attribute dialog and editor.
  • The QGIS Mapserver project has been incorporated into the main SVN repository and packages are being made available. QGIS Mapserver allows you to serve your QGIS project files via the OGC WMS protocol. Read More
  • Select and measure toolbar flyouts and submenus.
  • Support has been added for non-spatial tables (currently OGR, delimited text and PostgreSQL providers). These tables can be used for field lookups or just generally browsed and edited using the table view.
  • Added search string support for feature ids ($id) and various other search related improvements.
  • Added reload method to map layers and provider interface. Like this, caching providers (currently WMS and WFS) can synchronize with changes in the datasource.
Table of contents (TOC) improvements
  • Added a new option to the raster legend menu that will stretch the current layer using the min and max pixel values of the current extent.
  • When writing shape files using the table of contents context menu’s ‘Save as’ option, you can now specify OGR creation options.
  • In the table of contents, it is now possible to select and remove several layers at once.
Labelling (New generation only)
  • Data defined label position in labeling-ng.
  • Line wrapping, data defined font and buffer settings for labeling-ng.
Layer properties and symbology
  • Three new classification modes added to graduated symbol renderer (version 2), including Natural Breaks (Jenks), Standard Deviations, and Pretty Breaks (based on pretty from the R statistical environment). Read More
  • Improved loading speed of the symbol properties dialog.
  • Data-defined rotation and size for categorized and graduated renderer (symbology-ng).
  • Use size scale also for line symbols to modify line width.
  • Replaced raster histogram implementation with one based on Qwt. Added option to save histogram as image file. Show actual pixel values on x axis of raster histogram.
  • Added ability to interactively select pixels from the canvas to populate the transparency table in the raster layer properties dialog.
  • Allow creation of color ramps in vector color ramp combo box.
  • Added “style manager…” button to symbol selector so that users will find the style manager more easily.
Map Composer
  • Added capability to show and manipulate composer item width/ height in item position dialog.
  • Composer items can now be deleted with the backspace key.
  • Sorting for composer attribute table (several columns and ascending / descending).

The Mapserver support is intriguing; edit a qGIS project, and have a WMS server publicly accessible to display that project fully up-to-date.

In related news, the Linfiniti blog has rendered a PDF version of the Python qGIS cookbook (PyQGIS for short); download it here.

Australian Maps And GIS Data

The Australian government’s GeoScience Australia website offers downloads of a wide variety of map and GIS data. There’s a web interface called MapConnect that you can try for selecting topographic and geology data for download and creating custom PDF maps:


But I found it a bit confusing to navigate and use. You might do better to go to some of the other pages that let you browse and/or search for data, even though finding data this way may take a while.

Lots more to find, if you poke around the site for a while.

HT to m. bouchon.

Dinamica EGO 1.6 Released – Spatial Environmental Modeling

Must be Latin week on this site; following yesterday’s post on the latest release of the Spanish GIS gvSIG, the Brazilian geospatial modeling program Dinamica EGO (Environment for Geoprocessing Objects) sent me an email announcing release of version 1.6. Wasn’t previously aware of the program; from the website:

Dinamica EGO consists of a sophisticated platform for environmental modeling with outstanding possibilities for the design from the very simple static spatial model to very complex dynamic ones, which can ultimately involve nested iterations, multi-transitions, dynamic feedbacks, multi-region and multi-scale approach, decision processes for bifurcating and joining execution pipelines, and a series of complex spatial algorithms for the analysis and simulation of space-time phenomena.

The software environment, written in C++ and Java, holds a series of algorithms called functors. Each functor performs an operation. We have implemented the most common spatial analysis algorithms available in commercial GIS (Geographic Information System), plus a series of algorithms especially designed for spatial simulations, including transition functions and calibration and validation methods. Dinamica EGO functors are sequenced in a graph form to establish a visual data flow. With the help of its graphical interface, one can create models by simply dragging and connecting functors via their ports, each of which represents a connector to a data element, such as a map, a table, a matrix, a mathematical expression, or a constant. Thus, models can be designed as a diagram, whose execution follows a data flow chain. This friendly interface allows for creative design of spatial models that are saved in XML format or EGO programming script language. In sum, Dinamica-EGO favors simplicity, flexibility, and performance, optimizing speed and computer resources, such as memory and parallel processing.

I’m not even going to pretend that I understand its full utility, but hopefully some of you do and might find this useful. List of new features (and those added in earlier version releases) available here. Free download for educational and scientific purposes only; registration required

gvSIG Version 1.10 Released

This news is a bit late, but the free multi-platform GIS gvSIG has just officially released version 1.10. Listed changes:

  • gvSIG 1.9 bug fixes
  • Windows Vista and Windows 7 compatibility
  • Binaries compilation for JVM 1.6 (with JVM 1.5 compatibility)
  • Sextante 0.6 extension integration (GRASS 6.4 interface included)
  • NavTable extension integration (latest version)
  • Pie and bar chart legend
  • Relative path support

Probably the biggest change is the integration of the Sextante plug-in, previously available separately as an extension. This integrates not just a GRASS 6.4 interface, but also many of the spatial analysis / conversion / utility modules previously available in the SAGA GIS program. I was never a big fan of SAGA’s data viewing capabilities, but if the need ever arose for an unusual GIS processing capability, there was a good chance I’d find it in SAGA’s modules; having them now available from gvSIG with Sextant is a big plus. Documentation for Sextante is available here, though annoyingly you’ll have to register to be allowed access to the PDF files. A free, multi-platform GIS, gvSIG has an excellent mix of ease of use and capabilities; highly recommended, even if only for a test drive or occasional use of some its more advanced capabilities.

Oxford Archaeology Digital has a version of gvSIG based on 1.10 that cleans up the installation process a bit, and smooths out some of the rough edges in the translation from gvSIG’s native Spanish to English; find it here.

New Version Of USGS dlgv32 Geodata Viewer Released

The old USGS geodata viewer dlgv32 was the code foundation for the excellent Global Mapper data viewer and format converter. Global Mapper has granted the USGS a license to continue to release a feature-limited version of Global Mapper under the dlgv32 Pro name, primarily as a data viewer.The latest version of dlgv32 Pro was released a few weeks ago, and includes both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

The main limitations of dlgv32 are the inability to export data, and the limitation of four raster data files loaded at one time; you can get around this latter limitation by putting all the raster files into a single directory, and then using the File => Open All Files in a Directory Tree option. It has import support for virtually any vector and raster data format you can think of, as well as most projections/datums. There’s also access to online raster data sources, including high-resolution Digital Globe imagery (watermarked, with a daily quota), along with USGS topo maps and black-and-white ortho imagery. Additional features include GPS support, measurement tools, and data attribute query tools. The lack of any export capabilities (except perhaps by doing a screen capture), as well as no way to save a workspace, are big minuses, but it’s still worth a look.

HT to Tyson Domer.