GRASS 6.3.0 just released

The GRASS Development Team announces GRASS GIS 6.3.0, the first major release with new features since GRASS 6.2 first arrived in October 2006.

Officially this is a "technology preview" release, the first beta on the path to GRASS 6.4-stable, and it also marks the start of work on GRASS 7. As such GRASS 6.3.0 is not intended to be a stable release with ongoing support, but after five months of quality-assurance review we are very pleased with the results. Users can be confident to use this version for their day to day work, indeed due to the open development model many already do.

Besides the hundreds of new module features, supported data formats, and language translations, GRASS 6.3 brings a number of exciting enhancements to the GIS. A prototype of the new wxPython user interface is debuted, and for the first time since its inception with a port from the VAX 11/780 in 1983, GRASS will run on a non-UNIX based platform: MS-Windows. This is currently still in an experimental state and we hope that widespread testing of 6.3.0 will mean the 6.4 release of WinGRASS will be fully functional and robust. Existing UNIX and Mac users will be happy to know that these new features do not disrupt the base GIS which remains as solid as ever and fully backwards compatible with earlier GRASS 6.0 and GRASS 6.2 releases.

Several infrastructure changes accompany this release with the project becoming a founding member of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo). This includes a new home for the website, the Wiki help system, source code repository, community add-on module repository, integrated bug tracking system, and formal membership for the project in a non-profit legal entity. We hope that these changes will guarantee that the GRASS community will be well supported and vibrant well into the future.

The Geographic Resources Analysis Support System, commonly referred to as GRASS, is a Geographic Information System (GIS) providing powerful raster, vector, and geospatial processing engines in a single integrated software suite. GRASS 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 is currently used around the world in academic and commercial settings as well as by many governmental agencies and environmental consulting companies. It runs on a variety of popular hardware platforms and is Free open-source software released under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

Software download at http://grass.osgeo.org/download/ and numerous mirror sites.

FREE: First issue of Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy Journal available online


Springer has announced the inaugural release of the 'Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy' Journal. Editor-in-Chiefs are John C.H. Stillwell and Mark Birkin

- The journal has an applied focus: it actively promotes the importance of geographical research in real world settings

- It is policy-relevant: it seeks both a readership and contributions from practitioners as well as academics

- The substantive foundation is spatial analysis: the use of quantitative techniques to identify patterns and processes within geographic environments

- The combination of these points, which are fully reflected in the naming of the journal, establishes a unique position in the marketplace.

Online Version:

Start Reading:
Volume 1: Issue 1

- Editorial: The Case for ASAP
John Stillwell and Mark Birkin

A Toolkit for Measuring Sprawl, Paul M. Torrens

Multi-Criteria Sensor Placement for Emergency Response, Frank Southworth

Primary Schools, Markets and Choice: Studying Polarization and the Core Catchment Areas of Schools, Richard Harris and Ron Johnston

British Cartographic Society (BCS) announces programme for 'Mapping 2008: Making the Most of Maps' conference

The BCS conference will take place from the 03 to the 06 September, inclusive, at the Harben House Conference facility in Newport Pagnell. This annual event, which has been held every year since 1963, was last year given a total revamp offering delegates a new format and content including a wide choice of topical presentations together with a programme of interactive workshops.

The 'Mapping 2008: Making the Most of Maps' conference programme features an impressive line up of industry experts who will give inspirational presentations on a diverse range of map related topics including representatives from the Royal Geographical Society, City University, Pitney Bowes MapInfo and the government’s Communities and Local Government.

In addition to the full programme of presentations delegates can also choose from a range of hands-on workshops. Topics include ‘Making the most of OS MasterMap’, ‘Applying the KISS principle for effective map communication’, ‘ Get started in mapping!’ and ‘The trials and tribulations of map research’.

Mapping 2008: Making the Most of Maps will also include all the favourite elements from over four decades' of symposiums; the Map Curators’ Workshop including a visit to the RAF Military Intelligence Museum at Chicksands, special interest group meetings, a commercial exhibition, gala dinner and awards ceremony.

As part of the Association for Geographic Information (AGI) Continuing Professional Development Programme (CPD) and the Royal Geographical Society with IBG (RGS-IBG) Chartered Geographer scheme, delegates at Mapping 2008: Making the Most of Maps will be able to use their attendance as part of their annual training objective.

Mapping 2008: Making the Most of Maps is being organised on behalf of The British Cartographic Society, by Training 4 GIS, the training and consultancy division of The GeoInformation Group. Fiona Cocks, Training Director, commented “Last year's new look was well received by delegates both old and new and, following an extensive consultation process, Mapping 2008: Making the Most of Maps hopes to build on this success.”

The Programme Committee welcome offers for presentations for the 2008 Symposium. More information on BCS events will appear in the next edition of Maplines.

For further information visit http://www.cartography.org.uk or call the organisers on 01223 880077.

NASA to broadcast views of Earth using High Definition Television

In honor of Earth Day, April 22, NASA will make those views available to people here on Earth with an event highlighting imagery taken by astronauts and the science behind it.

For the first time ever, NASA Television will air a special hour-long broadcast of views of Earth taken in High Definition, or HD, by astronauts on past space shuttle and International Space Station missions.

The special HD broadcast will air between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. EDT on Friday, April 18, and replay at the same time on Monday, April 21. It will air every hour from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22.

The Friday HD broadcast will feature a silent version of the Earth views. The broadcasts on Monday and Tuesday will include a discussion of the views by Dr. Justin Wilkinson, a scientist with the Crew Earth Observations Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The footage also will air on standard NASA TV during regularly scheduled Video File broadcasts. For technical information on how to receive the special broadcast in high definition, and for NASA TV streaming video, downlink and scheduling information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

For more information about NASA's Earth Day events, and the space shuttle and space station programs, visit: http://www.nasa.gov

Boeing Launch Services to launch DigitalGlobe's WorldView-2 in 2009


DigitalGlobe, provider of high-resolution commercial satellite imagery and geospatial information products, today announced that it has chosen Boeing Launch Services for the launch of WorldView-2, DigitalGlobe's third remote-sensing satellite.
WorldView-2 will offer the highest collection capacity of half-meter world imagery (975,000 square kilometers per day) providing a substantial step in meeting the demand for geospatial content in the growing commercial markets that include online portals and consumer navigation. WorldView-2 will provide eight bands of multi-spectral for life-like true color imagery and greater spectral applications in the mapping and monitoring markets. The added spectral diversity will incorporate the industry standard of four multispectral bands (red, blue, green and near-infrared) and will also include four new bands (coastal, yellow, red edge, and near-infrared 2).

WorldView-2 is currently scheduled to launch in mid-2009.

OGC approves KML as an open standard


The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) has announced the approval of the OpenGIS® KML Encoding Standard (OGC KML), marking KML's transition into an open standard which will be maintained by the OGC. Developers will now have a standard approach for using KML to code and share visual geographic content in existing or future web-based online maps and 3D geospatial browsers like Google Earth™.

KML version 2.2 was brought into the OGC consensus process by a submission team led by Google and Galdos Systems Inc.

KML is an XML-based programming language, originally developed to manage the display of geospatial data in Google Earth. It's still used heavily in Google Earth but is also supported by a variety of vendors' tools and mapping websites.

The OpenGIS KML 2.2 Encoding Standard formalizes the KML 2.2 model and language while remaining backwards compatible with existing KML 2.2 files and tools. In comparison with the Google™ KML 2.2 Reference, the standard defines:

- the KML 2.2 geometry encoding and interpolation model
- an extension model in support of application profiles
- conformance requirements and test cases

The adopted OpenGIS KML 2.2 Encoding Standard (OGC KML) is available at http://www.opengeospatial.org/s[...]

Geospatial Web Services workshop, University of Nottingham


This two day workshop provides the following opportunities:

- hear presentations from leading academic and industry players on their research on geospatial web services technology;

- network and develop ideas for future collaborative research in geospatial web services;

- understand current developments in geospatial web services with focus on generalisation and schematisation research.

The workshop is funded by SOSoRNET and hosted by Centre for Geospatial Science, University of Nottingham. Organisations making presentations include CGS Nottingham, ITC Netherlands, ESRI, University of Zurich, UCL, JRC Italy, e-Science Centre, University of Cardiff etc.

Workshop participation is free, but limited to 50 people on first come registration basis. Booking web page will be activated 28 April 2008.

For more information, please contact Dr. Suchith Anand.
url: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/cgs[...]

or at
The Centre for Geospatial Science
Sir Clive Granger Building
University of Nottingham
Tel: (0)115 846 8408

Student contest for GeoWeb 2008

Student contest for GeoWeb 2008 GeoWeb 2008 conference organisers are announcing their 1st Student Contest. The annual GeoWeb conference will take place in Vancouver, Canada from July 21-25th, 2008 with the meetings being held at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue.

GeoWeb is one of the only annual conferences focusing exclusively on the convergence of GIS and the Internet, and the economic potential associated with the convergence of XML, web services and geographic information systems. The GeoWeb 2008 conference welcomes both public and private organizations to meet, discuss and learn about today's most innovative geospatial technologies.

The theme for the GeoWeb 2008 conference is Infrastructure: Local to Global. This implies the GeoWeb has a local or community dimension as well as a global one - that the integration of local infrastructures will give rise to a global infrastructure - that global aggregators will drive the creation of local infrastructures.

To advance the development of the GeoWeb, we are sponsoring a contest, which is open to all full time students attending an educational institution anywhere in the world. The objective of the contest is to materially advance the development of the GeoWeb with either:

1) A theoretical solution or
2) A piece of software (All software must be open source and free of any royalties or other encumbrances)

To help students prepare their submissions for the GeoWeb 2008 student contest, here are a few ideas. These are simply suggestions and using these ideas or not, will have no influence on the decision of the judges.

Develop software or solve a theoretical problem to:
- Generate 3D models for Google Earth, Virtual Earth etc. from CAD drawings automatically.
- To enhance position measurement inside a building.
- Integrate Google or Virtual Earth with Second Life.
- Generalize from large scale to small scale in 2D and 3D.
- Generate GML (observations) from KML and KML (by styling) from GML.
- Validate geography and topology automatically using a rule based mechanism.
- To visualize the content of an ebRIM (OASIS) registry.
- Develop visualization mechanisms for travelogues.
- Use wavlets to integrate geometry, coverages and observations.

Contest Submittals
Students must register at www.geowebconference.org by Thursday, May 15th, 2008.

Contest Requirements
Contest entrants will be required to complete a registration form verifying their status as full time students and these details will be verified before any award is granted.

Winners of the contest will be brought to the GeoWeb 2008 conference in Vancouver, Canada, and all legitimate expenses* will be paid by the contest supporters. A cash honorarium will also be provided.

More information is available at

Ordnance Survey offers free map video library to journalists


Ordnance Survey offers free map video library to journalists Broadcasters and other journalists are being invited to take advantage of copyright-free film footage from Ordnance Survey.

With the aim of further strengthening Ordnance Survey's excellent relationship with the media, its Press Office has commissioned a series of short films showing the work carried out by the national mapping agency.

There are six videos available for download from Ordnance Survey's media web pages. These are suitable for online use, while television broadcasters can receive versions in DVCAM format by contacting the Press Office directly.

It is hoped that this professionally produced footage will be useful to journalists looking to illustrate stories on anything from using satnavs to leisure walking.

Scott Sinclair, Ordnance Survey’s Head of Corporate Communications, comments, "The videos all depict aspects of the work Ordnance Survey does, from producing and printing paper maps to collecting digital data in the field. Our objective has been for them to be informative but also a useful, free resource for journalists to use as stock footage."

The films are:

Walking with maps
Ordnance Survey’s leisure maps are synonymous with outdoor exploration. The film includes footage of walkers in the countryside using a map to navigate and route plan.

Collecting mapping data in the field
Ordnance Survey makes 5,000 changes a day to its mapping database. This film shows how this is possible through the use of GPS equipment and highly detailed aerial imagery.

Satnav and Ordnance Survey
Ordnance Survey provides the road network data to the satnav industry. This film contains footage of a satnav in use and the behind-the-scenes work that makes them possible.

Printing maps
Thousands of Ordnance Survey maps are printed, stacked and folded every day, ready to be shipped out across the country: watch the printing presses and experts at work in this film.

Using Ordnance Survey maps
Ordnance Survey maps are available in paper or digital form. This footage shows shoppers in a busy retail outlet and computer users making use of maps online at an Internet cafe.

Digital geographic information
Ordnance Survey’s intelligent digital data underpins some £100 billion of the nation’s economic activity and is relied on by all of us. This film demonstrates some of the digital mapping that is harnessed by business and government.

Anyone wanting to view these videos should visit: http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk[...]

Anyone requesting broadcast quality versions should contact the Press Office on 023 8079 2251.

Landmap Service Workshop: Cities Revealed one-day workshop


Landmap Service Workshop: Cities Revealed one-day workshop This one-day workshop will introduce the new FREE service from Landmap: the Cities Revealed datasets. These datasets include Multi-dated Modern Aerial Photography, Historic RAF and Luftwaffe Aerial Photography, LiDAR height data, Land Use data, Building Classes by age and structure, Colour Infrared and 10 million Building Heights.

Presentations will introduce the datasets, how the data will be served to the academic community, as well as some use case presentations. Hands-on access sessions will also be available. We would like your feedback so that we can tailor the service to your requirements.

The event is FREE, but booking is essential.

For programme and booking details, see: http://landmap.mimas.ac.uk

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