Tuesday, February 28, 2012


GRASS GIS is one of the oldest open source software out there, and has extensive capabilities for GIS.  It was my initial encounter with an open source GIS.  While many parts of GRASS will feel familiar, adopting to folders, workspaces, mapfiles, naming conventions, and ensuring projections are correct will help you get acclimated a lot faster.  Be sure to understand all of these and where they are located on your computer before you begin.  Other open source GIS desktop software have adopted similar convetions, so learning in GRASS will be a good investment.

Moreover, GRASS has extensive 3D capabilities --an increasingly important part of GIS. If all maps are representations of reality, then putting them into 3D certaintly goes a long way towards feeling more real.  I am not a 3D analyst, so for me GRASS is a great learning tool that also carries over occasionally to work.

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