Category Archives: GIS

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 (OSGeo.org, 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 (GFOSS.it, 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 http://gis.cri.fmach.it/

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

banner_pansharpening

In our first blog post (“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 8 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.colors.enhance (former 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.

landsat8_rgb_composite_unbalanced

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

grass7_landsat_rgb0

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

grass7_landsat_rgb1

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

landsat10_rgb_composite_autobalance_99percent_crop

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.colors.enhance (former i.landsat.rgb).

landsat9_rgb_composite_preserve_relative_colors

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:

landsat8_pansharpen_brovey1

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.

landsat8_pansharpen_brovey2

2. IHS transform

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

landsat8_pansharpen_ihs1

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

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

landsat8_pansharpen_ihs_color_adjusted

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.

landsat8_pansharpen_pca1

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.

Edit 2015: See also pansharpening with i.fusion.hpf!

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.

http://live.osgeo.org

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

Credits

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!

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 rasdaman.org 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 http://grasswiki.osgeo.org/wiki/GRASS_Community_Sprint_Prague_2013 and the related discussion page at http://grasswiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Talk:GRASS_Community_Sprint_Prague_2013

About GRASS GIS
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

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 http://svn.osgeo.org/grass/grass/tags/release_20130710_grass_6_4_3RC4

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:
 http://trac.osgeo.org/grass/wiki/Release/6.4.3RC4-News

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

Release candidate management at
http://trac.osgeo.org/grass/wiki/Grass6Planning

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!

Scaling up globally: 30 years of FOSS4G development

Scaling up globally: 30 years of FOSS4G development. Keynote at FOSS4G-CEE 2013, Romania

In my presentation I briefly review 3 decades of Open Source GIS development, from the ’80th to the present.

ArcGIS vs QGIS etc Clipping Contest Rematch revisited

Earlier this Last year, in June, Don Meltz wrote an interesting blog “ArcGIS vs QGIS Clipping Contest Rematch” where he let compete ArcGIS and Quantum GIS in a clipping contest. The benchmark contest data set in question is a 878MB ZIP file (ContourClipTest.zip with the (guessed) EPSG Code 2260 – NAD83 / New York East (ftUS)). The blog page gained a lot of comments, even from ESRI since some ArcGIS versions crashed on this test data set.

Find below the various timings compiled from the blog and the comments:

1) Proprietary software

Software Processing time Hardware/Software
ArcGIS 9.3 crash after 1h 9min: ERROR 999999: Error executing function. Invalid Topology [4gb file limit.] Failed to execute (Clip) unknown
ArcGIS 10.0 crash likewise unknown
ArcGIS 10.1 ESRI promise to calculate it in 34 seconds in this updated version (did anyone test?) unknown
GlobalMapper (version?) 30 mins unknown
GlobalMapper v11.02 49 sec Windows XP w/ 3.5GB RAM
Manifold 8 (64bit) 31 min Windows XP64 16 gb. RAM and 2.33 GHz

Note: The two GlobalMapper results are a bit funny, perhaps always minutes?

2) Free and Open Source Software

Software Processing time Hardware/Software
Quantum GIS (version?; Simple features) 4-5 min unknown
GRASS GIS 7 (topological GIS) 5 min Dell PowerEdge 2950 from 2008, Intel Xeon 2.66GHz, 8GB RAM
gvSIG to be done
PostGIS to be done

Notes: Hope volunteers will test this also on gvSIG and PostGIS (and other FOSSGIS)! Please report…

Fourth release candidate of GRASS 6.4.0 now available

A fourth release candidate of GRASS 6.4.0 is now available.

Source code:
http://grass.osgeo.org/grass64/source/
http://grass.osgeo.org/grass64/source/grass-6.4.0RC4.tar.gz

To get the RC4 source code from SVN:
svn checkout http://svn.osgeo.org/grass/grass/tags/release_20090412_grass_6_4_0RC4

An announcement has been drafted at
http://trac.osgeo.org/grass/wiki/Release/6.4.0RC4-News
(all RC news will be merged into the final announcement later)

Key improvements of the GRASS 6.4.0 release include enhanced portability for MS-Windows (native support), hundreds of fixes, the new wxPython based portable graphical interface and much new functionality.

Release candidate management at
http://grass.osgeo.org/wiki/GRASS_6.4_Feature_Plan

We hope to get out binary packages over the next days.

Top ten myths for Open Source in Geospatial

An interesting email thread is ongoing about Top ten myths which try to harm the reputation of Open Source GIS efforts. Michael P. Gerlek edits a Wiki page collecting the top ~10 myths and misperceptions:
http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Top_Ten_Myths

Especially striking the Eduardo Kanegae‘s comment:

In 2008 I worked on a project all based on ESRI 9.2 family. At that
point I didn´t know much of ESRI products and had only worked with
foss products. Now I feel more confortable to give an opinion for
that:

# myth monopoly : every only remember the (supposed) 30% esri market
share. Remember there´s also very nice commercial products like Safe
FME, CadCorp, ManiFold, PCI, ERDAS, ENVI and others ( and sometimes
most of these are embed on ESRI packs - eg.: raster support on AG
family )

# sustainability : while every major release of ESRI will force you to
re-develop your customizations, FOSS products keep release more
compatible. Example: a MapServer 3.x developer will use the same
principles and concepts on MapServer 5.x version. But, an ArcIMS
developer had to change its base when upgrading to ArcGIS Server 9.1,
recode for adapting to ArcGIS Server 9.2 API´s and now all this
concepts will change again with 9.3 version.

# maintenance : foss product will run more closer to open standards (
eg.: OGC´s ). So, you change foss parts without re-coding your entire
solution. The cost of training a new human resource on
insert/update/delete geo-feature using ArcObjects/ArcSDE is so much
higher when compared to OGC-SFS, per example.

# support : while on FOSS communities you can have a reply on minutes,
on 'esri forum' you can your topic open for months (
http://forums.esri.com/Thread.asp?c=158&f=2284&t=251001 ,
http://forums.esri.com/Thread.asp?c=158&f=2290&t=253698 ,
http://forums.esri.com/Thread.asp?c=93&f=985&t=270205&g=1 ) and NEVER
get a solution. In my sample, we discover a bug on ArcSDE/ArcMap
9.2sp4 but this will certainly NEVER be fixed because sp6 didn´t fixed
and ESRI will probably only look for 9.3 developments for now and on.
Because non-US customers CAN´T contact ESRI directly, we can only keep
suffering with poor local support.

best regards,
--
Eduardo Kanegae

Not much to add at this point…