GRASS GIS 6.4.0 released

The GRASS Development Team announced the release of GRASS GIS 6.4.0, the first in the new line of 6.4 stable releases. As a stable release 6.4 will enjoy long-term support. The next release (6.4.1) will introduce a few new features which are still undergoing final testing, but after that all further 6.4 releases will be bugfix-only.


What's new in GRASS 6.4.0

(selected improvements from the nearly 9,000 updates to the source code)

  • Source code quality/libraries:
    • Many internal adjustments needed for native MS-Windows support, for example safely handling spaces in file names.
    • Programmer's Manual: continued Doxygen integration and automated generation into PDF and HTML formats. Publicly available for download and perusal.
    • Improved policies for code submission specified in the SUBMITTING files for documentation, Python, Tcl/Tk, and shell scripts
    • New Python scripting language library containing many helper functions
    • All modules: --quiet and --verbose message modes
    • All modules: --script flag generates boilerplate for shell scripts with parser and GUI support
    • Batch mode for launching GRASS for non-interactive processing tasks
    • DBMI: SQL parser extended (support for DROP COLUMN, ASC/DESC keyword in ORDER BY clause, etc.)
    • Partial differential equations library with OpenMP multi-processor support
    • Major clean-up of the display architecture (libraries and drivers): the drivers no longer maintain a palette; all colors are now specified directly as R/G/B values
    • The "default" datum transformation parameters are now first in the list instead of last
    • Ability to create new locations using EPSG codes with the g.proj module
    • Message translation (i18N): many new translated messages, new languages including Vietnamese and Arabic
    • Documentation/man pages: various fixes and improvements (more examples added, including graphics, improved style, new introductory pages)
    • Documentation: various terminology issues fixed and terms unified
    • Symbols: A number of new icons, support for symbol rotation
  • Graphical User Interface (GUI):
    • g.gui: New frontend command to launch GUI sessions
    • wxPython GUI:
    • gis.m Tcl/Tk GUI:
      • GIS manager extended with mouse placement of text and scale bars and menu updates
      • Updated Tcl/Tk profile and georectification GUI tools
      • New interactive command console with output window
      • New interfaces for interactive raster reclassification, raster recoding, custom raster color rules, and vector reclassification
      • New animation tool to display raster map series as an animation
    • Improved startup screen and interface, including searchable EPSG codes list and better custom datum support
    • NVIZ: Major revamp of interface; output directly to MPEG or other FFmpeg supported formats
    • QGIS integration: GRASS toolbox extended, available from Quantum GIS
  • Drivers:
    • DBF driver: extended column type support
    • HTMLMAP display driver: NEW – Prepares clickable HTML image map templates (port from GRASS 5)
    • PostScript display driver: NEW – Renders display directly into a PostScript or Encapsulated PostScript file
    • Cairo display driver: NEW – Renders display directly into a number of image formats using the Cairo rendering engine
  • New and major updates for modules and scripts since GRASS 6.2.3:
    • db.dropcol: NEW – Drops a column from selected attribute table
    • db.droptable: NEW – Drops an attribute table
    • NEW – Imports attribute tables in various formats
    • db.login: Support for interactive password entry (invisible passwords)
    • db.out.ogr: NEW – Exports attribute tables into various formats
    • d.barscale: North arrow for lat/lon locations
    • d.out.file: Expanded to use the Cairo and PostScript display drivers to allow export to ps, eps, svg, and pdf formats
    • d.path: Support for use from GUI and non-interactive mode
    • d.rast.edit: Rewritten in Tcl/Tk
    • d.shadedmap: NEW – Drapes a semi-transparent raster over a shaded relief map
    • d.text, d.font: Updated to accept TrueType fonts and maintain a database of system fonts
    • g.dirseps: NEW – Internal utility for converting directory characters (MS-Windows)
    • g.extension: NEW – Utility for downloading and installing Add-on modules
    • g.findetc: NEW – Internal utility for locating support files
    • g.gui: NEW – Launches a GRASS graphical user interface (GUI) session
    • g.message: NEW – Internal utility for printing quiet and verbose messages in scripts
    • g.mkfontcap: NEW – Internal utility for generating a list of available system fonts
    • g.mremove: Support for use from GUI
    • i.atcorr: NEW – Performs atmospheric correction using the 6S algorithm
    • i.landsat.rgb: Vast speed improvement
    • Various improvements including new map border control, rotated and scaled symbols, and allowing geogrid from lat/lon locations
    • r3.gwflow: NEW – Models transient, confined groundwater flow in three dimensions
    • r3.stats: NEW – Generates volume statistics for raster3d maps
    • r3.univar: NEW – Calculates univariate statistics from the cells of a 3D raster map
    • r.bilinear: This module has been replaced by r.resamp.interp
    • r.category: NEW – Manages raster map category values and labels (replaces r.cats)
    • r.colors: Support for equalized histogram, reversed, logarithmically scaled, rules-from-file, and more
    • r.gwflow: NEW – Models transient, confined groundwater flow in two dimensions
    • Various fixes and more robust when dealing with flaky WMS servers
    • Support for extended statistics
    • r.le suite: Various fixes and modernization
    • suite: NEW – Advanced toolset for multiscale analysis of landscape structure.
      Including single and multi-processor enabled modules:,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and
    • r.mfilter.fp: NEW – Raster map custom matrix filter (floating point version)
    • r.out.gdal: New C implementation replaces shell script version, region sensitive with color export ability
    • NEW – Exports a raster map to a text file as x,y,z values based on cell centers
    • r.profile: Report data outside the current region as invalid
    • r.proj: Replaced with an improved version
    • r.resamp.interp: NEW – Resamples raster map layers to a finer grid using interpolation
    • r.resamp.stats: NEW – Resamples raster map layers to a coarser grid using aggregation
    • Enhanced control of meta-data
    • NEW – Support module which updates raster map statistics
    • r.univar: Support for extended statistics
    • r.watershed: Vast speed improvement
    • r.what.color: NEW – Queries colors for a raster map layer
    • v.db.dropcol: NEW – Drops a column from the attribute table connected to a given vector map
    • v.db.join: NEW – Allows to join a table to a vector map table
    • v.db.renamecol: NEW – Renames a column in the attribute table connected to a given vector map
    • v.db.univar: NEW – Calculates univariate statistics on selected table column for a vector map
    • v.digit (Tcl/Tk): Rewritten for use without X11
    • v.digit (wxPython): NEW – All new vector map digitizer rewritten in wxPython
    • v.edit: NEW – Edits a vector map, allows adding, deleting and modifying selected vector features
    • v.generalize: NEW – Generalization of vector features using a number of smoothing techniques
    • More efficient implementation of the where= option
    • NEW – Import GetFeatures from WFS format
    • NEW – Visibility graph construction
    • v.out.svg: NEW – Exports a vector map to SVG format
    • v.proj: Better handling of z coordinates in 3-D vectors
    • NEW – Updates vector map metadata
    •,, and Work with massive datasets imported without topology (e.g. LIDAR)
    • NEW – Performs transformation of 2D vector features to 3D

A more detailed description of changes can be found in the previous announcements of the GRASS 6.3 development preview release and the GRASS 6.4.0 release candidate series.

For a comprehensive list of changes see the 6.4 ChangeLog file.

For a complete list of commands available in GRASS 6.4.0 see the online manuals and the GRASS 6.4 module list.

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