Add multiple raster or vector map layers to current map display in GRASS GIS

If your mapset contains many raster or vector layers GRASS offers a very handy feature to quickly select the layers you want to add to your current map display. In the layer manager, click Ctrl+Shift+L to open the ‘add selected map layers into layer tree’ window. Continue reading

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GRASS 7.0 beta1 is out

After a long wait, GRASS 7.0 beta is out! See here a summary of what is new in this release. Take your time, is is a long list :-).

In fact, GRASS 7.0 has been available for some time now for those willing to compile it themselves. So have I, and out of experience I can tell you, this is a great release, with tons of new features and improvements, including great speed improvements in handling vector layers, a whole new module for time series analysis, numerous interface improvements, etc.

Really, you should go over to the download page and give it a try! Good change you won’t look back after that.

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A quick list for one-click access to a list of often used xsetwacom settings

I just bought a small Wacom drawing tablet to use as alternative mouse and for my photo editing. According to the manual this tablets, like most on the market, are only compatible with Windows or OS X. To use it, you first need to install some drivers, restart your computer and connect your tablet. Fairly straightforward, isn’t it?

But what if you want to use this on your Linux computer? Continue reading

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Reverb makes it easy to find and download satellite data

If you need MODIS satellite data, you should check Nasa’s Reverb web portal. It is a, and I quote, “next generation metadata and service discovery tool”. But, as it turns out, is is already available for our generation ;-), just head over to

It has indeed a fairly convenient interface in the form of an online map. You just zoom in to the area of interest and than click and drag a bounding rectangle.
Continue reading

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Rescale your raster data layer

Sometimes you want to rescale a raster layer, e.g., to reduce the number of categories, or to create a common scale for different raster layers. Very basic of course, so you can expect to find an appropriate function in any self-respecting GIS software. Just be aware that different terms are being used for the same thing, e.g., scale in gdal, rescale in GRASS and normalize in SAGA GIS. Below a few ways to do this using my favourite GIS programs: GRASS GIS, QGIS, SAGA GIS or gdal. Continue reading

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A new great version of QGIS

Are you one of those people eagerly waiting for all those new features in QGIS that have been mentioned in the last couple of months on various forums and blogs? Well, the waiting is (almost) over. QGIS 2.2 is already available in OSgeo4W, Fedora, and Debian, while binary packages are being updated and will be available any time (or might already be available by the time your read this) on Continue reading

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Installing Google Earth on Ubuntu 13.10 64-bit

Google earth cannot be installed on Ubuntu 64-bit systems anymore. It requires the ia32-libs which is unfortunately deprecated in Ubuntu 13.10. Luckily I found a solution by mc4man on the Ubuntu Forums. For my own, and perhaps your convenience, I am repeating the instructions here. Continue reading

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QGIS auto-trace plugin

Last time I opened QGIS there was a notification that there was a new plugin; the auto-trace plugin. I just tried it out to see what it is all about. I must say, it is a pretty nifty tool. It let’s you digitize new features based on other features by tracing existing features. Continue reading

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Creating a QGIS color map from text file

I recently found the interesting USGS map of global ecosystems. The data can be viewed online but can also  be downloaded as geotif files, which is great as about every GIS program on the planet can read that format. Unfortunately the color legend is included as a *.lyr file, which can only be used in ArcGIS.

But the good people of USGS also provide a dbf file with, amongst others, the mapping unit, names of the ecosystem units and a color code. In ArcGIS this table can be linked to the raster layers, a features which is not (yet) implemented in QGIS. However, it is easy enough to create a color map from this file, which you can use in QGIS. It is just a text file. Continue reading

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The all new shiny QGIS 2.0 has arrived

And it is looking great. I have been using the master (development) version for some time now, so I can tell you out of experience that this release rocks! Some of my favourites are the greatly improved map composer, great new styling features, integration of Sextante in QGIS core and much improved stability. For a list of major changes and new functions, go here. But, of course, don’t take my word for it, but check it out yourself and get a copy from the QGIS website. Continue reading

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