First release candidate of the upcoming GRASS GIS 7.0.1 version is out

GRASS GIS 7.0.1 RC1 is the upcoming stability release and provides a series of stability fixes, manual improvements and a few language translations. This first release candidate GRASS GIS 7.0.1RC1 provides 168 fixes and improvements with respect to GRASS GIS 7.0.0. See here the announcement and further information.

If you want to help testing or just want to make sure to have all the latest improvements and fixes, go to the announcement page where you’ll find the download links for your system.

Another stab at creating a Tanaka-style contour map

In a recent post Anita Graser (aka underdark) showed how to create illuminated or Tanaka contours in QGIS using various functions available in the toolbox and some custom functions.

Here I want to explore a slightly different way to achieve the same, using GRASS GIS to compute the azimuth, brightness and line width. I’ll use the command line, but you can do the same using the menu in GRASS, or the corresponding GRASS functions in the QGIS processing toolbox.

Continue reading

New publication: Environmental Gap Analysis to Prioritize Conservation Efforts in Eastern Africa

Breugel2015Just got an article out in PlosOne. Analysis were carried out and maps and figures created using a stack of open source tools, including GRASS GIS, R, and QGIS. The article addresses the question whether protected areas in Eastern Africa are representative of the diverse range of species and habitats found in the region and whether they protect those areas where biodiversity is threatened most? The paper uses a recently developed high-resolution potential natural vegetation (PNV) map for eastern Africa as a baseline to more effectively identify conservation priorities. It examines how well different potential natural vegetations (PNVs) are represented in the protected area (PA) network of eastern Africa and used a multivariate environmental similarity index to evaluate biases in PA versus PNV coverage. In addition, levels of threat to different PNVs are assessed. Results indicate substantial differences in the conservation status of PNVs and particular PNVs in which biodiversity protection and ecological functions are at risk due to human influences are revealed. The data and approach presented here provide a step forward in developing more transparent and better informed translation from global priorities to regional or national implementation in eastern Africa, and are valid for other geographic regions.

Citation: van Breugel P., R. Kindt, J.-P.B. Lillesø, M. van Breugel (2015) Environmental Gap Analysis to Prioritize Conservation Efforts in Eastern Africa. PLoS ONE 10(4): e0121444. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0121444

GRASS 7.0 is out, but the development continues unabated

Just a thumbs-up for the developers of GRASS GIS, who evidently do not rest on their laurels since their release of GRASS GIS 7.0. Below one of those more visible new features in the GRASS GIS development version which make live just that much easier.

nice new feature

A really welcome addition to the drop-down menu for selection of raster or vector layers. It now shows the open maps under a separate header.

QGIS live layer effects is propelling QGIS to the next level in the cartographic realm

This new feature created by Nyall Dawson and funded through crowd funding really sets new limits in terms of what is possible in terms of cartography. Check out Nyall’s post Introducing QGIS live layer effects! for a walk through of the new possibilities that this features brings to QGIS. It will be available in version 2.10, or if you can’t wait you download a QGIS development snapshot from the QGIS website to help in testing.

Importing GLCF MODIS woody plant cover

The data set

The Global Land Cover Facility offers, amongst many other data sets, the MODIS Vegetation Continuous Fields data set for download. These are layers that contain proportional estimates for vegetative cover types (woody vegetation, herbaceous vegetation, and bare ground). As such they are very suitable depict areas of heterogeneous land cover.

Their MODIS products differ from DAAC editions by coming in GeoTIFF format, geographic coordinates, WGS84 datum, and a tiling system designed to fit well with Landsat imagery. Currently the collection 5 is available, which contains proportional estimates for woody cover vegetation for the years 2000 to 2010. It can be downloaded as tiles (195 in total) via a ftp server.

Below I’ll provide an example Continue reading