Version 6.0 of GRASS (Geographic Resources Analysis Support System) was released on Thursday, its Italian-led development team announced. First developed in 1982 and under continuous revision by volunteers since 1997, GRASS is a geographic information system (GIS) that includes more than 350 programs and tools used to create, manage, store and visually display various types of data. It’s currently used for spatial modeling, graphics production, map rendering and similar tasks in such fields as geography, urban planning, hydrology, geophysics and more.
The latest upgrade, which is free and includes open source code, offers a new vector engine with a data format that can move between 32- and 64-bit operating systems. The new vector engine includes support for integrating PostgreSQL, mySQL, DBF and ODBC databases, with SQL statements used to manage attributes. It can also import vector data from other GIS software and live-link it in the GRASS database as virtual maps. In addition, GRASS 6.0 generates a graphical user interface for every module on the fly. More information can be found on the application’s Web site. System requirements were not released.