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Open Source GIS: A GRASS GIS Approach

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Open Source GIS: A GRASS GIS Approach, 9780387357676 (038735767X), Springer, 2007
Over the past decade, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have evolved from a highly specialized niche to a technology that affects nearly every aspect of our lives, from finding driving directions to managing natural disasters. While just a few years ago the use of GIS was restricted to a group of researchers, planners and government workers, now almost everybody can create customized maps or overlay GIS data. On the other hand, many complex problems related to urban and regional planning, environmental protection, or business management, require sophisticated tools and special expertise. Therefore the current GIS technology spans a wide range of applications from viewing maps and images on the web to spatial analysis, modeling and simulations.

GIS is often described as integration of data, hardware, and software designed for management, processing, analysis and visualization of georeferenced data. The software component has a major impact on the capabilities to effectively solve a wide range of problems using geospatial data. To ensure the continuous innovation and improvement of the GIS software, existence of diverse approaches to GIS software development is crucial. Besides the widely used proprietary systems, an Open Source GIS plays an important role in adaptation of GIS technology by stimulating new experimental approaches and by providing access to GIS for the users who cannot or do not want to use proprietary products.
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