Free and Open Source Software for Geomatics Conference FOSS4G 2010 Barcelona

W-14: Practical Introduction to GRASS 

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GRASS is the leading FOSS GIS and its wide ranging analysis capabilities make it an ideal tool to set up environmental models, as well as to support land planning and management.
However, its steep learning curve makes the first approach to GRASS sometimes tricky for beginners: this workshop aims to overcome the initial barrier between GRASS and its potential users.
The workshop has two parts: a brief GRASS overview and a hands-on session by the attendees.
The aim is to allow the first time users to understand the logic of the software and to experiment some significant, although necessarily limited, data processing for technical and environmental GIS applications. The workshop provides a brief introduction to GRASS and then a step by step tutorial to guide beginners in the basic applications of the software, highlighting GRASS' interoperability with other FOSS and proprietary software.
Tutorial's sections show a growing difficulty level to make the participants gradually familiar with the software. It will be possible for the participants to follow different paths depending on their skills and interests.

Structure of the Workshop:
Brief GRASS overview:
History and basic features of the software, applications, releases, operative systems, where to download it, where to find solutions to your problems, related softwares.

Hand-on Part:
First steps with GRASS
          project (location) setup
          raster and vector data import and export
          vector data analysis
          raster data analysis
          network analysis (short)
          visualization (nviz – short)

Hints for practical usage of external RDBMS will be given with a particular attention to interoperability. A custom live DVD containing all the software and the workshop documentation can be provided. The tutorial is also available as a Debian/Ubuntu package.


P. Zatelli, C. Tattoni, M. Ciolli.
Univeristy of Trento

author's bio

Paolo Zatelli, PhD in Topographic and Geodetic Science, Assistant professor in Topography and Cartography at the University of Trento, Italy. Research and education: survey, statistics, photogrammetry, GIS, remote sensing.

He has studied GIS, including GRASS development, and environmental applications for more than ten years. I have organized the international GRASS users conference in 2002 and several courses about GRASS.

He has organized workshops about GRASS for several Italian meetings, and the workshops “GRASS Beginners” and “GRASS external RDBMS” for FOSS4G2006, “GRASS GIS and RDBMS” for FOSS4G2007 and “Practical Introduction to GRASS and related software for beginners” for FOSS4G2008 and FOSS4G2009.

workshop level


attendee's previous knowledge

Basic GIS knowledge.


Webpage of the slides

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