New Software Released From Baylor Research Center

Feb. 5, 1999

by LoAna Lopez

Whether helping determine water quality in an area or assisting city managers with zoning laws, newly updated software recently released by the Center for Applied Geographic and Spatial Research (CAGSR) at Baylor University can get the job done. "We put the software on our server (Monday) at noon and have already seen record numbers of downloads and hits to our web page," said Steve Clamons, research scientist with CAGSR.

This major update of the GRASS Geographic Information System (GIS) software package is the first update of its kind in nearly a decade. GRASS, which stands for Geographic Resource Analysis and Support System, is a public domain GIS used for data management, image processing, graphics production, spatial modeling and visualization of any type of spatial data. Originally written by the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories (USA-CERL), GRASS is currently used by an estimated 30,000 people in academic and commercial settings around the world, as well as many governmental agencies, like NASA and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The web site currently receives more than 3,000 hits daily; that number is expected to double.

One major undertaking of CAGSR is using GRASS to assist in water resources research projects. Clamons said this research can help develop policies for better water management. Other CAGSR staff involved with the GIS at Baylor include Bruce Byars, research scientist, and Dr. G.W. Willis, director of the center. In addition to CAGSR's staff, cooperators at the University of Hannover in Germany, University of Illinois and USA-CERL also contributed to the software release. By a cooperative agreement with USA-CERL, the headquarters for GRASS support, research and development was transferred to Baylor in 1997. In addition to upkeep of the GRASS GIS, CAGSR also performs research projects and is responsible for GIS education across the Baylor campus.

For more information, call CAGSR at (254) 710-6814 or visit the GRASS GIS web site at http://www.baylor.edu/~grass/.

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