It is difficult to get reliable information about the usage of open-source software like Whitebox GAT. With the recent release of Whitebox 3.4 ‘Montreal’, I decided to undertake an analytical exercise to try and figure out where Whitebox GAT is being used based on some download information that I had accumulating in my inbox. This work updates a previous survey that I carried out a number of years back, shortly after the 1.0 release. Examining nearly 21,000 downloads of the software, I discovered the following:
- Whitebox GAT has been downloaded in at least 178 counties worldwide, with the top 10 countries, in terms of number of downloads, being the United States, Canada, India, Italy, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, Australia, and Spain.
- Whitebox GAT has been downloaded in 5149 cities around the globe. The map below shows each city in which Whitebox GAT was downloaded at least one time over the…
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Drone2Map for ArcGIS, released on February 24 by Esri, is a stand-alone desktop app for processing imagery collected by drones. Check out the Drone2Map FAQ and an interesting presentation (Working With Drone Data In ArcGIS) by Tony Mason of Esri. Interested users can visit esri.com/drone2map for more information.
Q: Is Drone2Map for ArcGIS going to be an ArcGIS Extension?
A: No. It is a stand-alone 64-bit Windows desktop app that will run alongside ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro.
Q: What does Drone2Map for ArcGIS do?
A: Drone2Map for ArcGIS is a desktop app that turns raw still imagery from drones into stunning information products in ArcGIS. Now, with drone hardware becoming more accessible, you can create 2D and 3D maps of features and areas.
Q: Can Drone2Map for ArcGIS be used to make 3D models?
A: Yes, Drone2Map for ArcGIS will produce 3D colorized point clouds in LAS format as well as 3D textured meshes for use in ArcGIS Desktop and Web Apps.
Q: Does the Drone2Map for ArcGIS work only with a specific type of drone?
A: Drone2Map for ArcGIS is designed to be generic for all drones. What is important is that the drone collects certain types of metadata. At a very minimum, this metadata needs to include Latitude, Longitude, and Altitude. The addition of orientation, focal length and pixel size of the sensor will greatly improve results. Many commercially available drones have this capability and automatically add this information to the image metadata.
ESRI has released a new version of 3D LiDAR toolset, which was designed to extend the LiDAR capabilities of ArcGIS Desktop. It can be downloaded from : http://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=fe221371b77940749ff96e90f2de3d10
- Classify ground*, building, vegetation, and noise points
- Extract building footprint approximations
- Clip LAS files*
- Improve QA/QC processes with lidar data:
- Evaluate LAS files for errors through the CheckLAS utility
- Export LAS file header information
- Define the spatial reference of LAS files with missing/incorrect information*
- Project LAS files to desired coordinate systems*
- Evaluate coverage of overlaps in lidar scans
- Rearrange LAS files to optimize data access I/O*
- Optimize lidar data for operational use and rapid access through the compressed ZLAS format
- Evaluate Z statistics with advanced height metrics*
- Analyze the proximity of LAS points to 3D features**
- Convert lidar data between various data formats
- Create tiled raster derivatives
- Correct the Z value of a multipatch model so that it “sits” on the ground
- Create a point skymap of sun positions for visualization and solar analysis workflows
- Simplify dense, 3D breaklines to support scalability in TIN-based surface modeling*
- Integrate a design surface, such as one created using the Grading tool, into a base TIN
- Export a TIN to LandXML for use in 3rd party applications
- Cross sections of a multipatch can be used with the Intersect 3D tool to:
- Generate contours in 3D space that capture cliff overhangs
- Determine a 3D model’s footprint at different heights
- Generate sightlines for visibility analysis
I just came across an interesting article: Analyzing 1.1 Billion NYC Taxi and Uber Trips, with a Vengeance. – An open-source exploration of the city’s neighborhoods, nightlife, airport traffic, and more, through the lens of publicly available taxi and Uber data.
Quoted from the author Todd W. Schneider :
“The New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission has released a staggeringly detailed historical dataset covering over 1.1 billion individual taxi trips in the city from January 2009 through June 2015. Taken as a whole, the detailed trip-level data is more than just a vast list of taxi pickup and drop off coordinates: it’s a story of New York. How bad is the rush hour traffic from Midtown to JFK? Where does the Bridge and Tunnel crowd hang out on Saturday nights? What time do investment bankers get to work? How has Uber changed the landscape for taxis? And could Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson have made it from 72nd and Broadway to Wall Street in less than 30 minutes? The dataset addresses all of these questions and many more.
I mapped the coordinates of every trip to local census tracts and neighborhoods, then set about in an attempt to extract stories and meaning from the data. This post covers a lot, but for those who want to pursue more analysis on their own: everything in this post—the data, software, and code—is freely available. Full instructions to download and analyze the data for yourself are available on GitHub.”
You don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to map the world.
As you’re about to see, there’s a bucket load of free GIS software packages available with the capability to:
- Perform hundreds of advanced GIS processing tasks.
- Generate stunning cartography and mapping products.
- Manage your company’s geospatial assets efficiently.
The best part is:
These free GIS software mapping options give you enough firepower to get the job done as if you’re working with commercial GIS software.
I personally tested 13 of the top free mapping software packages online.
Read this jam-packed guide to open source GIS:
1. QGIS – Formerly Quantum GIS
With striking similarities and even upgrades to ArcGIS in certain areas, QGIS is undoubtedly the #1 free GIS software package.
QGIS is jam-packed with hidden gems at your fingertips. Automate map production, process geospatial data, and generate drool-worthy cartographic figures.
There’s no other free maping software on this list that lets you map like a rock star than QGIS.
Volunteer effort is key to its success. The QGIS Stack Exchangesupport is impressively great.
You’d be insane not to download the free GIS software QGIS.
2. Whitebox GAT
Yes, Whitebox GAT (Geospatial Analysis Toolbox) is #2 on my list of open source, free GIS software.
Unbelievably, Whitebox GAT has only been around since 2009 because it feels so fine-tuned when you see it in action.
There’s a hydrology theme around Whitebox GAT. It actually replaced Terrain Analysis System (TAS) – a tool for hydro-geomorphic applications.
Where it shines is LIDAR!
With no barriers, Whitebox GAT is the swiss-army knife of LiDAR processing.
The LiDAR toolbox is a life-saver. LAS to shapefile is an insanely useful tool. You may need a Java update to go in full throttle though.
The cartographic mapping software tools are primitive compared to QGIS.
But overall Whitebox GAT is solid with over 410 tools to clip, convert, analyze, manage, buffer and extract geospatial information.
I find it amazing this free GIS software almost goes unheard of in the GIS industry.
Get more useful knowledge from the Whitebox GAT Open Source Blog.
3. GRASS GIS
GRASS GIS (Geographic Resources Analysis Support System) was developed by the US Army Corps of Engineers as a tool for land management and environmental planning.
It has evolved into a free GIS software option for different areas of study.
Academia, environment consultants and government agencies (NASA, NOAA, USDA and USGS) use GRASS GIS because of its intuitive GUI and its reliability.
It has over 350 rock-solid vector and raster manipulation tools.
Not awfully useful in cartographic design, GRASS GIS excels primarily as a free GIS software option for analysis, image processing, digital terrain manipulation and statistics.
4. SAGA GIS
SAGA GIS (System for Automated Geoscientific Analyses) is one of the classics in the world of free GIS software.
It started out primarily for terrain analysis such as hillshading, watershed extraction and visibility analysis.
Now, SAGA GIS is a powerhouse because it delivers a fast growing set of geoscientific methods to the geoscientific community.
Enable multiple windows to lay out all your analysis (map, histograms, scatter plots, attributes, etc). It provides both a user-friendly GUI and API.
It’s not particularly useful in cartography. The lack of scale bars, north arrows symbology and grids are telltale signs of this.
Overall, it’s quick, reliable and accurate. Consider SAGA GIS a prime choice for environmental modeling and other applications.
Read more at http://gisgeography.com/free-gis-software/
Check out the links below for 10 very useful websites for downloading GIS data free of charge:
The 2015 Journal Impact Factor has been released. You can download the complete list here.
I sorted out some journals related to Remote Sensing, Geography, and Hydrology. You can download my sorted list here.
It appears that the impact factors of several remote sensing journals have increased from 2.x to 3.x, such as International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, Remote Sensing. Note that this journal impact factor ranking is slightly different from the Google Scholar Journal Ranking.
Keep in mind that journal impact factor is just one metrics, so don’t take it too seriously!
|Remote Sensing Journals||Total Cites||Impact Factor|
|Remote Sensing of Environment||34609||6.393|
|IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing||25780||3.514|
|International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation||2,600||3.470|
|International Journal of Digital Earth||603||3.291|
|ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing||4120||3.132|
|IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing||2331||3.026|
|IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters||4502||2.095|
|GIScience & Remote Sensing||461||1.770|
|Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing||1,651||1.727|
|International Journal of Remote Sensing||16435||1.652|
|Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing||5926||1.608|
|Remote Sensing Letters||516||1.573|
|Journal of Applied Remote Sensing||990||1.183|
Remote Sensing Journals Google Scholar Ranking
|Geography Journals||Total Cites||Impact Factor|
|Landscape and Urban Planning||7409||3.037|
|Progress in Physical Geography||2,749||2.612|
|Annals of the Association of American Geographers||3,776||2.291|
|Permafrost and Periglacial Processes||1,413||2.119|
|The Geographical Journal||1,298||1.926|
|International Journal of Geographical Information Science||3,193||1.655|
|The Professional Geographer||1,419||1.500|
|Transactions in GIS||746||1.398|
|Journal of Geographical Sciences||938||1.344|
Geography Journal Google Scholar Ranking
|Hydrology Journals||Total Cites||Impact Factor|
|Journal of Hydrometeorology||6,182||3.645|
|Water Resources Research||38,033||3.549|
|Hydrology and Earth System Sciences||8855||3.535|
|Advances in Water Resources||6,998||3.417|
|Journal of Hydrology||33300||3.053|
|Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management||3,491||2.676|
|Water Resources Management||5,225||2.600|
|Vadose Zone Journal||3,020||1.778|
|Journal of Hydrologic Engineering||3,054||1.583|
|Hydrological Sciences Journal||3,849||1.549|
|JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association||4,275||1.348|
Hydrology Journals Google Scholar Ranking
|Wetlands Journals||Total Cites||Impact Factor|
|ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE||7249||4.420|
|WETLANDS ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT||1275||1.274|
Found some great online courses. Enjoy!
GIS Programming and Automation
GPS and GNSS for Geospatial Professionals
LiDAR Technology and Applications
Many other online GIS courses
Two new GIS online courses available on Lynda.com. Good resource for GIS beginners.
- Up and Running with ArcGIS
- Real-World GIS