Join us at FOSS4G Central and Eastern Europe (FOSS4G-CEE) 2013 from 16th – 20th June, National Library of Romania, Bucharest, Romania.

You will meet well known Keynote Speakers (random order): Jeff McKenna, Paul C. Smits, Jáchym Čepický, Schuyler Erle, Maria Antonia Brovelli, Dirk Frigne, Markus Neteler, Alyssa Wright, and Radu Puchiu.

Check the long list of Practical Workshops and Oral Presentations at:
Check out for the additional Code Sprint, the Open GeoData Hackathon, and the Open Data Side Event.

How to arrive? See

Disclaimer: strictly offtopic :) Just a personal health state report, nutshell version…

Maybe some have noted my temporal “disappearance” from email and such in January. The reason was that I spent almost 50 days in hospital since beginning of December. So, what happened?

On 10th December I went to the “Centro Gallucci” of the Padua University Hospital for “routine” examinations in preparation for a future surgery (I know of my heart problems for years; they did not have much effect on my life since I was asymptomatic). But after the initial examinations they scheduled me for an emergency surgery. Err, little shock…

Eventually, I got the open heart surgery on 3rd January (“Bentall-De Bono” method, 7hs of surgery in total, 2hs heart in standstill). During the surgery they realized that the heart state was even worse than known before, with an estimated life expectancy of perhaps months only not having it done immediately (they got me from the cliff). Anyway, the surgery went well, I have now a mechanical valve + ascending aorta (so, you can hear me now :p). BTW: you go in awake, the Padua staff was really nice. And interesting to see how they prepare the surgery, a busy moment (then send make you sleep in no time).

On 10th January I was send to the rehabilitation center (Codivilla-Putti hospital, Cortina d’Ampezzo). However, I got a complication which is not uncommon: inner bleedings with a starting cardiac tamponade as discovered some days later. On 14th January, during heavy snowfall at Cortina, high speed ambulance ride back to Padua, with immediate drainage surgery (lung area and heart, removing more than 2l of liquid). Not really fun… (this little surgery also on a Monday, same time, same room, same staff!). But after some days I got way better. Just 10% of my body weight was meanwhile gone.

On 23rd January I was brought back again to the Cortina rehabilitation center where I spend two nice weeks – no more issues so far :-)

Since 5th February I am back home – and will stay here for a longer while. Various odds and ends need to be resolved first – the recovery is long but steady!


A second release candidate of GRASS GIS 6.4.3 with improvements and stability fixes is now available.

Source code:

Selected Binaries (more will be published)

To get the RC2 source code from SVN:
 svn checkout

An announcement has been drafted at

Key improvements of the GRASS 6.4.3 release include some new functionality (image processing tools), major speedup for some vector modules, fixes for the wxPython based portable graphical interface, improvements for the Python API, enhanced portability for MS-Windows (native support), and more translations.

Release candidate management at

Please join us in testing this release candidate for the final release.

Thanks to all contributors!

The OSGeo Board of Directors has named Jeff McKenna as its new President. The previous President, Frank Warmerdam, has stepped down, and the OSGeo Board is extremely grateful for his leadership. Mr. McKenna brings years of experience in the geospatial industry, and has been involved in the MapServer web mapping project since its early days. He was also one of the founding forces behind the Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) international conference, and has dedicated himself to promoting the use of Open Source geospatial software through FOSS4G events all around the world.

Mr. McKenna explains, “I’m honored to be named as the new President of OSGeo. I plan to continue the wonderful work of our past presidents Frank and Arnulf. The OSGeo community is now thriving and vibrant, with FOSS4G regional events operating all across the world; I plan to continue spreading this passion for Open Source geospatial, and help introduce our knowledge to both decision makers and technical users.  Decision makers all around the world should be exposed to our experts through our communities, our regional events, our local chapters, and also through our professional service providers.  There is much work still to be done in spreading our knowledge of Open Source geospatial through all of these networks.”

The GRASS GIS team will organize a GRASS GIS Community Sprint from 2-7 Feb, 2013 in Genova, Italy. The sprint is at the same time of the “XIV Meeting degli Utenti Italiani GRASS e Gfoss” at the University of Genova.

We would like to invite you to financially support this upcoming Community Sprint! The past sprints have been very successful as we expect for the upcoming one.

Important Web page:

Please consider to donate:

Background info
The GRASS GIS Community Sprint is a great occasion for folks to support the development by actively contributing to the source code, manuals or likewise. The community sprint is a get-together for GRASS project members and supporters and related OSGeo projects to take decisions and tackle larger problems. For this meeting, we welcome people committed to improving the GRASS GIS project and the interfaces to QGIS, GDAL, PostGIS, R-stats. Sextante. gvSIG, OGC Services and more. This includes developers, documenters, bug reporters, translators and other OSGeo supporters. Not only the “C Tribe” will be addressed but also Python or whatever the participants prefer.

Earlier this Last year, in June, Don Meltz wrote an interesting blog “ArcGIS vs QGIS Clipping Contest Rematch” where he let compete ArcGIS and Quantum GIS in a clipping contest. The benchmark contest data set in question is a 878MB ZIP file ( with the (guessed) EPSG Code 2260 – NAD83 / New York East (ftUS)). The blog page gained a lot of comments, even from ESRI since some ArcGIS versions crashed on this test data set.

Find below the various timings compiled from the blog and the comments:

Proprietary software

Software Processing time Hardware/Software
ArcGIS 9.3 crash after 1h 9min: ERROR 999999: Error executing function. Invalid Topology [4gb file limit.] Failed to execute (Clip) unknown
ArcGIS 10.0 crash likewise unknown
ArcGIS 10.1 ESRI promise to calculate it in 34 seconds in this updated version (did anyone test?) unknown
GlobalMapper (version?) 30 mins unknown
GlobalMapper v11.02 49 sec Windows XP w/ 3.5GB RAM
Manifold 8 (64bit) 31 min Windows XP64 16 gb. RAM and 2.33 GHz

Note: The two GlobalMapper results are a bit funny, perhaps always minutes?

Free and Open Source Software

Software Processing time Hardware/Software
Quantum GIS (version?; Simple features) 4-5 min unknown
GRASS GIS 7 (topological GIS) 5 min Dell PowerEdge 2950 from 2008, Intel Xeon 2.66GHz, 8GB RAM
gvSIG to be done
PostGIS to be done

Notes: Hope volunteers will test this also on gvSIG and PostGIS (and other FOSSGIS)! Please report…

The program of the GFOSSDAY 2012 + OSMit2012 @ Torino, Italy, has been published:

We offer there a GRASS GIS workshop on Friday 16th Nov 2012 at 9:30. You are welcome!

Centro Incontri Regione Piemonte, Corso Stati Uniti 23, Torino, Italy

Prof. Venkatesh Raghavan was honored today with the 2012 Sol Katz Award for Geospatial Free and Open Source Software during the inaugural session of the FOSS4G-India 2012 conference in Hyderabad, India. The award was presented by Ravi Kumar and Vundavallu Aruna Kumar, Member of Parliament. Venka received a memento on behalf of the OSGeo-India Chapter. Venka’s dedication to FOSS4G and his community work around the world, promoting open source geospatial, is second to none. He has been involved in OSGeo since the foundation was formed in 2006, and we are lucky to have such a strong global voice in him. The OSGeo foundation wishes to thank Venka for his wonderful dedication.


The Sol Katz Award for Geospatial Free and Open Source Software is awarded annually by OSGeo to individuals who have demonstrated leadership in the GFOSS community. Recipients of the award will have contributed significantly through their activities to advance open source ideals in the geospatial realm. The hope is that the award will both acknowledge the work of community members, and pay tribute to one of its founders, for years to come.

Sol Katz was an early pioneer of GFOSS and left behind a large body of work in the form of applications, format specifications, and utilities. In the early 80’s, Sol assisted in the development of a public domain GIS package called MOSS (Map Overlay and Statistical System). This software was arguably the first open source GIS software in the world. Sol would later go on to release and maintain PC MOSS. He was also one of the first involved in public data translator utilities. Utilities that he developed for converting DEMs and reading SDTS files were contributed back to the geospatial community, and are still available today. Sol was also a frequent contributor to many geospatial list servers, providing much guidance to the geospatial community at large. Sol Katz’s collection of GIS utilities at the BLM is still available at Sadly, after fighting Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for almost a decade, Sol died April 23, 1999 in bed. His legacy will always live on in the GFOSS world.


2012: Venkatesh Raghavan
2011: Martin Davis
2010: Helena Mitasova
2009: Daniel Morissette
2008: Paul Ramsey
2007: Steve Lime
2006: Markus Neteler
2005: Frank Warmerdam

In winGRASS 7 (download standalone installer) the Windows batchfiles for use with R ( are now integrated for a smooth GRASS-R-coupling in MS-Windows. For the usage see here:

Note that this integration is available for Linux users for a long time, however, finally also the winGRASS user can enjoy this integration!

Thanks to Helmut Kudrnovsky from the GRASS GIS team and to the Windows batchfiles for use with R team.

In order to prepare the upcoming GRASS GIS 6.4.3 release, a major bugtracker cleanup has been done for GRASS 6 over the past few days. More than open 370 trac tickets (back to GRASS 6.4.0) were revisited, updated or closed: the GRASS GIS bugsquashing team submitted over 140 code changes, and subsequently 88 tickets could be closed in these few days. The few remaining critical tickets are being worked on, leading to a new stable GRASS GIS 6.4.3 release to be expected soon.