GRASS Community Sprint Prague 2011

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Press release

Following the Geoinformatics FCE CTU 2011 (International Conference on Free Software and Open Source in Geoinformatics), 19-20 May 2011, Prague, Czech Republic, the GRASS GIS project will hold a GRASS Developer and Power User Meeting, aka 'GRASS Community Sprint' from May 20 to May 25, 2011.

Important dates:

  • 19 (Thursday) - 20 (Friday) May 2011: Geoinformatics FCE CTU 2011 conference
  • 20 (Friday) - 25 (Wednesday) May 2011: GRASS Community Sprint @ FCE CTU


Get together GRASS project members to make decisions and tackle larger problems.

For this meeting, we welcome people committed to improving the GRASS GIS project. This includes developers, documenters, bug reporters, translators etc.


If you are interested to sponsor the GRASS Community Sprint, please read about
    sponsoring the GRASS project at
and, if needed, contact Markus Neteler <neteler at>. Any surplus at the end of the event will be turned over to the GRASS GIS project.

The first GRASS Community Sprint is a great occasion for you to support the development of GRASS. With your contribution you'll enable more developers to meet in Prague. The community sprint is an important opportunity for the GRASS developers to discuss and collaboratively resolve bugs, plan the direction for the project and work on new features. Please see below for the more detailed agenda. The developers and contributors are donating their valuable time, so it would be great if in-kind funding can be made available from within the community to cover out-of-pocket expenses. All of the work that takes place at the community sprint will be directly contributed back into the GRASS project to the benefit of everyone who uses it.

Thanks to our sponsors

We are grateful for the support which we have received to organize this GRASS Community Sprint:


When: Friday, May 20, 2011 (day of arrival) - Wednesday, May 25, 2011 (day of departure)

Of course you are invited to join or leave the community sprint whenever you want.


  • Friday is day of arrival
    • First meeting in the evening (after the conference) to define the agenda
  • Saturday to Tuesday
    • Full days
  • Wednesday is day of departure
    • Probably hacking for people with a flight later in the evening


Department of Mapping and Cartography
Faculty of Civil Engineering
Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic
Room B367

Location & Transportations

Prague has an international airport and is also reachable by train, bus or car.

Accommodation and Costs

Participants should plan for the following costs:

  • Travel to Prague, variable depending on where you come from
  • Accommodation and meals

Please note: The currency in Czech Republic is crown (CZK, koruna, Kč). 100 Czech crowns are about 4 Euros (see current rates).

Accommodation in Prague

Please let us know your time of arrival and leaving, so we can book for the accommodations and organize the logistics.

Financial support: (partial) travel grants can be payed upon request thanks to our sponsors!

Weather and Common Item Prices

  • In May the weather in Prague is usually quite warm (15 or more degrees by day)
  • A espresso coffee is about 20 CZK (80 cents), a beer (half of liter) in a common pub is around 25 CZK (1 euro), can be more in special pubs. In Prague you can have a full meal (see Czech cuisine) for still 75 - 150 CZK (3 - 6 euros), but beware of tourist restaurants, the prize can easily rise. It's quite easy to find in Prague also Italian or Chinese restaurants.

Agenda - What we plan to do

Note: The program is generally open for your ideas. Please write an email to the GRASS developer list to discuss your contribution.


Friday, 20 May

  • Kick-off at 18.30

Saturday, 21 May (Room B367, third floor)

  • 10 a.m. starting time
  • 11 a.m. Welcome meeting
  • discuss and finetune agenda
  • presentation of participants
  • Evening
Valentina Shuklina's concert in Café Technika

Sunday, 22 May

  • 9 a.m. starting time
  • All participants discussion rounds:
    • Testing new wxGUI features before publishing procedure
    • Changing parameter names in GRASS 7 (think about automated differences to GRASS 6 documentation)
    • r.mask problems: backport this change and floating point support
    • Toolboxes
    • ...
  • Individual topics...
    • LiDAR, LAS handling (Sunday: Helena, MarkusM, and MarkusN)
  • Evening: Social dinner

Monday, 23 May

  • 9 a.m. starting time
  • Community Sprint 3
    • Outline screen capture videos for "Getting started with GRASS" and for using wxGUI for various specific tasks (Monday: Helena and Martin)

Tuesday, 24 May

  • 9 a.m. starting time
  • Community Sprint 4

Wednesday, 25 May

  • Finish press release (including thanks to sponsors with names)
  • Wrap up and see you soon



  • Prettify (borrow HTML code from
  • Discuss new sponsoring concept (discuss during lunch on Sunday)
  • Improve promotional material
  • Introduce this year's selection of Google Summer of Code projects
  • Strategy to populate new GRASS Website (note: address is temporary) with content from old website - design new GRASS Web site engine based on CMS. Content migration should be tracked in this Wiki (Milena, MarkusN, Nicolas)
  • GRASS 7 development strategy:
    • Feature freezing GRASS 6; bugfix-only backports for 6.4.2+ libraries and modules
  • ...
  • run grass64/ and publish video (MarkusN)


Open discussion:

  • Discuss possible metadata storage improvements for GRASS 7


  • Discuss changing manual to use Sphinx (see related trac #151) (who takes this task?)
  • Support translated manual pages (see related trac #846) (who knows Makefile programming?)
  • Sample Mars dataset - at least empty location with correct setup (Alessandro Frigeri)
ping me later & I'll dig out my MOLA notes (see NVIZ screenshots page). I think there's some info in vol 1 or 3 of the GRASS newsletters. Also I seem to recall that Peter Lowe had a demo Mars mapset already set up for NVIZ + 3D rendering. Note planetary scientists often work in 0-360 degrees not -180 to +180, but GRASS supports that so all is ok.--Hamish
    • Hi-res Location: Valles Marineris
    • Lo-res Location: Halex Valles -- see Frigeri et al. 2011.
  • LiDAR, LAS handling (Sunday: Helena, MarkusM, and MarkusN)
note wish to add direct liblas support to To be honest I'm not sure how much of a speed advantage there will really be vs. piping from las2txt, but if someone wants to try & report results I'd be interested to hear about it. Not sure if it should be in another cloned module or not. maybe a new option stream={ascii|las|mbio}? See also Bob Covill's version with direct libmbio.a (MB-Systems [multibeam bathymetry]) support. --Hamish
  • Improve manual with more examples and screenshots
  • Revive command line (ie Bash) tab-completion for map names, option lists.
  • ...


wxGUI: graphical user interface
  • wxGUI: testing before publishing procedure
  • wxGUI: add language selector at startup or in GUI configuration (Important!)
  • wxGUI: modeller improvements
  • wxGUI: further improve the integration of CLI and GUI
  • wxNVIZ: consider to switch to OpenSceneGraph for 3D visualization
  • Restore d.* commands in GRASS7 - some prototypes are already existing (p.mon: Stefano)
  • ...
Built system, installation
  • Addons:
    • Autocompilation job for GRASS-Addons (MarkusN et al.)
    • Improve g.extension (enable to use precompiled winGRASS Addon binaries)
  • Discuss backporting Makefile system from GRASS 7 to GRASS 6
  • Discuss and define new toolbox concept
  • Daily generated OSGeo4W packages for 6.5svn, 7.0svn.
  • GRASS on clusters: shared discussion
  • ...
  • Develop something like the wxGUI module search tree for the HTML pages
  • Finally :) get htDig fixed on the projects VM
  • ...
Testing and benchmarking
  • Write tests for different core modules (see the former testsuite from Soeren's): Test Suite
  • Discuss testing procedure for GUI: here is a list of GUI test tools - see also GOMS analysis
  • Benchmarking between GRASS, QGIS, Sextante, gvSIG, ... for watershed calculation, import, export, extract, ...
  • ...
  • SQLite default DB in grass7: switch default to per-map DB file like DBF, or keep a per-mapset DB file as is currently implemented?
  • Discussion and implementation time frame of temporal GIS capabilities in GRASS Time series development
  • Discussion about a new parser interface for better command line, GUI and WPS support. Discussion started here:
  • Improve WPS support
  • Discuss improvements in GRASS 7 vector engine (OGR support, lightweight topology structures, better 3D support)
  • Discuss fundamental changes in raster and vector engine for GRASS 8
  • winGRASS: GRASS and R-stats integration improvements (see related trac #1149, Windows batchfiles for use with R, ticket/1149#comment:7, ticket/1149#comment:8)
  • Implement RasterLite as GRASS raster database
  • Java APIs
  • ...
Discussion on ML


We are planning for attendance of 20 people (i.e., hacking places) but of course you are welcome to join us and bring new ideas with you, as more places are available. Please add your name here or contact Martin Landa <landa.martin at>:

In person

No Participant Country Arrival Departure Topic T-Shirt Notes
1 Martin Landa Czech Republic May 20 May 25 Toolbox concept, vector engine in GRASS 7, wxGUI M
2 Markus Neteler Italy May 17 May 23 sponsoring, coding, manual, odds and ends M
3 Luca Delucchi Italy May 16 May 25 New toolbox concept,translation,, r.modis L
4 Robert Szczepanek Poland May 19 May 23 wxGUI, hydrological toolbox, translation M
5 Margherita Di Leo Italy May 16 May 25 Translation , python api, wxGUI L
6 Annalisa Minelli Italy May 16 May 25 Translation, python api, r.viewshed, winGRASS debug S
7 Anne Ghisla Italy May 16 May 25 wxGUI development, v.krige M
8 Alessandro Frigeri Italy May 18 May 25 Planetary SRS in GRASS GIS - OGC W*S tweakings for IAU GCS M
9 Sören Gebbert Germany May 20 May 23 Time series development, Web Processing Service support, wps-grass-bridge, New parser interface, vtk-grass-bridge L
10 Milena Nowotarska Poland May 19 May 23 wxGUI, translation S
11 Helena Mitasova United States May 22 May 25 wxnviz, v.vol.rst, r3 and time series, toolbox concept S
12 Radim Blazek Czech Republic May 20 May 21 QGIS friendliness lobbying XL
13 Peter Loewe Germany May 20 May 23 GRASS on computation grids lobbying, povray, paraview/vtk XL
14 Andrea Antonello Italy May 18 May 23 GRASS toolbox for uDig, Geopaparazzi import module for GRASS, Hopefully get knowledge about new raster format L
15 Markus Metz Germany/Italy vector engine in GRASS 7, support for massive datasets L
16 Paweł Netzel Poland May 19 May 22 XL
17 Anna Kratochvílová Czech Republic wxNviz S
18 Vaclav Petras Czech Republic
19 Stefano Cavallari Italy Python etc

Via IRC chat

Collaborative document scratching

Individual Preparation

  • Bring your own computer
  • Bring power connector adapter if needed (Czech Republic: 230V, 50Hz, Type C Europlugs are common and also Type E)
  • Install subversion and the compiler tools, and come with a working GRASS development environment if possible.

Broadcast & Video

  • Streaming not possible...
  • Live session notes via EtherPad are useful. (afterwards post the pads to the wiki)



  • Is the GRASS Community Sprint just a coding event?
    • It is mainly a coding and documentation event. It is a working session for people who are already participants in the GRASS project and/or are committed to improving the GRASS project.
    • On demand we can do some presentations of current working GRASS implementation and new upcoming features to spread the idea of Open Source GIS software
  • Is the GRASS Community Sprint for developers only?
    • No: anybody can help, with testing, checking out bugs and fixes, documentation and more.
  • Where can I get help and more information about the community sprint?