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Global Change Master Directory (GCMD)
Whitebox Geospatial Analysis Tools
Entry ID: Whitebox


Summary
Abstract: The Whitebox Geospatial Analysis Tools (GAT) project is an exciting open-source GIS project. Whitbox is as much a philosophical approach to geomatics as it is a GIS/Remote Sensing package. This philosophy of transparency, from which Whitebox derives its name, has led to the development of some rather unique and innovative features in the software. To learn more about this philosophy of transparent GIS/RS, please follow this link.

Whitebox GAT has its origins embedded in an older freeware GIS/RS software, the Terrain Analysis System (TAS). Whitebox offers some real improvements over this older software. This includes the following:

1. Whitebox is open-source and transparent software. The concept of software transparency that has guided the development of Whitebox is a very novel contribution and improvement over traditional open-source development strategies that we hope will encourage an active development community. Imagine using a GIS for a specific application or teaching. You may use a certain tool and wonder, 'how exactly does this work?' You might first try the help documentation, but it may not be detailed enough (i.e. down to the level of the implemented algorithm) to give you the information you desire. Now image that you could press a single button that is on the tool's dialog box and it would bring you to the very page in the enormous library of the GIS packages code that is the tool's algorithm. That's exactly what transparent software is all about.

2. Whitebox possesses a new process for accessing spatial data that allows for the processing of much larger (massive) spatial datasets.

3. Whitbox is extendible. Users are able to create and embed custom tools that take advantage of the Whitebox user-interface and functionality to the same degree of integration as built-in functions. It is possible to write plugins using either the Java programming langauge or to write scripts using either jython (Python for Java), JavaScript, or Groovy.

4. Whitebox has very good documentation. Each tool has rich documentation built into the tool dialog box and the software has an excellent help program. The help for each tool also documents who wrote the help and the tool algorithm and when. This is also part of Whitebox's transparent philosophy. The user has a right to know who created the tool.

5. Whitebox is easy to use, despite being a powerful software package for performing advanced geospatial analysis operations. This fact, combined with the rich help documentation and the ability to easily drill down into the workings of each tool's algorithm, makes Whitebox ideal for education as well as research.

Related URL
Link: DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE
Description: Download the Whitebox Geospatial Analysis Tools.


Link: VIEW RELATED INFORMATION
Description: Whitebox Geospatial Analysis Tools help guide.


Link: VIEW RELATED INFORMATION
Description: Whitebox Geospatial Analysis Tools tutorial.

ISO Topic Category
IMAGERY/BASE MAPS/EARTH COVER
BIOTA


Access Constraints
None


Use Constraints
Whitebox GAT is distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 3. The action of downloading this software carries with it an implicit agreement to abide by the terms of the license.


Keywords
GIS
Geographic Information Systems
Terrain Analysis
Remote Sensing
Land Cover



Distribution
Distribution_Media: Online
Fees: No fees


Personnel
JOHN LINDSAY
Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
Phone: 519 824-4120
Email: jlindsay at uoguelph.ca
Contact Address:
Department of Geography
University of Guelph
City: Guelph
Province or State: Ontario
Postal Code: N1G 2W1
Country: Canada


TYLER B. STEVENS
Role: SERF AUTHOR
Phone: 301-851-8113
Email: Tyler.B.Stevens at nasa.gov
Contact Address:
5700 Rivertech Court
City: Riverdale
Province or State: MD
Postal Code: 20737
Country: USA


Extended Metadata Properties
(Click to view more)

Creation and Review Dates
SERF Creation Date: 2012-08-17
SERF Last Revision Date: 2012-08-20



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