View Full Version : GIS'n your heart out?

05-21-2008, 03:47 PM
Well, as i've discussed here before, I'm a Geomatics Applications specialist (or will soon be.. i'm in school)

we're doing a remote sensing course (and let me just say.. holy crap)
our teacher, who's worked for the UN and other places has graciously informed us of many open source GIS solutions out there (and i thought how perfect it would be for doing our type of fantasy mapping... without ripping off or spending thousands on ESRI's info, etc)

i'll see how many i can get up here.. but this one really interested me...
he said its fairly terrible for vector mapping, but for raster (images) it has almost the same, if not more functionality as ArcGIS...

its called ILWIS, and while i'm in class right now and can't look it up, i'll be sure to do so when i get home, and post an update... apparently it does hydrography, dems, as well as many imaging aspects of GIS...

heres the link (http://www.itc.nl/ilwis/default.asp)

more to come (hopefully)
he's got a crapload of places to get free information from world (for all you modern cartographers out there... work well for post apocs and such too i'd imagine)

05-21-2008, 04:48 PM
Great stuff! Post it up! Post it up soon! I've never used a 'proper' mapping tool before, maybe it's time I started!

05-21-2008, 06:48 PM
well i'm at home and going to start downloading it to take a look...

but i wanted to just go over reasons why i like using real mapping softwares to create my realms, especially worlds and regions and such...

its mainly realism... you can automate a lot of things that flesh out a realm very quickly, things like ecosystems of plants and animals, probable locations of trails, even complete watersheds including rivers. Since its already being used in the real world, it'll be safe to say that it'd work in a fake world. Also there are always errors and artifacts that come up from analysis in the real world... but in an imaginary one... you can just take them as truths.

05-21-2008, 07:25 PM
Hmm I've downloaded it and have no idea where to start. It looks like it demands much closer inspection - this certainly isn't a 'play and learn' programme!

05-21-2008, 07:59 PM
If I was using a PC, I'd be all over this. Of course I might be too busy with Wilbur and Leveller and l3dt and Geocontrol and World Machine to take the time.

A word of warning. Real world terrain analysis programs tend to go guano at the sight of Perlin noise.

05-22-2008, 12:19 AM
hehe if you've never worked with arcgis then yeah its a bit overwhelming,

i started it, but lacked any images to play with, so i played conan instead.

very small for a program of its rep, but i did look at the tools, and its got quite the hydrological model toolbase, actually more extensive then ESRI's!

i'm gonna see if i can get a quick thing made up from wilbur and play around with it in the program... to show some interesting ideas.

and su_liam... thanks for the warning... i'll see what i can do WITHOUT busting out some perlin noise (which i was acctually going to do for quickness)

05-22-2008, 02:40 AM
Actually I suspect if you use waldronates pitfill/noise/erode method on a perlin HF your results should be better. A lot of the pro terrain analysis software makes assumptions about proper drainage.

Interestingly cockpit karst looks a lot like perlin plasma to me. Porous limestone makes up for proper 'topographical' drainage. Hehe...

05-23-2008, 08:37 PM
I'm a Geographer doing GIS with GRASS and ArcGIS. The GIS work I do is more research oriented then otherwise. It's really economics with a spatial component rather then "drawing maps."

edit: BTW Remote Sensing gets much MUCH cooler when you get out into the real world and start purchasing custom imagery. Also much more nerve wracking when you realize that if you aren't really accurate with your specifications for the contractor, your going to waste $20,000+.

05-23-2008, 08:50 PM
GRASS, you say? I have access to some GRASS. Hehe.

Anyway, I'd love a tutorial with a title like, "Fantasy Cartography on GRASS." Okay, enough with the weed jokes, but it's still true.

05-24-2008, 01:16 PM
hehe yeah, i know a lot of people would like to know how to use grass, cause.. not many people figure it out.

05-27-2008, 04:07 PM
Instructions for using GRASS:
Step 1. Identify Problem.

I need a map of mean househould income versus automobile ownership
Step 2. Identify Intern

That kid over there is trembling, pretending to be there, trying to not gather any assignments, must be an intern
Step 3. Tell Intern to Make Map in GRASS

Hey Intern, make me a map of househould income versus automobile ownership in GRASS
Step 4. Run Away Before Intern can Ask How to Use GRASS.

/me runs away quickly:lol:

05-28-2008, 02:30 AM
Hmm... I think it might be best to just delete GRASS from my system and run while the running's good.

05-30-2008, 07:03 AM
"He was found guilty to be in possession of grass."
"GRASS the cartography program?"

Adapted lines from Stoppard's "Arcadia". :-)