Geocomputation and open source software: components and software stacks
Geocomputation, with its necessary focus on software development and methods innovation, has enjoyed a close relationship with free and open source software communities. These extend from communities providing the numerical infrastructure for computation, such as BLAS (Basic Linear Algebra Subprograms),through language communities around Python, Java and others, to communities supporting spatial data handling, especially the projects of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation. This chapter surveys the stack of software components available for geocomputation from these sources, looking in most detail at the R language and environment, and how OSGeo projects have been interfaced with it. In addition, attention will be paid to open development models and community participation in software development. Since free and open source geospatial software has also achieved a successively greater presence in proprietary software as computational platforms evolve, the chapter will close with some indications of future trends in software component stacks, using Terralib as an example.
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