[Freegis-list] Free GIS for realtime data and 3D visualization?
pcreso at pcreso.com
Sat Mar 17 22:04:13 CET 2007
> I like the idea of using exixting tools when available, rather than
> reinventing the wheel. However, development does not seem very active:
> the latest msg in the -dev ML dates back to Sun, 19 Nov 2006 09:30:48
> - -0800!
> In standard community project, this almost equates to a moribund project.
> Does anybody have better news?
I'd describe it as a mature package that does what it needs with few problems.
Unlike most OS packages, this used to be a very expensive commercial
application, IBM's Data Explorer. Back in '99 IBM released the code to the OS
community, along with their adoption of Linux. So it is not an application
started & maintained by a team of devoted OS enthusiasts, and I don't think it
is not entirely fair to condemn it because of this.
I agree that additional functionality is not being added, so development is
static from that perspective, but the application already does it's job very
reliably & effectively, so I'm not overly concerned about that.
In the same genre of 3D visualisation tools as DX, there is also KitWare's VTK
& other OS visualisation packages, which are more like toolkit to build your
own apps, than an off the shelf application.
I guess my overall point is that there are thousands of Open Source
visualisation, 3D modelling & 3D rendering packages, several of which are very
capable terrain modellers & Earth visualisation tools. For whatever reason,
these are often ignored by traditional GIS people.
NVIZ is one of the few such packages to be actively integrated into the OS GIS
Just look at the 3D rendering, earth sciences, 3D modelling & visualisation
categories on Sourceforge. While the vast majority of these packages are not
appropriate in this case, some time spent searching resources like this could
realise some directly useful packages. The ones I mentioned are not even
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