Thursday, June 13, 2013

Saga GIS 2.1.0 rc2 - What's new?

Last week Olaf released the second release candidate for SAGA GIS 2.1.0. I thought this was a good opportunity to take some time to document what's new.

The major (from a technical point of view) change was the switch of wxwidgets 2.8 to wxwidgets 2.9. One of the major reasons that switch was made was to have better support for MacOSX, and it was also an opportunity to solve some unicode issues.

But unless you are using MacOSX this will not really help you. So you may be more interested in some other new features. One of the most relevant is support for parallel processing and some other performance enhancements. If you have a multicore processor you may find out that performance in some grid procedures like reclassification, resampling and calculation of convergence and wetness index is much better in this new build.

Next to these changes some new modules have been added.

Most are specific scientific modules, but some others are general purpose, such as a way to generate lines and polygons from tabular data. Another one is direct georeferencing which supports using a DEM for orthorectification. The 3D viewer can now support different grids as an input.

Here is a list with all scientific modules, the description for all of them is filled in the program so I suggest having a look there for more information.

  • Enhanced vegetation index (EVI) 
  • Terrain surface texture 
  • Mesh denoising 
  • Topographic openness 
  • Valley depth; 
  • slope position index 
  • Terrain Classification Index for Lowlands (TCI Low). 
  • Morphometry Features (Wood, J. (1996)) 
  • Fuzzy Landform Element Classification. 
  • Ambient Occlusion and Edge Cueing Tarini, M. / Cignoni, P. / Montani, C. (2006) 
  • MMF-SAGA Soil Erosion model - Soil erosion modelling with a modified MMF (Morgan-Morgan-Finney) model 
Finally, we have a new icon and splash screen :-)

If you want to try the new version of saga you can download windows builds and sourcecode from sourceforge. I've also revived my ubuntu linux builds. Now they are only available for precise, but I'll add other versions soon. Building it was a challenge because no good package of wxwidgets 2.9 is available yet, I have now used the attempts by Sven Eckelmann, but one issue remains: the data source window is not refreshing properly. I should fix that before the final release.

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