This, after all, is a nation that relies heavily on agriculture.
Posted on November 24, by John A. Stevenson [Updated 09 July Previous version for reference here. Script updated for Ubuntu In this post I describe the free programs that I use every day, and what I use them for.
I do not use them simply to conform to stereotypes about cheap Scotsmen. As you will see, I use them because they are portable and very powerful. This makes it portable. Any workflows or methods can be taken to different computers, different institutions or sent to friends in different countries without worries about expensive licences.
I also use some free gratis proprietary software such as Google Earth. While philosophically different to FLOSS software, for practical purposes the advantages are the same. I have also posted a short script that to automatically install most of this software onto a Linux machine, and I invite you to suggest any software that I may have missed in the comments.
There are many websites about the advantages of switching to Linux and the high-profile organisations that have already done so. My main reason to run Linux is the command line interface CLIwhich can be used to carry out tasks very quickly and precisely. It has the HUGE advantage that once you know the commands to do what you need, you can write them in a script and repeat the task times with very little extra effort.
This makes it very powerful. It feels like your computer is working for you and most of my workflows now take advantage of this. It is based on the popular Ubuntu distribution so it has a wide range of software available in easily-installed packages and there are lots of helpful tutorials for it online.
The latest versions of Ubuntu have a tablet-style interface; I prefer the way that Mint sets things up for the desktop.
Each comes as a LiveCDso you try them out without altering your system. The names of the Ubuntu software packages for each program are given below so that you can install them easily from the Software Centre or via the command line.
Windows and Mac versions exist for most and can be found with a quick Google search. It handles raster and vector data in all formats and is easily scriptable to automate workflows. I use it to create new GIS datasets from raw data e. Quantum GIS qgis, qgis-plugin-grass: It is ideal for making and printing maps from pre-existing datasets.
A command-line swiss-army-knife for GIS files allowing you to convert formats, change projection, join, crop and alter the resolution of raster files and much more. Includes OGR, which does the same with vector files e.a very large area of ice that moves slowly down a slope or valley or over a wide area of land.
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