[LWN Logo]
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 14:26:26 +0100
From: Bernhard Reiter <bernhard@intevation.de>
To: lwn@lwn.net
Subject: ANN: GRASS User Group (GAV) formed in Germany

							March the 12th, 2001
Dear Grass-Community, Dear GIS-Community,

in the last year we saw GRASS development flourish 
and GIS technology getting more and more into the public focus.
GRASS is in a very good position 
as the most powerful free software GIS out there 
together with its strong and healthy user base.

Still most people who use GIS do not know about GRASS or
have no idea of which high quality especially the new GRASS releases are.

That is why we are happy to announce 
the formation of a new grass user group:

	GRASS Anwender-Vereinigung e.V (GAV)

which is a tax-exempt charity organisation 
located in Hannover, Germany.

The main focus of GAV will be on German speaking GRASS users.
Our intention was to found a legal entity which can 
serve as an official meeting place for GRASS promotion. 
It is a lot easier to ask for publicity or funding,
if you have a recognised organisation. We also hope to provide 
a place where the public can get informed about GRASS 
and free GIS in general.

It would be nice if we could be as successful as the German
TeX User Group "Dante e.V." which has done a great job in
securing the long term availability of TeX and LaTeX.

Our plans are to:
	- prepare mailings to Universities 
	- promote GRASS in Germany at conferences
	- create teaching materials and online courses
	- collect money to fund GRASS development

We hope to make GAV to a valueable addition to the GRASS community. 
If you are interested to become a member or want to know 
more about GAV, check the webpages (mainly in Germany):


For the GAV founders,
March the 12th, 2001
Osnabrück, Germany
	Bernhard Reiter <bernhard@intevation.de>

What is GRASS?

Geographic Resources Analysis Support System (GRASS)
is very powerful GIS which has seen almost 20 years of development.
It is used for data management, image processing, graphics production, 
spatial modelling, and visualization of many types of data (raster and vector).
GRASS is free software released unter the GNU General Public License (GPL). 


What is GIS?

GIS stands for Geographic Information System.

In the strictest sense, a GIS is a computer system capable of assembling, 
storing, manipulating, and displaying geographically referenced
information , i.e. data identified according to their locations.

GIS offers new access to spatial data. GIS usage may answer questions 
related to space as well as movement in space and time. 
Almost all data relates to space and time. Therefore GIS technology 
has many practical uses ranging from research to business.