GRASS GIS Released Under GNU General Public License!
Geographic Resources Analysis and Support System (GRASS) Geographic Information System (GIS) has entered a new era with its resurrection by the GRASS Development Team. The Team, headquartered at Baylor University, is made up of researchers at Baylor and University of Hannover, Germany, with cooperators at the University of Illinois. GRASS is a full-featured GIS that runs on all Unix and Linux operating systems, thus making it a powerful tool for research groups.
The GRASS GIS, which was originally developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, found a new home for support in the GRASS Development Team in 1997. Since that time, GRASS has enjoyed resurgence in popularity around the globe. However, the problem of licensing was never quite resolved. Until today.
Since GRASS was initially developed by the U. S. Government, it was considered Public-Domain. However, the GRASS Development Team is not government funded and so needed a way to protect the developers and license the GRASS GIS software.
As of October 25, 1999, GRASS is released under the terms of the Gnu Public License (GPL). The GPL is part of the Free Software Foundation, a non-profit group that licenses most software developed as “freeware” by universities and individuals. This makes GRASS the first fully featured GIS that is released worldwide under the GPL.
GRASS Development Team