I am very pleased to announce the release of the open-source GIS Whitebox Geospatial Analysis Tools 3.2.0 (http://www.uoguelph.ca/~hydrogeo/Whitebox/index.html). Whitebox GAT now contains over 370 tools for performing advanced geospatial analysis. While this version includes several new tools and minor bug fixes (see below), the main change has been upgrading to the latest major release of Java, version 8. This upgrade offers several behind-the-scenes advantages in terms of programming. However, the main advantage is that the migration to Java 8 allows for the eventual update of the Whitebox user interface to the more modern JavaFX library instead of the more dated Swing user interface library that is currently being used. This migration to JavaFX will take some time, but this version release of Whitebox GAT paves the way forward. Importantly, this version targets Java 8 and therefore will require users to update their Java Runtime Environment. This release is unlikely to work correctly if you are still running Java 7. Other notable changes in this new release include:
- Added a Cluster Attributes tool that performs k-means clustering on a selected group of attributes associated with a vector file.
- Added zoom to selection for vector layers.
- Added a Clip tool for vector clipping operations. I know, why has it taken this long? The Clip tool runs concurrently, taking advantage of all those extra cores on your processor, so it is quite fast even with large datasets.
- Added floating-point line thicknesses and changed the default line thickness to 0.75. This has greatly improved the cartographic output of Whitebox GAT in my opinion.
- Added Export Table to CSV tool.
- Added Hack Stream Ordering and Topological Stream Ordering tools.
- Added Total Length of Upstream Channels tool.
- Added Furtherest Upstream Channel Head Distance tool.
- Added the Attribute Histogram tool for create histograms based on numeric data contained in a shapefile’s attribute table as well as the Attribute Scattergram tool.
- Vectors can now be displayed with a palette rendered based on a boolean attribute.
- Added palette nonlinearity for vectors with a scaled palette.
- Fixed the raster-to-vector polygon conversion to include polygon holes.
- Modified the minimum bounding box tool, and all related tools (e.g. elongation ratio, long axis, short axis) to use an analytical solution for finding the MBB.
- Added a link to the Whitebox blog (https://whiteboxgeospatial.wordpress.com) in the help menu.
- Added the Vector Attribute Gridding tool, which can be used to interpolate the spatial pattern of average values of an attribute of vector features onto a raster grid. It essentially can be used to answer the question, of the vector features (points, lines, or polygons) within the a local neighbourhood, what is the average value of some attribute? This can be quite handy for visualizing patterns.
- Added the Vector Feature Density tool, which is similar to the Vector Attribute Gridding tool but works to map the spatial pattern of feature density (how many vector features are within a local neighbourhood?).
- Added the ability to rotate map titles. I know this isn’t a proper labelling system yet, but I’m working on it. Hopefully map labels will be added sometime this summer.
- Fixed yet another bug with the GeoTIFF import tool, this time related to the NoData value. As several of you know, the GeoTIFF format is one of my least favourite data formats, despite being so common, because it is open-ended and there are a great many variants. This makes programming data readers/writers for the format very difficult. If you have troubles with importing a particular GeoTIFF file please email me directly and I’ll see what I can do.
- I’ve removed the split panel text area at the bottom of the Whitebox user interface and created a stand-alone dialog to handle text output. There was a problem with the split panel on Windows that would not recognize the default size preference, creating a bit of a visual nuisance that I could not fix. The dialog will be automatically displayed when text data is output from a tool and can also be opened from the View menu.
Please report any issues that you encounter as a result of this upgrade using the Whitebox GAT menu, Help -> Report An Error. As always, I hope you enjoy this new release and happy geoprocessing!