The aim of this work is to create a GRASS Tutorial, based on freely available (and distributable) data. The structure of this tutorial is functional both for a new GRASS user and for a GRASS expert.
Therefore, the purpose of this work is to simplify the first approaches to the powerful GIS GRASS, presenting a series of examples and practical environmental applications of this GIS.
Obviously this work can be considered just an hint to the huge resources of the GIS GRASS, just to show the way this GIS works, so that the user can be provided with the basis on which building his own know-how.
The use of the hyper-textual form allows to link different tutorial sections and frames.

The data used in this tutorial is the well known Spearfish Dataset, that can be downloaded from the Internet at these URLs: http://www.geog.uni-hannover.de/grass/sampledata or http://grass.itc.it/data.html (download both the Spearfish and the Imagery dataset). First of all, install these data on your hard disk.

The user is supposed to follow this tutorial sequentially as the degree of difficulty increases with the ongoing of the lessons: while the first lessons are extremely elementary and each operation is described step by step, with the proceeding many steps will be taken for granted. Anyway this tutorial is different difficulty-levels structured, so that anyone can start it where he feels more comfortable. This work is divided into five different sections: introduction and description of GRASS, practical exercises, commands description, troubleshooting and links.
The introduction presents the general aim of the work and an overview on GRASS.
The practical lessons, to be followed in the order they are presented, allow a gradual acquaintance and learning of the GIS, and difficulties increase with the ongoing of the tutorial. Some lessons deal with specific subjects, others instead are more general, and lead the user, following a logical path, to create environmental and decision-making models.
Some practical lessons are brand-new and were developed by the authors, others refer to the John Mackenzie tutorial (University of Delaware).

Commands descriptions are also available from the exercises of the tutorial; some descriptions have just been corrected if necessary from the English GRASS Help manual pages, others have been written according to the experience of the writers. Anyway, for every command is available the link with the Italian Official GRASS Site (grass.itc.it).
During the first update of this on-line tutorial was added a fifth lesson, which describes the use of the 3D visualization program NVIZ.
The troubleshooting section contains the FAQ, resulting from many years of GRASS teaching at Trento University.
The link page provides some useful links to national and international GRASS sites.

This tutorial has been realized as a thesis in Environmental Engineering at the University of Trento, by Alessandro Tomasi, with the cooperation of Doc. Marco Ciolli and Eng. Paolo Zatelli.

A first review and upgrade of the italian version was made by Paolo Leonardi, of the University of Trento, with the cooperation of Doc. Marco Ciolli and Eng. Paolo Zatelli.

A second review and upgrade, the English translation of the whole tutorial and the new GRASS 5.7 (the new version with completely new vector engine) pages were made by Eng. Massimo Zanoni of the University of Trento, in December 2003, as always with the cooperation of Doc. Marco Ciolli and Eng. Paolo Zatelli.


Università degli Studi di Trento - Facoltà di Ingegneria