GRASS GIS free download for Mac


06 May 2020

Geospatial data management, visualization and analysis.


GRASS GIS, commonly referred to as GRASS (Geographic Resources Analysis Support System), is a Geographic Information System (GIS) used for geospatial data management and analysis, image processing, graphics/maps production, spatial modeling, and visualization. GRASS is currently used in academic and commercial settings around the world, as well as by many governmental agencies and environmental consulting companies.

What's new in GRASS GIS

Version 7.9:

After almost 1 year of development the new stable release GRASS GIS 7.6 is available. Efforts have concentrated on making the user experience even better, providing many new useful additional functionalities to modules and further improving the graphical user interface. Furthermore, ZSTD has been added a new raster


method which is an improvement over ZLIB's deflate method, providing both faster and higher compression than ZLIB. Also a new raster map type has been added: GRASS virtual raster (VRT) which is a virtual mosaic of the list of input raster maps. In addition, support for PROJ v. 5 has been implemented. For details, see below.

Graphical User Interface:
  • GRASS GIS 7.6 graphical user interface now displays the computational region extent by default in the Map Display window. This simple new feature allows to always visualize such an important basic concept in GRASS GIS and makes it a lot easier for newcomers. Moreover, a new widget has been implemented for commands including an SQL WHERE parameter to ease selection of features/data.
Modules (commands):
  • A series of new modules has been added and many improved as outlined below.
General modules:
  • The core G7:g.region module comes with a new grow option that allows to increase or decrease by a certain number of pixels the region extent in all directions.
Raster modules:
  • This new GRASS GIS release comes with 3 new dedicated raster modules. The first one, G76:r.path, can be used to trace paths from different starting points following input directions, such as the outputs of G76:r.cost, G76:r.walk or G76:r.watershed, among others. The second one, G76:r.buildvrt, provides the very useful functionality of creating virtual raster (VRT) mosaics from a list of input raster maps. This is very useful when the original data are available in tiles which can now be virtually mosaiked to a single map without overhead for easier analysis. G76:r.buildvrt hence allows processing big areas while avoiding the creation of physical maps, especially useful when space is limited. ​Finally, there is now G76:r.mapcalc.simple, a tool to calculate a new raster map from a simple r.mapcalc expression.
  • Several other raster modules have been improved with new options or flags:
  • G76:r.proj offers a new pipeline option for high-accuracy re-projection provided by PROJ v. 5
  • recognizes different types of raster maps, i.e., "raster" (GRASS native), "reclass" (reclassification of another raster map), "GDAL-link" (GRASS link to a GDAL raster band), "virtual" (virtual mosaic of raster maps)
  • G76:r.mapcalc comes with new functions floor() and ceil()
  • G76:r.slope.aspect has a new -n flag to create aspect as degrees clockwise from North (azimuth) and a new -e flag to compute values at edges
  • now also supports the import of SRTM Water Body Data products (SWBD)
  • G76:r.random has a new seed option to set the seed of the RNG, making it possible to reproduce the same random pixels in different runs
  • G76:r.cost has a new solver option to control which direction is used in case of multiple directions with equal costs
  • G76:r.colors includes inferno, magma and plasma color tables as well as a new flag -d to list available rules with description (e.g. "srtm: color palette for Shuttle Radar Topography Mission elevation [range: -11000 to 8850]")
Vector modules:
  • Several vector modules have been significantly improved with new options, flags, fixes and other enhancements. Here are the most significant ones:
  • G7:v.proj comes now with a new pipeline option for high-accuracy re-projection provided by PROJ v. 5
  • now also converts OpenStreetMap line topology to GRASS GIS topology, inserting nodes where appropriate (further details can be found in this dedicated wiki page ​OSM vs GRASS topology)
  • G7:v.extract can now dissolve areas not only by category number, but also by attributes, while preserving category values and attribute tables. This is a significant improvement over G76:v.dissolve
  • G76:v.overlay has been improved significantly to speedup large and complex input areas processing
  • G76:v.rast.stats now also reports the number of NULL cells and it has a new 'where' option. In addition, multiple raster maps can now be passed as input to the module to collect statistics
  • now also supports conversion of centroids
  • ​G76:v.buffer now offers to also build squared buffers around points when the -s flag is set
Imagery modules:
  • Various imagery modules received fixes and enhancements. A lot of work has been put into G76:i.atcorr to fix numerical instability in the 6S method for atmospheric correction. The module now also supports PlanetScope 0c-0d, 0e, and 0f-10 images. A detailed example to process Copernicus Sentinel 2 bands was added to the manual page to make it easier to use for newcomers. G76:i.segment was improved as well for memory management estimation and avoidance of integer overflow when processing extremely large regions. The writing out of goodness of fit and segment ids was also fixed.
Temporal GIS modules:
  • The most important change in the temporal modules was the long awaited suffix option in G7:t.rast.algebra. This allows to get time and granularity based raster map names out of G76:t.rast.algebra calls. includes support to print history and to use its output in combination with eval. A very nice improvement in the temporal plot tool (G76:g.gui.tplot) now allows to set labels for title, x and y axes, and to export the plotted time series data in a CSV file.
Python Scripting:
  • The Python scripting library has been improved (note: Python3 support will be available in GRASS GIS 7.8.0, it is under development in grass77).

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How would you rate GRASS GIS app?

5 Reviews of GRASS GIS

06 October 2011
Version: 6.4.1-5

Most helpful

Before I dive in, how does this run on Lion? Any opinions about whether I need more than 2 or 3 GB of RAM, and will it run reasonably on my late-2006 2.16 GHz iMac? And, though it appears to be an OS X port, I just want to be sure: It’s not Java, is it?
06 October 2011
Version: 6.4.1-5
Before I dive in, how does this run on Lion? Any opinions about whether I need more than 2 or 3 GB of RAM, and will it run reasonably on my late-2006 2.16 GHz iMac? And, though it appears to be an OS X port, I just want to be sure: It’s not Java, is it?
16 April 2011
Version: 6.4.1-1
The requirements listed are incomplete. There are several support frameworks that have to be installed before installing GRASS. Go to the developer's web site for the full scoop. Also, the latest version for 10.5 is available, and it's a universal Intel/PPC binary:
14 April 2011
Version: 6.4.1RC1-110227
Link to developer site incorrect. The Mac version looks like it's here:
01 July 2004
Version: 040630
Thanks to the new mirrors - good speeds. And thank you, Lorenzo Moretti, for your hard work and your patience with all the negative comments. GRASS itself is powerful and this distribution makes installation a snap. Good work!
23 March 2004
Version: 040320
1st - Give the developer a break. It's free and it is big. He does not host it on a big fast server - so what IT IS FREE. If you think you can do better, contact the developer, I am sure he would be more than willing to mirror his 100's MB of files on your free server. 2nd - Note this is an OSX port of the newer beta version of Grass including a menu driven interface and a GUI. There is an OSX version of the current release of Grass but it only has a command line interface and it will cost you a few $100. The fact that someone is porting the latest and greatest to OSX is GREAT!!!! 3rd - Grass in not for the casual user. It is very powerful but it is not trival. If you haven't used it before, plan on spending days (if not weeks) on coming up to speed. 4th - It requires X11. I am running it under 10.2.8 so I am using the old beta release of X11 (that does not require 10.3). There are some stability problems but it is not clear if this is a Grass issue or the fact that I am not using the most up to date version of X11.
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