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• Origins in the Terrain Analysis System (TAS)
• Whitebox GAT project started in 2009
• Free and open-source GIS and remote sensing
• Google code repository
• Multi-platform software
• Translated into 11 languages
• Currently contains 372 tools for processing DEMs,
raster images, vector data, and LiDAR.
• New tools can be added as plugins developed using
any JVM programming language (Java, Groovy,
• Useful as a powerful geoprocessing engine
Removing Off-terrain Objects
Original last-return LiDAR DEM Bare-Earth DEM created using
‘remove off-terrain objects’ tool
Processing Massive DEM Datasets
This file was mosaiced from 4200 LiDAR
It consists of 4.25 billion grid cells and a
file of 15.8GB
Flow accumulation image derived from a DEM
• Flow-path enforcement
• Flow algorithms
• D8, FD8, D∞, MD∞
• flow direction
• flow accumulation
• Flow-path length
• Watershed delineation
• Sub-basin delineation
• Hillslope mapping
Surface Flow-path Enforcement
Road blocks flow in DEM
Stream Network Analysis Toolbox
• DEM-based automated stream
– Algorithms based on either valley
recognition methods (i.e. DEM
shape) or channel initiation
methods (i.e. contributing area
• Link length and slope
• Stream ordering
• Long profiles
• Link classification
Whitebox as an ‘Open-Access GIS’
• The potential benefits of O-S GIS include wider community
involvement, deeper user knowledge, and rapid innovation
in the field.
• The intention of O-S GIS is good but we could realize even
more benefits if we altered the implementation.
• The potential benefit of OSS is often defeated by the
barriers that are in place as a result of the implementation
of the O-S model.
• Open-Access GIS: software should be designed in a way
that reduces the barriers that often discourage or disallow
end-users from examining the algorithm design and
implementation associated with specific geospatial tools.
• Downloaded 1573 times in last 17 weeks.
• Downloads originated in 91 countries
• Whitebox provides extensive tools for
extracting information from spatial data sets.
• The open-source(access) nature and ease of
use of Whitebox provides an ideal
environment for education and research.
• It’s been a wonderful honour to speak with
• Funding for this work has been provided by: