Linux viewer for .ecw survey map files?
Q I have been supplied with some *.ecw files containing detailed survey maps. They came with a viewer called ER Viewer 2, which allows zooming and traversing of the maps. It is very basic, but it only works on Windows. Is there an alternative 'viewer' out there that is open source and works on Linux (32-bit or 64-bit SUSE 9.3 Pro)? I also need to be able to work with the data from these files; to enter data, transfer it to a database and work with GPS coordinates. I have looked on SourceForge for suitable software and Geomview and SciGraphica look like they may be of use, but I was hoping you could make some recommendations. I would prefer to work within a GUI as I'm not very familiar with the command line - if not, well, I'll just have to get familiar with it!
A This has got to be one of the most specialised questions I have received (no readers, that is not a challenge). There is a Linux viewer for .ecw (Enhanced Compressed Wavelet) files but it is not open source. The program is XnView (it has a companion program, Nconvert) and is available from www.xnview.com. For a more complete solution to handling this and your other data, it seems you need a GIS (Geographic Information System) program. There are a number of these available; Grass GIS (http://grass.itc.it/index.php) would be a good starting point.
Originally developed for the US Army Corp of Engineers, Grass is now used by academic, commercial and government organisations across the world. This means that not only is development active and wide ranging, but there is a large body of users and knowledge for you to draw upon when trying to apply the software to your particular needs. Grass supports .ecw files through its use of Gdal, a library for translating geospatial data formats. If Grass is not suitable for your needs, you may also consider the following projects:
Quantum GIS http://qgis.org Saga www.saga-gis.uni-goettingen.de/html/index.php
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