[Geodynamics] FW: GPlates 2.0 released

John Cannon john.cannon at sydney.edu.au
Fri Nov 18 13:30:23 AEDT 2016

Hi all,

GPlates 2.0 has been publicly released.

Below is the release announcement for those not on the GPlates-announce mailing list...


From: GPlates-announce [gplates-announce-bounces at mailman.sydney.edu.au] on behalf of GPlates software release announcements [gplates-announce at mailman.sydney.edu.au]
Sent: Friday, 18 November 2016 1:23 PM
To: gplates-announce at mail.usyd.edu.au
Subject: [GPlates-announce] GPlates 2.0 released

Hi all,

The GPlates development team is pleased to announce the release of GPlates 2.0.

You can download GPlates 2.0, and GPlates-compatible data:

What's new in version 2.0:-

 * Projects and recent sessions ( http://www.gplates.org/user-manual/Projects_and_Recent_Sessions.html ):
   o Now saves and restores all layer information:
     + Including layer order, visibility and all settings within each layer (such as colour styles and colour palette filenames).
   o Open projects using File menu, drag'n'drop, double-clicking or command-line.
   o Project name displayed in window title.
   o Copy a project to another computer. For example:
     + Zip up a folder containing project file and associated data files (including colour palette files).
     + Unzip to another computer and open project file.
   o Option to locate missing data files (when loading project or recent session):
     + Useful when data files moved since project or session was saved.
   o Option to resolve ambiguous data filenames (when loading relocated project):
     + Useful when data files exist in both original and relocated locations.
   o GPlates 2.0 can open projects and recent sessions saved by all prior versions of GPlates:
     + However information saved by earlier versions is limited.
   o GPlates 1.5 can open projects and recent sessions saved by GPlates 2.0:
     + However restored information is limited (to what GPlates 1.5 can understand).
 * Deformation:
   o Topological networks:
     + Boundary is similar to a topological closed plate boundary, but also has:
       - A deforming interior region (due to individual deforming points).
       - Optional interior rigid blocks.
     + Build New Network Topology tool now publicly available (without requiring command-line switch to enable).
     + Export topological network boundaries in general Resolved Topologies export.
     + Query and visualise velocities and strain rates at arbitrary points in networks.
     + Optionally display total (accumulated) strain at arbitrary points:
       - Displays principal components and orientation.
       - Outward-facing red arrows for extension.
       - Inward-facing blue arrows for compression.
   o Reconstructing regular features using topologies:
     + Use both topological rigid plates and deforming networks to reconstruct regular features.
     + Incrementally reconstructs by plate ID in topological rigid plates.
     + Incrementally deforms in topological deforming networks.
     + Begin incremental reconstruction at a feature's time of appearance, digitisation time or present day.
     + Use specific topological layers or default to all loaded topologies.
     + Option to detect lifetime of each point in a geometry:
       - Oceanic points appear (mid-ocean ridges) and disappear (subduct).
       - Based on convergence velocity and distance to plate boundary during a plate/network transition.
   o Scalar coverages:
     + A new geometry type in a new layer type.
     + Each point in a multipoint/polyline/polygon has a scalar value associated with it.
     + For example, visualise mid-ocean ridge spreading rates and asymmetry calculated externally using pyGPlates.
   o Crustal thinning:
     + A specific type of scalar coverage containing crustal thickness values.
     + GPlates recognises this coverage type internally:
       - Uses deformation strain rates to evolve crustal thickness over time.
     + An input dialog generates initial crustal thickness points:
       - Uniform distribution of points within a topological rigid plate or deforming network boundary (with optional random offset).
       - Specify initial constant/flat crustal thickness at a past geological time.
     + Choose from a selection of built-in colour palettes to visualise crustal thickness variations over time.
     + Export crustal thickness values to GMT(xy) or GPML format.
     + Also added a separate export for deformation (strain rates).
 * New Hellinger tool ( http://www.gplates.org/user-manual/HellingerTool.html ):
   o GPlates has a new workflow to determine best-fitting poles by the method of Hellinger:
     + Import and export data files compatible with the FORTRAN programs of Chang and co-workers.
     + Edit and create magnetic pick data points, via the canvas or tabularly via the Hellinger dialog.
     + Adjust segmentation of magnetic picks.
     + Enable/disable magnetic picks from inclusion in the fitting algorithms.
     + Specify pole and angle estimates via the canvas or via the Hellinger dialog.
     + Perform fitting using a python implementation the FORTRAN programs.
     + Visualise resulting fit and uncertainty on the canvas.
     + Export fit and uncertainty data to text file.
 * Net rotation export ( http://www.gplates.org/user-manual/NetRotation.html ):
   o GPlates now calculates and exports net rotation of the lithosphere (based on the method of Torsvik et al., 2010) using global coverages of dynamic plate polygons.
   o Net rotations are exported via the standard "Export…" tool, and by selecting the "Net rotation" export type.
   o Any dynamic plate-polygon data sets currently active in GPlates will be used as the basis for net rotation calculations.
 * Official public release of volume visualisation:
   o No longer require command-line switch to enable importing of 3D scalar fields.
   o Latest improvements:
     + Reads georeferencing and spatial reference system (SRS) from first depth layer during import.
     + Frees disk space after import (removes cached depth layer rasters).
     + Fixed flickering cross-sections.
     + Fixed SVG export of isosurfaces (on Mac OS X).
 * Improved OGR spatial reference system (SRS) support:
   o GPlates now has more complete support for OGR-supported files (e.g. ESRI shape file, OGR-GMT and others) which provide spatial reference system / projection information.
   o Any SRSs supported by the PROJ4 library should now be accepted by GPlates.
   o When saving to a file which had a non-WGS84 SRS associated with it, GPlates will prompt the user to export in either the original SRS, or in WGS84.
   o All other forms of file export in GPlates continue to use WGS84.
 * Donut polygons:
   o Contain interior holes.
   o Supported in file input/output, raster reconstruction, filled polygons, 3D scalar fields, etc.
 * Colour palette improvements:
   o Available in raster, 3D scalar field and scalar coverage layers.
   o Remap the range using mean and standard deviation of the layer data (raster, 3D scalar field or scalar coverage).
   o Added a variety of built-in colour palettes based on ColorBrewer sequential and diverging colour scales.
 * Raster reconstruction improvements:
   o Improved stability and speed when connecting raster layer to polygons layer.
   o Removed raster seams/cracks between adjacent polygons.
 * Toggle visibility of all layers:
   o Using the new visibility icons in the Layers dialog.
 * Combine multiple rotation layers into one layer.
 * Added velocity time interval options to velocity layers.
 * New half-stage reconstruction (version 3) for mid-ocean ridges:
   o Changes to spreading asymmetry, after digitisation, no longer incorrectly reposition ridge.
 * Improved handling of import / export directories:
   o GPlates now stores the last used directory for Project files.
   o In addition, there is more fine-grained support for both Feature Collection and Project folder preferences.
   o These can be adjust through the Preferences (Ctrl+,) dialog.
 * Added named ages with timescale information and uncertainty tracking:
   o Supported for various feature types in GPlates Geological Information Model (GPGIM).
   o Find-as-you-type named ages with timescale colouring.

...for the complete list of changes please see the CHANGELOG file in the GPlates source-code releases.

NOTE: GPlates 2.0 supports NetCDF-3 (but not NetCDF-4). To convert to NetCDF-3 you can use the 'nccopy' executable (that comes with NetCDF). For example, "nccopy -k 1 netcdf_4.nc netcdf_3.nc".

Future functionality:-
Includes improved symbology and another Python GPlates library release.

Documentation including the user manual, tutorials and the data manual may be found on the User Documentation page of the GPlates website:

Information about this release may be found on the News page of the GPlates website:

Information about the sample data in this release may be found on the Earthbyte website:

This release consists of twelve files:

 * 'GPlates-2.0.0-Darwin-x86_64.dmg' - a MacOS X installer
   which contains a 64-bit GPlates application bundle for Intel systems
   running MacOS X Snow Leopard (10.6) or above
   and the sample data noted above,
 * 'GPlates-2.0.0-win32.msi' - a ".MSI" Windows installer
   which contains a 32-bit binary GPlates executable
   and the sample data noted above,
 * 'gplates-2.0.0-win32.zip' - contains the 32-bit GPlates Windows executable and
   its dependency files, (and the sample data noted above) for users who
   wish to use GPlates without installing it,
 * 'gplates-2.0.0-winsrc.zip' - a source zip file for Windows,
 * 'gplates-2.0.0-unixsrc.tar.bz2' - a source tarball for Linux,
 * packages for Ubuntu (32-bit Intel and 64-bit AMD)
     12.04 LTS (precise),
     14.04 LTS (trusty) and
     16.04 LTS (xenial),
 * 'gplates-2.0-sample-data.zip' - sample data for Linux users
     (note: this data is included in the MacOS X and Windows installers)

The GPlates source code and binaries are distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).

GPlates 2.0.0 compiles and runs on Linux, MacOS X 10.6 (and above), Windows 7/8/8.1/10.
The 64-bit Intel MacOS X installer works on Intel systems running MacOS X version 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or above.
The Windows installer works on Windows 7/8/8.1/10.

GPlates is developed at the University of Sydney, the California Institute of Technology, the Geological Survey of Norway and the University of Oslo.

For more information on GPlates, visit the GPlates website:

Thanks for reading, and enjoy GPlates 2.0 !


John Cannon, Lead GPlates Developer - http://www.gplates.org

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