[Geodynamics] GPlates 2.1 released (and pyGPlates revision 18)

John Cannon john.cannon at sydney.edu.au
Wed Aug 8 14:06:57 AEST 2018

Hi all,

The GPlates development team is pleased to announce the release of GPlates 2.1.

This release also contains pyGPlates revision 18.  Please use this pyGPlates release when working with any data saved by GPlates 2.0 or GPlates 2.1 (especially topologies).  This will avoid incorrect reconstruction of half-stage rotation features (such as mid-ocean ridges) created by GPlates 2.0 (and above).

You can download GPlates 2.1, pyGPlates revision 18, and GPlates-compatible data:

A few points to note regarding this release:

* GPlates 2.1 fixes many bugs in GPlates 2.0:
   o So we definitely recommend GPlates 2.0 users upgrade to 2.1.
   o In particular, users on systems with non-English locales should upgrade to avoid issues with project files.
* To open GPlates on macOS 10.12 Sierra (or above) you will need to:
   o Control-click or right click the GPlates icon (in Finder) and click Open.
     + You only need to do this once (to record the security exception).
     + You can then open GPlates in the future by double-clicking as normal.
     + We are currently looking into signing GPlates with an Apple Developer ID to avoid this in future releases.
* NetCDF-4 is now supported for raster import/export:
   o GPlates 2.1 can read and write GMT-5 grids.
* GPlates 2.1 fixes crustal thinning (gamma) factors:
   o They should be '1 - T/T_initial' (instead of 'T/T_initial' in GPlates 2.0).
   o GPlates 2.1 automatically converts them when loading a GPML file created by GPlates 2.0.
   o This also means any crustal thinning factors saved by GPlates 2.1 will look wrong in GPlates 2.0.
* Zero/identity rotations are now stored with latitude 90 instead of 0:
   o So that's "90.0 0.0 0.0" instead of "0.0 0.0 0.0" in a rotation file.

What's new in version 2.1:-

* Velocity legend:
   o Visual indicator of velocity arrow lengths in a target velocity layer.
   o Displays a single arrow and its velocity (in cm/yr).
   o Legend velocity can be constant (eg, 2 cm/yr), or variable (to keep arrow length within reasonable limits).
     + Legend arrow length changes in response to velocity scaling in the target layer.
* Projects and recent sessions:
   o Fixed problems loading projects saved on computers with different locales:
     + The following backward/forward compatibility rules now apply:
       - Can load the following on 2.1:
         = Projects saved with 2.1 on any locale:
           ^ For example, (English or Chinese)->(English or Chinese).
         = Only projects saved with 2.0 on English locale or same locale (if not English):
           ^ For example, English->(English or Chinese), or Chinese->Chinese.
      - Can load the following on 2.0:
         = Projects saved with 2.1 on any locale, but must be loaded on English locale.
           ^ For example, (English or Chinese)->English.
         = Only projects saved with 2.0 on matching locale.
           ^ For example, English->English or Chinese->Chinese.
   o Save anchored plate ID, background colour and graticule settings to project/session.
   o When asked to locate a missing data file, show directory where missing file should have been.
* Deformation:
   o Topological networks:
     + Can now use mid-ocean ridges as boundary/interior sections.
     + Added triangulation *draw* mode in topology network (brown) layers.
       - Can draw boundary, mesh or fill (independently of colour mode).
         = Display mesh by default (instead of boundaries).
         = Better visual indicator of deforming regions.
     + Deforming meshes now appear in 2D map views when strain rate smoothing enabled.
   o Strain rate and accumulated strain:
     + Added total strain rate.
       - Visualize and export.
       - Uses geodesy definition of second invariant in Kreemer et al. 2014.
     + Added exports for the following accumulated strain quantities:
       - Strain dilatation.
       - Principal strain and stretch.
         = Exports triplet (angle/azimuth, major axis and minor axis).
         = Major/minor axes are strain (extension positive; compression negative) or stretch (1.0 + strain; always positive).
         = Plot stretch ellipses in GMT (with psxy).
     + Added optional strain rate clamping:
       - Useful for excessively high strain rates in some triangles of deforming mesh.
       - Clamps *total* strain rate, since includes both normal and shear components.
     + All strain rate and accumulated strain quantities now calculated in spherical coordinates (instead of 2D cartesian).
     + Finite strain is now correctly accumulated.
       - By integrating deformation gradient tensor over time, using spatial gradients of velocity.
   o Crustal thinning:
     + Fixed crustal thinning (gamma) factor.
       - Should be '1 - T/T_initial' instead of 'T/T_initial'.
       - Automatically convert crustal thinning factors created by GPlates 2.0 (when loading GPML file).
     + Added crustal stretching (beta) factor 'T_initial/T'.
     + All three crustal thickness types now created when generating crustal thickness points.
       - Thickness (kms), stretching (beta) factor and thinning (gamma) factor.
       - Independently visualize and export.
     + Can optionally generate points within a lat-lon box.
     + Calculate statistics using entire history of crustal thicknesses/factors (instead of just at initial time).
       - Provides a better mapping of palette colours.
     + Fixed missing IMPORT_AGE attribute in OGR vector formats (eg, Shapefile).
       - Required for crustal thickness points to work propertly (and half-stage rotations).
   o Added option to remove points from within a deforming network as soon as they fall outside.
   o Fixed symbols not working for points when they are reconstructed using topologies.
* Rasters:
   o Enable import and export of NetCDF version 4 rasters (via GDAL library version 2).
     + Interoperable with GMT version 5.
     + Optionally compress exported NetCDF.
   o Support export of *gridline* registered rasters.
     + Eg, global raster where left and right pixel columns overlap on dateline.
   o Support greater than 8-bit per channel RGBA rasters (including floating-point).
   o Import generates transparency for RGBA rasters supporting no-data values (in each R,G,B,A band).
   o Time-dependent raster (and 3D scalar field) import now supports times (depths) anywhere in filenames.
     + For ambiguous cases (eg, multiple decimal points) place times (depths) at end of filename (after '_' or '-').
   o Fixed incorrect half-pixel shift downwards (North to South) for *gridline* registered global GMT grids.
     + Has been incorrectly shifting since GPlates 1.4.
   o Fixed semi-transparent vertical seam near North and South poles at longitude 0 or -180.
     + Happened in 2D map views (and in 3D globe view when reconstructing raster).
   o Fixed slow rendering of very coarse rasters in 2D map views.
* Velocities:
   o Make GMT velocity export compatible with GMT psxy "-Sv" and "-SV" command-line options.
     + Angle/azimuth now in column 3 and magnitude in column 4.
     + Optional plate ID now in column 5.
* Colouring:
   o CPT files:
     + Support GMT5 "C/M/Y/K" colours and CMYK "COLOR_MODEL".
     + Support different colour types on a single line (eg, "R/G/B" and "gray80").
     + Added button to reload CPT file in colouring/draw styles.
   o Assign *all* known feature types a random colour in Feature Type draw style.
     + From GPlates 1.3 to 2.0 inclusive, all but 11 feature types were incorrectly assigned the default navy colour.
* Digitization:
   o Fixed vertex edits not modifying topologies.
     + Eg, moving vertices of a feature used as a topological section in a topological network.
   o Digitize New Geometries:
     + No longer offer Reconstruction/Conjugate Plate IDs for topological networks and topological lines.
       - Only meaningful for topological polygons (eg, to calculate non-deforming plate velocities).
* Geometry tests:
   o Point-in-polygon test now considers points *on* a polygon edge (within extremely small tolerance) to be inside polygon.
     + Helps ensure points lying exactly on dateline are inside a polygon that has an edge exactly aligned with dateline.
   o Fixed Assign Plate IDs retaining only first geometry in each feature when using 'copy by overlap'.
   o Fixed point proximity to a polyline/polygon in rare situations.
     + Resulted in incorrect selection with Choose Feature tool.
* Topology tools:
   o Build topology tools are now always enabled (makes it easier to build topologies at any time).
* GPlates Geological Information Model (GPGIM):
   o Loosen constraints on properties that can be loaded from a GPML file.
     + Any feature type can now contain any property defined in the GPGIM.
     + Can have feature types not defined in GPGIM.
     + More aligned with current ability to add any property to any feature type (albeit with a warning message).
     + Also more aligned with Shapefiles (which can load any property, in Shapefile mapping, into any feature type).
   o Allow multiple 'gpml:boundary' polygons per feature.
* Graphics (OpenGL):
   o Only disable surface mask functionality in 3D scalar fields for problematic graphics driver/hardware.
     + Only affects surface masking of scalar fields (not all scalar field functionality).
* Support up to 10-digit plate IDs (essentially 32-bit signed integers) in all Plate ID spin boxes.
* Fixed inability to save PLATES rotation files using non-ASCII (unicode) filenames (in some cases).
* Fixed inability to save/load OGR formats (eg, Shapefile) to/from non-ASCII (unicode) filenames.

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

Future functionality:-
Deformation support in pyGPlates.
Symbology and time-dependent volumes in GPlates.

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 the following files:

* 'GPlates-2.1.0-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-2.1.0-win32.msi' - a ".MSI" Windows installer
   which contains a 32-bit binary GPlates executable
   and the sample data noted above,
* 'gplates-2.1.0-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-2.1.0-winsrc.zip' - a source zip file for Windows,
* 'gplates-2.1.0-unixsrc.tar.bz2' - a source tarball for Linux,
* packages for Ubuntu (32-bit Intel and 64-bit AMD)
     14.04 LTS (trusty)
     16.04 LTS (xenial)
     17.10     (artful) and
     18.04 LTS (bionic)
   ...refer to the "GPlates Ubuntu Packages" section below for more information,
* 'gplates-2.1-sample-data.zip' - sample data for Linux users
     (note: this data is included in the MacOS X and Windows installers)

* 'pygplates_rev18_docs.zip':
      pyGPlates documentation
        - (also available online at https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/SaDuCzvOWKi9r6DEfXjwX4?domain=gplates.org)
        - extract 'pygplates_rev18_docs.zip' to your hard drive, and
        - open 'pygplates_rev18_docs/index.html' in a web browser
* 'pygplates_rev18_python27_MacOS64.zip':
      a pre-built 64-bit library for MacOS Snow Leopard (and above)
* 'pygplates_rev18_python27_win32.zip':
      a pre-built 32-bit library for Windows 7 (and above)
* 'pygplates_rev18_winsrc.zip':
      a source zip file for Windows
* 'pygplates_rev18_unixsrc.tar.bz2':
      a source tarball for Linux
* 'pygplates-ubuntu...':
      packages for Ubuntu (32-bit Intel and 64-bit AMD)
          14.04 LTS (trusty)
          16.04 LTS (xenial)
          17.10     (artful) and
          18.04 LTS (bionic)

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

GPlates and pyGPlates compile and run on Linux, MacOS X 10.6 (and above), Windows 7/8/8.1/10.
The GPlates 64-bit Intel MacOS X installer works on Intel systems running MacOS X version 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or above.
The GPlates Windows installer works on Windows 7/8/8.1/10.
The pyGPlates binaries currently require Python 2.7, however the pyGPlates source code now works with Python 3.

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 2.1 !

John Cannon, Lead GPlates Developer - https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/IoO0CE8kz9tMqLyOUQKhT6?domain=gplates.org
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