During the last years the popularity of the word Geomatics has been highly increasing to indicate and to encompass a set of scientific disciplines characterized by the homogeneity of objectives even though they are coming from different frameworks such as the Geophysics and the Computer Sciences. An attempt to classify the disciplines and the methodological problems involved by the Geomatics provides the following topics:
- the geodetic and topographic survey, as well as the new methods based on satellites and sensors data;
- the matematical modeling of the data and the statistical analysis of the observations;
- the use of the computer to archive, manage and analyze the data and to display the results.
The problems involved by the Geomatics are numerous and rather heterogeneous. Some among them represent now an operative praxis and only partially imply research studies; vice versa others, born in the last years, still require a complete methodological framing and offer significant research and development margins. It is certain that one of them, obviously it is not the only one, is the use of GIS systems to perform environmental analysis and, on the whole, to land management purposes.
Therefore, the primary aim of the Geomatics Workbooks is the circulation of scientific papers about GIS; within this framework we have chosen to privilege the discussion on the open source and freeware software. The choice stems from two main reasons. At first we believe that the open source systems, for their own nature, are the most suitable to research and advanced development purposes; besides, when they are freeware they are also immediately available both to the scientific community and to the administrations that cannot sustain the commercial software costs. Finally, at the present the space devoted to the open source and freeware GIS is still scarce both in the literature and in the sectorial journals: that's why a new journal about this topic is not a duplicate and can provide a significant contribute to the scientific development and discussion.
The Geomatics Workbooks starts on-line and free: this feature will be kept also in the future. The choice is obviously consistent with the topics discussed in the journal and it is finalized to guarantee its maximum diffusion.
The Editorial Board wishes You a nice reading.