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d.m - Display manager for GRASS



d.m help
d.m [dmrc=string] [--verbose] [--quiet]


Name of .dmrc settings file


The d.m Tcl/Tk GIS manager GUI has been replaced by gis.m. The d.m code is now UNMAINTAINED and OBSOLETE and left here as a courtesy to legacy users. The gis.m GUI is soon to be replaced by a new wxPython based GUI.

The GRASS GIS Manager provides an interactive graphical interface to GRASS commands. By default, it is started automatically with each GRASS session. The GIS Manager can be quit by selecting the 'File->Exit' menu item. The GIS Manager can be restarted from the GRASS command line shell by typing "d.m &".

The GIS Manager includes a set of pull-down menus for many GIS functions (analysis, file I/O, GIS configuration and management), two rows of buttons that control display functions, an upper window in which layers to display are organized, a row of display monitor control buttons along the left side of the layer tree window, and a lower window which contains options panels for layers in the layer tree.

The top row of buttons control a series of display functions: displaying or redisplaying all map layers in the default monitor window, zooming and panning, simple queries, starting NVIZ (n-dimensional visualization) or XGANIM (display animator) display interfaces, and saving or opening group display file. The second row of buttons add, copy, or remove map layers to be displayed, and activate the raster and vector digitizing interfaces. Mouse-over help is available for all buttons.

Map layers are organized as a layer tree, in the window below the buttons. Layers can include raster and vector maps, text, map enhancements (scale and north arrow, grids, and frames), and commands (where any GRASS command be written). Layers are displayed in the order added to the layer tree: the first added (i.e., at the top of the tree) is displayed first, followed by the next added, etc. This means that the uppermost layer is 'on the bottom' and the lowermost is 'on top' if layers are thought of as a series of stacked overlays. Any layer can be renamed by double clicking on its name and typing a new name.

The check box to the left of each layer makes it active for display. Active layers are only displayed/redisplayed when the display button is pressed. Layers can be organized into groups; entire groups can be activated or deactivated for display. Groups can be saved to a file and opened in subsequent sessions, restoring all layers and their display options.

When a layer is selected with the mouse, its options are shown in the panel below the layer tree window. Help for each layer type can be accessed by pressing the GRASS button in the option panel.

The monitor buttons along the left side of the layer tree window open or select (if already open) one of seven display monitors (named x0-x6). Layers are be displayed in the currently selected monitor. If no monitor is open and selected, map layers will be displayed in monitor x0.


Display active layers (current region)

Displays all active layers at current resolution and region extents. Monitor x0 will be started automatically if a monitor is not already open and selected.

Display active layers (default region)

Resets the region to the default resolution and extents, and displays all active layers. See g.region -d.

Display active layers (saved region)

Opens a dialog to select a saved region setting. Resets the region to the resolution and extents of the selected saved region, and displays all active layers. See g.region.

Erase to white

Erases the currently selected monitor to a white background; also removes all frames. See d.erase and d.frame -e.


Starts the NVIZ, n-dimensional visualization module and interactive graphical interface. See nviz.

Fly through path for NVIZ

Starts a GRASS module for interactive creation of a fly-through path to be animated in NVIZ. See d.nviz.

Animate raster map series

Starts the XGANIM interactive interface to display a series of raster maps as an animation. See xganim.


Interactive zooming with the mouse in the active display monitor. Zooming resets the region extents (both size and location of area displayed). A set of prompts for using the mouse for zooming will appear in a separate x-terminal. A simple (i.e., non-draped) raster map or vector map must be active and displayed in the current monitor. If no map is currently active and displayed, a dialog will appear in which a map can be chosen. See d.zoom.

Return to previous zoom

Resets the region to the layer extents in effect prior to zooming.

Pan and recenter

Interactive selection of a new center of view in the active display monitor. Panning changes the location of the region extents but not the size of the area displayed. A simple (i.e., non-draped) raster map or vector map must be active and displayed in the current monitor for panning to function. See d.zoom -p.

Query map (select map first)

Query selected raster (only the base map of a draped map will be queried), RGB raster map (all three map channels will be queried), or vector map using the mouse. A map has to be selected before query.  Vector charts and thematic vector maps cannot be queried. The results of a raster map query will be displayed in a new x-terminal. Depending on the setting in the vector panel, the results of a vector map query will be displayed in graphical form window or in a new x-terminal.

The default display mode for vector map queries can also be set with the GRASS environment variable DM_FORM_MODE.
g.gisenv set=DM_FORM_MODE=txt for displaying vector query results in an x-terminal
g.gisenv set=DM_FORM_MODE=gui for displaying vector query results in a graphical form window

See d.what.rast and d.what.vect.

Measure lengths and areas

Interactive measurement of lengths and/or areas defined with the mouse. An x-terminal will open with prompts for using the mouse to measure lengths and areas, and display the results of measurement. Lengths are measured in meters; areas are measured in hectares, square miles, and square meters. A display monitor must be open and selected, but it is not necessary to select or display a map in order to measure lengths and areas. See d.measure.

Geographical position

Interactive identification of geographical position in the coordinate system of the current location. An x-terminal will open with prompts for using the mouse and display the xy coordinates of at each mouse click location. See d.where.

Erase all layers and create a new group

Removes all layers in the layer tree and creates a new, empty group to which new layers can be added.

Open an existing group file

Opens an previously saved group file, containing a set of display layers and their option settings.

Save layers to group file

Saves current set of layers and their options to a group file.

Print map

Uses to print simple raster, vector, and text layers. Currently supported output formats are Postscript, PDF and PNG. See


Add raster layer

Adds a raster map to the layer tree. Raster display options include: displaying a selected subset of raster cells, defined by their cat values;  draping (or "fusing") a second map over the base map; and displaying legends for the base map and draped map. See d.rast and d.his (for draping/fusing).

Add RGB or HIS raster layer

Combines and displays three raster maps defined as red, green, and blue channels; or combines and displays two or three raster maps defined as hue, intensity, and (optionally) saturation channels. See d.rgb and d.his.

Add raster legend

Adds a legend for a single raster map to the layer tree. Multiple options for formatting the legend are available. See d.legend.

Add vector layer

Adds a vector map to the layer tree. A large number of options are available for displaying the vector map, including: outline and fill color, icon type and size for points, line widths for all vector types, automatic labeling using an attribute column, querying cats or attributes to limit vectors displayed, and restricting vector display depending on region size. See d.vect.

Add thematic charts layer (for vector points)

Adds layer in which pie or bar charts can be automatically created at vector point locations. Charts display values from selected columns in the associated attribute table. Options include: chart type, layer and attributes to chart, chart colors, and chart size (fixed or based on attribute column). See d.vect.chart.

Add thematic map layer (for all vector types)

Adds layer for thematic display values from a numeric attribute column associated with a vector map. Options include: thematic display type (graduated colors or point sizes), methods for creating display intervals, SQL query of attribute column to limit vector objects to display, control of point icon types and sizes, control of thematic color schemes, creation of legend for thematic map, and saving the results of thematic mapping to a instructions file for later printing. See d.vect.thematic.

Add vector labels layer (from existing labels file)

Add text layer from a labels file for vector objects created with v.label command (accessed from the "vector->develop map->create text label file for vector features" menu item). A labels file can also be created with a text editor. See d.labels.

Add freetype text layer

Adds layer to display a line of freetype text. Options include: text placement by coordinates (geographic or screen) or mouse; text alignment and rotation, font and line spacing; and text size, bolding, and color. See d.text.freetype.

Add text layer

Adds layer to display a line of text using default GRASS font (selected with d.font). Options include: text placement (screen coordinates); and text size, bolding, and color. See d.text.

Add scalebar and north arrow layer

Adds layer to display a combined scalebar and north arrow. Options include scalebar placement (using screen coordinates or a mouse), scalebar format, and scalebar colors. See d.barscale.

Overlay grids and lines

Adds layer to display regular grid (for all locations), or geodesic and rhumblines (for latitude/longitude locations only). Grid options include: grid and border colors, grid origin, and grid line spacing. Geodesic and rhumbline options include: line color, and xy coordinates (geographic) of line endpoints. See d.grid, d.geodesic, and d.rhumbline.

Create or select display frames

Adds a layer to define (or select predefined) display frame. A display frame is a rectangular subarea of a display monitor, within which maps can be displayed. All layers following a frame layer will be displayed within the frame defined in the frame layer—until a new frame layer is added and new frame defined/selected. This allows a single monitor window to be subdivided into multiple frames, each of which can display different maps, legends, scalebars and north arrows, or other layers. For example, the monitor could display a detail map and a small frame could display an inset map. See d.frame.

Add command layer

Adds a layer defined by a GRASS GIS command or command list. For a command list use the pipe symbol as "|" as separator.

E.g.: d.rast soils | d.rast -o roads | d.vect streams col=blue

Add group

Adds an empty layer group. Layers can then be added to the group.

Duplicate selected layer or group

Adds a new layer that duplicates the selected layer.

Cut selected layer or group

Deletes the selected group or layer.

Digitize raster or vector maps

Starts the raster digitizing or vector digitizing module, depending on whether a raster or vector map is selected. Raster digitizing always creates a new map. Vector digitizing will either edit an existing map (if an existing vector map is selected in the layer tree) or create a new vector map (if the name of the new vector to be created is entered in the 'vector name' field of the options panel for a vector map layer). See r.digit and v.digit.





Radim Blazek, ITC-Irst, Trento, Italy
Michael Barton, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA

Last changed: $Date: 2008-03-03 21:20:36 -0800 (Mon, 03 Mar 2008) $

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