General information
In late 1984, the International Institute for Aerospace Survey and Earth Sciences (ITC) was awarded a grant from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The funds should be spent on research benefiting land and water development in developing countries. ITC decided to concentrate these funds in a single multidisciplinary research project into the methodology of a Geographical Information System, to be used as a tool for land use zoning and watershed management studies. By the end of 1988, the project resulted in the official release of version 1.0 of the Integrated Land and Water Information System (ILWIS). Two years later, ILWIS was launched commercially and ITC started up a distributors network to distribute ILWIS and to support its users worldwide. Since then ILWIS has been used extensively as a tool for training, research and advisory services all over the world. ILWIS was designed to respond to user demands, to be low-cost and application oriented, entirely meeting one of ITCís main objectives, i.e. transferring appropriate technology to developing countries. By now, over 5000 ILWIS systems are in use in more than 100 countries.

ILWIS 2.0, the first ILWIS for Windows version was presented in August 1996; after that several upgrades have been released of which the last one was ILWIS 2.23 (September 1999).

ILWIS 3.0 as released in May 2001 has a completely modernized user-interface, both for the software and the help. Behind the scenes much has changed as well. ILWIS changed from a 16-bit into a 32-bit multi-threading application and is fully compatible with Windows 95, 98, Me, NT4 and 2000. All memory allocation limitations caused by segmented memory (64kB blocks) have been removed. Long file names are allowed, and you are able now to select, copy and delete multiple objects in the Catalog.

What ILWIS has to offer
ILWIS is a user-friendly and widely distributed GIS and Image Processing package. It is PC-based and designed for the Windows environments. Experts as well as beginners will easily find their way through the program. ILWIS provides a powerful tool for collection, storage, analysis, transformation and presentation of data. From the input data, information can be generated to model the spatial and temporal patterns and processes on the Earthís surface. ILWIS provides a set of documentation, dealing with the basics of GIS and Image Processing as well as itís application in many fields, i.e. land evaluation, urban surveys, natural hazards and environmental management.