FWTools, which stands for “Franck Warmerdam tools”, is a bundle of compiled libraries and applications. The main advantage on downloading this bundle is that no compilation is required and all dependencies problem are solved. It comes with a simple tool for displaying images and vector files (a modified version of OpenEV), mapserver, Proj.4 and OGDI. In the bundle, you’ll also find gnuplot and python. A must-have!
Actually, I often use FWTool when I go for training in developping countries, so trainees do not need to waste time in understanding the magic behind compiling gdal (which can be really complex if you need to solve some libraries dependencies…). It is also a very convenient way to write robust python codes and create new format-proof command lines! Most of the trainings I give are related to the use of windisp, which understand only the 8bits IDA format. Making floatting point computations and exporting the rescaled outputs in windisp is a piece of cake with python and gdal! I tell more in the blog posts.