Book Image

Learning QGIS - Third Edition

By : Anita Graser
Book Image

Learning QGIS - Third Edition

By: Anita Graser

Overview of this book

QGIS is a user-friendly open source geographic information system (GIS) that runs on Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, and Windows. The popularity of open source geographic information systems and QGIS in particular has been growing rapidly over the last few years. Learning QGIS Third Edition is a practical, hands-on guide updated for QGIS 2.14 that provides you with clear, step-by-step exercises to help you apply your GIS knowledge to QGIS. Through clear, practical exercises, this book will introduce you to working with QGIS quickly and painlessly. This book takes you from installing and configuring QGIS to handling spatial data to creating great maps. You will learn how to load and visualize existing spatial data and create data from scratch. You will get to know important plugins, perform common geoprocessing and spatial analysis tasks and automate them with Processing. We will cover how to achieve great cartographic output and print maps. Finally, you will learn how to extend QGIS using Python and even create your own plugin.
Table of Contents (13 chapters)
Learning QGIS Third Edition
About the Author
About the Reviewer

Running QGIS for the first time

When you install QGIS, you will get two applications: QGIS Desktop and QGIS Browser. If you are familiar with ArcGIS, you can think of QGIS Browser as something similar to ArcCatalog. It is a small application used to preview spatial data and related metadata. For the remainder of this book, we will focus on QGIS Desktop.

By default, QGIS will use the operating system's default language. To follow the tutorials in this book, I advise you to change the language to English by going to Settings | Options | Locale.

On the first run, the way the toolbars are arranged can hide some buttons. To be able to work efficiently, I suggest that you rearrange the toolbars (for the sake of completeness, I have enabled all toolbars in Toolbars, which is in the View menu). I like to place some toolbars on the left and right screen borders to save vertical screen estate, especially on wide-screen displays.

Additionally, we will activate the file browser by navigating to View | Panels | Browser Panel. It will provide us with quick access to our spatial data. At the end, the QGIS window on your screen should look similar to the following screenshot:

Next, we will activate some must-have plugins by navigating to Plugins | Manage and Install Plugins. Plugins are activated by ticking the checkboxes beside their names. To begin with, I will recommend the following:

  • Coordinate Capture: This plugin is useful for picking coordinates in the map

  • DB Manager: This plugin helps you manage the SpatiaLite and PostGIS databases

  • fTools: This plugin offers vector analysis and management tools

  • GdalTools: This plugin offers raster analysis and management tools

  • Processing: This plugin provides access to many useful raster and vector analysis tools, as well as a model builder for task automation

To make it easier to find specific plugins, we can filter the list of plugins using the Search input field at the top of the window, which you can see in the following screenshot: