Book Image

QGIS Quick Start Guide

By : Andrew Cutts
Book Image

QGIS Quick Start Guide

By: Andrew Cutts

Overview of this book

QGIS is a user friendly, open source geographic information system (GIS). The popularity of open source GIS and QGIS, in particular, has been growing rapidly over the last few years. This book is designed to help beginners learn about all the tools required to use QGIS 3.4. This book will provide you with clear, step-by-step instructions to help you apply your GIS knowledge to QGIS. You begin with an overview of QGIS 3.4 and its installation. You will learn how to load existing spatial data and create vector data from scratch. You will then be creating styles and labels for maps. The final two chapters demonstrate the Processing toolbox and include a brief investigation on how to extend QGIS. Throughout this book, we will be using the GeoPackage format, and we will also discuss how QGIS can support many different types of data. Finally, you will learn where to get help and how to become engaged with the GIS community.
Table of Contents (9 chapters)

Getting Started with QGIS 3

QGIS is free and open source software. It is a Geographical Information System (GIS). QGIS enables users to create, manipulate, and visualize spatial data. Spatial data is data associated to a location or a place, commonly defined in terms of vector (points, lines, or polygons) or raster (bitmap) data. The QGIS project began in 2002 as a way of importing and viewing data from PostGIS (also open source software that adds geographic support to PostgreSQL) enabled database. QGIS is arguably now the leading open source GIS software package.

QGIS 3 was a significant update in the QGIS series. If you are familiar with the QGIS project, you can inspect the changes in the visual changelog available at this website: The processing framework was rewritten and has improved the performance significantly. Now, QGIS 3 provides users access to Python 3. This means many of the plugins, that make QGIS so powerful, have been updated to be compatible with the new API. At the time of writing, QGIS 3 had been out for almost a year. QGIS 3.4 was released in October, 2018. It is scheduled to become the first Long Term Release (LTR) of the QGIS 3 series in early 2019.

This book is a quick start guide to QGIS; it uses the LTR 3.4 release as its foundation. It is recommended that you use this version while working through this book. The book has been written in such a way that you should be able to apply the foundational knowledge gained to future releases. However, QGIS is actively developed software and subject to change.

Topics covered in this introductory chapter include the following:

  • Installing QGIS
  • Toolbars and GUI