Open Source GIS User Group - Intro to QGIS

The 3rd Open Source GIS User Group meeting was a presentation on QGIS. The following is an outline of what was presented.  A corresponding short guide is provided for you to use to explore QGIS: Download IntroQGIS pdf.

Quick Introduction to QGIS 2.14 LTR

Presented by: Stephanie Saephan

1. What is QGIS?

  • Free, cross platform, opensource GIS software
  • One of the most widely used OS GIS – very popular
  • Started in 2002 as more of a data viewer and has since grown into a full blown GIS application
  • On-going development with bug fixes and new features added on a regular basis. 

2. Installing QGIS

  • Stand-alone installer (current 2.16 and LTR 2.14) – recommended for beginners
  • OSGEO4W windows installer (32/64bit, bundles other opensource packages) – recommended for advanced users.
  • Can have multiple versions on same machine, but can only use one version at a time

3. QGIS Desktop – a demonstration of the software to include the following:

  • Components of the user interface
  • Installing QGIS plugins
  • QuickMapService (basemaps)
  • Configuring the user interface
  • Moving toolbars and panels
  • Hide/show toolbars and panels
  • General global settings
  • Coordinate Reference System (CRS) and Map Scale
    • EPSG: European Petroleum Survey Group (open standard codes for coordinate systems, datums, etc. See,
    • Default global CRS in QGIS (EPSG: 4326 or WGS84)
    • Map Scale: ratio, measurement unit defaults (project CRS)
  • Adding and viewing spatial data
    • Shapefiles (zipped and unzipped)
    • Geodatabases (file gdb – read only for gdb created with AG10.x)
    • WMS, WFS
  • Symbology options
  • Labeling options
  • Print Composer – making a map
    • New composer
    • Guide lines
    • Linking map project with print composer
    • Adding map inset/overview map
    • Scale bar
    • North arrow (add as image)
    • Legend
    • Export map
  • QGIS Browser
  • Questions? Comments?

I am planning the next open source GIS user group meeting, for sometime in September. If you know open source GIS and would like to do a presentation, demonstration, or workshop please let me know.