Search icon CANCEL
Subscription
0
Cart icon
Close icon
You have no products in your basket yet
Save more on your purchases!
Savings automatically calculated. No voucher code required
Arrow left icon
All Products
Best Sellers
New Releases
Books
Videos
Audiobooks
Learning Hub
Newsletters
Free Learning
Arrow right icon
$9.99 | ALL EBOOKS & VIDEOS
Save more on purchases! Buy 2 and save 10%, Buy 3 and save 15%, Buy 5 and save 20%
QGIS Quick Start Guide
QGIS Quick Start Guide

QGIS Quick Start Guide: A beginner's guide to getting started with QGIS 3.4

By Andrew Cutts
$22.99 $9.99
Book Jan 2019 164 pages 1st Edition
eBook
$22.99 $9.99
Print
$32.99
Subscription
$15.99 Monthly
eBook
$22.99 $9.99
Print
$32.99
Subscription
$15.99 Monthly

What do you get with eBook?

Product feature icon Instant access to your Digital eBook purchase
Product feature icon Download this book in EPUB and PDF formats
Product feature icon Access this title in our online reader with advanced features
Product feature icon DRM FREE - Read whenever, wherever and however you want
Buy Now
Table of content icon View table of contents Preview book icon Preview Book

QGIS Quick Start Guide

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: https://www.qgis.org/en/site/forusers/visualchangelogs.html. 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

Installing QGIS

QGIS runs on most operating systems. It is even possible to install it on a Raspberry Pi! This is one of the reasons for the success of QGIS: it is supported on multiple platforms. The QGIS project provides ready-to-use packages as well as instructions to build from source code at http://download.qgis.org. In this quick start guide, we will cover how to install QGIS on two systems: Windows and Ubuntu.

Installing on Windows

There are two ways of installing QGIS on the Windows OS. Directly download the .exe file from http://download.qgis.org, or download it via the OSGeo4W installer. OSGeo4W is a small program that allows you not only to download and install QGIS, but also other OSGeo tools. We recommend that you use this installer for QGIS. You can download the 32-bit or the 64-bit OSGeo4W installers from http://osgeo4w.osgeo.org, or, you can download directly from http://download.osgeo.org/osgeo4w/osgeo4w-setup-x86.exe or http://download.osgeo.org/osgeo4w/osgeo4w-setup-x86_64.exe. Download the version that matches your operating system and keep it. In the future, whenever you want to change or update your system, just run it again.

OSGeo4W installer

In this section, we will look at the advanced installer and express installer options (which will install the latest release) using OSGeo4W as the installer.

Latest release

Once you have downloaded the installer that matches your system, double-click on the .exe file and step through the following installation screens. The simplest way, which installs the latest release, is to select Express Desktop Install. This may not install QGIS 3.4. If you wish to do this, then please see the following subsection, Advanced installer. The express installation option is shown in the following screenshot:

OSGeo4W setup

Select the checkboxes next to QGIS, GDAL, and GRASS GIS. GDAL is used for reading and writing geospatial data and GRASS GIS is open source GIS software that can be used in combination with QGIS. This is shown in the following screenshot:

OSGeo4W setup, choosing options for install

Click Next and the downloading process will begin. Progress will be displayed as each component is downloaded and installed. Having these installed will provide you with many tools to perform geospatial analysis. After a short period of time, you should see OSGeo4W in your program menu, along with a subset of the software installed, including QGIS.

You can install multiple versions of QGIS. Sometimes, this may be necessary as plugins may not work with certain versions of the software. What if you want to choose a version? OSGeo4W allows this with the advanced installer.

Advanced installer

Run the OSGeo4W .exe file and select the radio button next to Advanced Install:

OSGeo4W setup (choosing Advanced Install)

Step through the installation wizard. When you get to Select Packages, choose the version you require. In the following screenshot, I have selected 3.4:

OSGeo4W setup (selecting packages to install)

You can select other packages if required. Once you have chosen the software, click on Next and the installation will begin.

Updating via OSGeo4W

You can use the OSGeo4W installer to install new updates. It will uninstall the previous version. You may have older versions installed on your system (perhaps installed with the standalone installer). To uninstall, locate the installation directory of the older version and run the uninstall.exe file. This is shown in the following screenshot:

Windows Explorer

Step through the uninstallation wizard and, once uninstalled, you should get a similar message (depending on your version) to this:

Uninstalling QGIS 2.18

Click on Finish to exit.

It is possible to have multiple versions of QGIS running on your system.

Installing on Ubuntu

On Ubuntu, the QGIS project provides packages for the LTR, Latest Release (LR), and development versions (DEV). For this book, we recommend installing the LTR version. The LTR version is the current most stable version of the software.

To avoid conflicts that may occur due to incompatible packages, make sure that you only add one of the package source options. The specific lines that you have to add to the source list depend on your OS version. The following version is the latest release for Debian stretch:

deb     https://qgis.org/debian stretch main
deb-src https://qgis.org/debian stretch main

After choosing the repository, we will add the qgis.org repository's public key to our apt keyring. This will avoid the warnings that you might otherwise get when installing from a non-default repository. Run the following command in Terminal:

wget -O - https://qgis.org/downloads/qgis-2017.gpg.key | gpg --import
gpg --fingerprint CAEB3DC3BDF7FB45
gpg --export --armor CAEB3DC3BDF7FB45 | sudo apt-key add -

If necessary, you might need to make adjustments based on your system. For an updated list of supported Ubuntu versions, check out http://www.qgis.org/en/site/forusers/alldownloads.html#debian-ubuntu. By the time this book goes to print, the key information might have changed. Refer to http://www.qgis.org/en/site/forusers/alldownloads.htm for the latest updates.

Finally, to install QGIS, run the following commands. The first will fetch any updates to packages on your system; the second will install QGIS, the Python library, and the GRASS plugin:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install qgis python-qgis qgis-plugin-grass

This book has been written based on a QGIS installation on a Windows operating system. There may be slight visual changes between operating systems, especially the screenshots.

Using QGIS

Open QGIS from the installation location. If you followed the OSGeo4W installation on Windows, you should find it in under the OSGeo4W Shell folder in the Start menu. On loading, QGIS will appear similar to the following screenshot which I have annotated:

Overview of QGIS 3 annotated

The biggest area is reserved for the map.

Toolbar and panel overview

In this section, we will look at the panels and toolbars in QGIS and how to turn them on and off.

Panels

All panels are dockable; this means you can move them around as needed. To the left of the map, there are the Layers and Browser panels and to the right is Processing Toolbox. The Browser panel allows you find data in folders on your computer. From the Browser panel, you can drag data into the map. The Layers panel shows the data and its drawing order. Right-clicking on a layer in the Layers panel opens a context menu that lets you interact with that layer. We will be working with the Layers panel throughout this book. At the bottom of the QGIS project, we can see Status Bar. Status Bar is useful for quickly finding out what projection you are working in or the scale of the map. Finally, at the top of QGIS there is the window title (as yet unnamed project), menu options, and toolbars.

Toolbars

A toolbar is the place where tools are found! You can customize the toolbars to suit your work. These settings can be found via Settings | Interface Customizaton. In the previous screenshot, the toolbars were docked under the menu. Many of the tools can also be found via the menus as well. Hover the mouse cursor over a tool to find out more about it. It is also possible to build your own tools in QGIS using plugins.

Customizing

If you right-click near where I have annotated Menu in the previous screenshot, you can access Panels and Toolbars. If you accidentally turn a panel or toolbar off, then this is the place to turn it back on. You can also find these options via the View menu:

Customizing the panels and toolbars

In the next section, we will briefly look at some of the main toolbars.

The main toolbars

The map navigation toolbar is shown in the following screenshot:

Map navigation toolbar

These tools are all about moving around the map. Panning (the hand icon), zooming (magnifying glass), creating a new canvas view (fourth icon from the right), and bookmarking locations (third and second icons from the right) are all part of this toolbar. These tools should be similar to any map-based application. You can also use the scroll wheel on your mouse to zoom in and out of your map.

The attribute toolbar is all about interacting with data. It is shown in the following screenshots:

Attribute toolbar

These tools allow you to identify the attributes of vector layers or values of raster layers (the blue i). Select and deselect features (third, fourth, and fifth icons from the left), then open the attribute table (the table icon), the field calculator (the abacus icon), measure tool (the ruler icon), and the text annotations button (the final icon on the bar). These tools are very commonly used and will become part of your standard interaction with GIS data in QGIS.

The project toolbar is about saving and creating new projects in QGIS. A project is what contains links to all your files, the order they are in, how they are styled, any print layout— basically everything about your project. It is shown in the following screenshot:

Project toolbar

These tools allow you to create a new project (paper icon), open a project (folder icon), save project and save project as (disk icons), create and manage print layouts (two icons), and finally use the style manager. We will look at the print layout in more detail in Chapter 5, Creating Maps.

If you click on Project from the menu bar, you will see the same icons appearing. This is generally true for all the menus and corresponding toolbars. It is sometimes easier to keep frequently used toolbars, such as editing toolbars, open, and keep the other ones that are not so frequently used hidden to save on screen space.

We will look at other toolbars in more detail as we progress through this book.

Summary

We have introduced QGIS 3 in this chapter. We looked at the options for installing on both Windows and Ubuntu. Finally, we had a quick look at the QGIS interface and the nomenclature of its features.

In the next chapter, we will look at loading data and interacting with it in QGIS. We will describe what GIS is and how to save a project.

Left arrow icon Right arrow icon
Download code icon Download Code

Key benefits

  • Work with GIS data, a step by step guide from creation to making a map
  • Perform geoprocessing tasks and automate them using model builder
  • Explore a range of features in QGIS 3.4, discover the power behind open source desktop GIS

Description

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.

What you will learn

Use existing data to interact with the canvas via zoom/pan/selection Create vector data and a GeoPackage and build a simple project around it Style data, both vector and raster data, using the Layer Styling Panel Design, label, save, and export maps using the data you have created Analyze spatial queries using the Processing toolbox Expand QGIS with the help of plugins, model builder, and the command line

Product Details

Country selected

Publication date : Jan 31, 2019
Length 164 pages
Edition : 1st Edition
Language : English
ISBN-13 : 9781789341157
Vendor :
QGIS Development Team
Category :
Languages :

What do you get with eBook?

Product feature icon Instant access to your Digital eBook purchase
Product feature icon Download this book in EPUB and PDF formats
Product feature icon Access this title in our online reader with advanced features
Product feature icon DRM FREE - Read whenever, wherever and however you want
Buy Now

Product Details


Publication date : Jan 31, 2019
Length 164 pages
Edition : 1st Edition
Language : English
ISBN-13 : 9781789341157
Vendor :
QGIS Development Team
Category :
Languages :

Table of Contents

9 Chapters
Preface Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
1. Getting Started with QGIS 3 Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
2. Loading Data Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
3. Creating Data Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
4. Styling Data Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
5. Creating Maps Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
6. Spatial Processing Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
7. Expanding QGIS 3 Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
8. Other Books You May Enjoy Chevron down icon Chevron up icon

Customer reviews

Top Reviews
Rating distribution
Empty star icon Empty star icon Empty star icon Empty star icon Empty star icon 0
(0 Ratings)
5 star 0%
4 star 0%
3 star 0%
2 star 0%
1 star 0%
Filter icon Filter
Top Reviews

Filter reviews by


No reviews found
Get free access to Packt library with over 7500+ books and video courses for 7 days!
Start Free Trial

FAQs

How do I buy and download an eBook? Chevron down icon Chevron up icon

Where there is an eBook version of a title available, you can buy it from the book details for that title. Add either the standalone eBook or the eBook and print book bundle to your shopping cart. Your eBook will show in your cart as a product on its own. After completing checkout and payment in the normal way, you will receive your receipt on the screen containing a link to a personalised PDF download file. This link will remain active for 30 days. You can download backup copies of the file by logging in to your account at any time.

If you already have Adobe reader installed, then clicking on the link will download and open the PDF file directly. If you don't, then save the PDF file on your machine and download the Reader to view it.

Please Note: Packt eBooks are non-returnable and non-refundable.

Packt eBook and Licensing When you buy an eBook from Packt Publishing, completing your purchase means you accept the terms of our licence agreement. Please read the full text of the agreement. In it we have tried to balance the need for the ebook to be usable for you the reader with our needs to protect the rights of us as Publishers and of our authors. In summary, the agreement says:

  • You may make copies of your eBook for your own use onto any machine
  • You may not pass copies of the eBook on to anyone else
How can I make a purchase on your website? Chevron down icon Chevron up icon

If you want to purchase a video course, eBook or Bundle (Print+eBook) please follow below steps:

  1. Register on our website using your email address and the password.
  2. Search for the title by name or ISBN using the search option.
  3. Select the title you want to purchase.
  4. Choose the format you wish to purchase the title in; if you order the Print Book, you get a free eBook copy of the same title. 
  5. Proceed with the checkout process (payment to be made using Credit Card, Debit Cart, or PayPal)
Where can I access support around an eBook? Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
  • If you experience a problem with using or installing Adobe Reader, the contact Adobe directly.
  • To view the errata for the book, see www.packtpub.com/support and view the pages for the title you have.
  • To view your account details or to download a new copy of the book go to www.packtpub.com/account
  • To contact us directly if a problem is not resolved, use www.packtpub.com/contact-us
What eBook formats do Packt support? Chevron down icon Chevron up icon

Our eBooks are currently available in a variety of formats such as PDF and ePubs. In the future, this may well change with trends and development in technology, but please note that our PDFs are not Adobe eBook Reader format, which has greater restrictions on security.

You will need to use Adobe Reader v9 or later in order to read Packt's PDF eBooks.

What are the benefits of eBooks? Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
  • You can get the information you need immediately
  • You can easily take them with you on a laptop
  • You can download them an unlimited number of times
  • You can print them out
  • They are copy-paste enabled
  • They are searchable
  • There is no password protection
  • They are lower price than print
  • They save resources and space
What is an eBook? Chevron down icon Chevron up icon

Packt eBooks are a complete electronic version of the print edition, available in PDF and ePub formats. Every piece of content down to the page numbering is the same. Because we save the costs of printing and shipping the book to you, we are able to offer eBooks at a lower cost than print editions.

When you have purchased an eBook, simply login to your account and click on the link in Your Download Area. We recommend you saving the file to your hard drive before opening it.

For optimal viewing of our eBooks, we recommend you download and install the free Adobe Reader version 9.