Geospatial - GISGvSIGFirst impressionQgis

Quantum GIS, first impression

Qgis If the friends of gvSIG They keep their promise, next Monday July 27 we will have version 1.9 stable. So far the testing has been great, according to the volume perceived in the Distribution lists. While Monday arrives, by the time I hope to have the satisfaction of congratulating the word compliance, at the expense of the sure sleeplessness that developers must bring, let's take a look at Quantum GIS like this from a bird's eye view.

QGIS was developed in C ++ using the Qt toolkit, it runs on Windows, Mac and Linux. The project arose in May 2002, with support for 26 languages ​​and its license is GPL.

We will try the 1.02 version that input has left me quite satisfied to be a free use tool, you can download from this link And this is the Official page of Qgis.


Quantum GIS Appearance

The iconography and interface design is the most redeemable, it does not affect usability, but it does affect corporate taste (sells) when offering it. Appearance that Previously criticized of gvSIG, because at some point its appearance and disparity of creativity caused a manager to tell me "It looks like a veteran program, some icons seem to have been made with 8 bitstream Paintbrush".


But in this superficiality, QGIS walks very well, even with a simple click you can choose between 3 different themes of iconography very well conceptualized, just pass the mouse by the topic shows how the interface would look.

Quantum GIS interesting features

QGIS requires Grass for many functionalities that that tool has well established, very good for not duplicating efforts. When starting QGIS and not finding it installed, it raises an alert; in this case I am doing a review without including Grass. When I wanted to load a Grass dataset, the application was closed because it was not installed, so I do not recommend using it without installing both tools.

Qgis Shortcuts, A lot of commands have a letter assigned, such that the function can be loaded just by pressing this letter. This is very practical, I remember that in AutoCAD it was one of the best tricks when almost every command was done via keyboard.

The overview, on the left panel is a map showing the deployment area, with synchronization in both tracks. Very useful, you can choose which layers you want to see in the overview, and it can also be dropped as a floating window at a different size.

QgisThe side frame, just great, you can drag the plugins as labels to the foreground, they can be made floating, and with a simple right button activate or deactivate. Also the width management is simple to drag not only in the left panel but also in the lower one.

The bottom panel, when displaying the attribute table, it appears in the area, but it can also be floating. Very functional, with zoom options to the selected rows and change of column width with a simple drag of the mouse. Also in the lower frame it has the search and select functions, similar to how Manifold GIS does, apart from the simple status bar.

Quantum gisThe conformation of this interface design makes it more usable, floating frames is the best, reminds me much Microstation, because for that matter, the attributes window can be displayed without affecting another operation.

Analysis of data, Has the basic aspects of geoprocessing and research that someone could require, at first glance there are some very interesting functions that I prefer to see another time, since the Ftools plugins include terrain modeling, hydrological, among others.

Qgis Extra PluginsLike any gpl application, its gain is in the plugins that the community is making little by little (although with the advantage of not being in Java), by default it brings the basics and they seem few but they are not as simple as they seem: they can be loaded WFS layers, export to MapServer, capture a coordinate, add aids to the view such as north, scale and copyright, text delimited by commas, has a dxf to shp converter, plugin to georeference images, gps console, python console, coordinate mesh , etc. But the best thing is the option to load the Grass plugins that are a separate topic. Similar to what happens with gvSIG and Sextante although the maturity of Grass is respectable, one of the oldest GIS tools.

It is interesting the OGR converter, which can convert layers between different formats such as shp, dgn, gpx, gml, csv, kml, mapinfo, as well as spatial BD via ODBC, MySQL, PostgreSQL, among others.

Of the best: dxf to shp and kml to dxf, basic but not done by other payment programs.

Basic functionsLike other tools, you can create spatial bookmarks, groups of layers, the layers have minimum and maximum zoom control, ease of adding coordinate systems and projection; in case of shp layers, if they have prj, Qgis rescues this information. A lot of processes include a progress bar, which we think is very good.

Qgis It is very interesting how the attributes of the objects are configured, because in the same panel there are tabs for general properties, symbology, metadata, labels, actions and tabular attributes; everything can be saved as a .qml style and loaded to apply to other layers. Also this table is floating and its width and height can be adjusted to taste. Even this panel and others can be opened as a separate application.

Quantum gis It also calls attention to features that seem simple but that have a great utility, such as the measurement of continuous distances, reflected in a tabular panel, which includes the distance of each segment.

Access and edit data

You can load vector data shp, gml, Mapinfo and ddf, although data from other formats can be converted via the OGR converter. Additionally vector layers via WFS and PostGIS. Redeemable, allows you to specify the character encoding when loading the layer.

As for raster layers, it supports an awful lot, apart from WMS. Additionally includes reading OGC WFS, WCS, CAT, SFS, and GML standards.

To create new vector layers they can be done through OGR shape files or Grass. The projects are saved as XML with a qgs extension, where the gvSIG-style layering is saved.

As for data editing, specifications such as coordinate system, units, decimal precision, enabling topological editing, permission or limitation of overlapping polygons in the same layer and snap conditions (type and tolerance) for each layer available in the project. The latter is interesting, although I was disappointed that it only has a segment and vertex option. I insist, Grass must be a justification for this.

I tried editing a layer, inserting a vertex, but I found it quite slow, other than it was necessary to go to add the options of snapping (Sorry for my clumsiness, it's the first time I play this toy). I'll see it later when I load the Grass editing tools. Nor does there seem to be a track if several are editing a layer simultaneously, whoever saves first wins. ugh!

Output data

For quick output purposes, there is an option to save the view as an image, and a plugin for quick printing, but unlike gvSIG, it does not have an ArcView-style layout control; but a print composer that seems a bit taken from the hair, although it allows to load dataframes, labels, boxes and symbols, and several compositions can be created for a project, I did not find how to save them as templates; the manual says it is possible. I guess there are better things in Grass plugins for these purposes.

Quantum gis vs ArcGIS

Of course we will, After next monday.


Golgi Alvarez

Writer, researcher, specialist in Land Management Models. He has participated in the conceptualization and implementation of models such as: National Property Administration System SINAP in Honduras, Management Model of Joint Municipalities in Honduras, Integrated Cadastre-Registry Management Model in Nicaragua, Territory Administration System SAT in Colombia . Editor of the Geofumadas knowledge blog since 2007 and creator of the AulaGEO Academy that includes more than 100 courses on GIS - CAD - BIM - Digital Twins topics.

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  1. Hello, I understand that it is freeware, however it is not part of Qgis and it is not Free Software either, so it would be prudent to make that exception in the blog. After all, everything else seems to be optimal.

  2. My question is about grass and qgis, I have been moving to both software's but I have a problem and I do not know if it is limiting of the program or limitation of knowledge on my part, the question is, does qgis or grass have a more complete editing module ? I mean snapping where they are activated, or how to do, for example, auto-complete polygon with a neighboring one, something related to that kind of thing

  3. AutoDesk has an application that you download for free, it's called trueView, with this you can convert the dwg file to dxf format

  4. Hello colleagues, the query is the following, how can I open Quantum Gis extension files .dwg? The Dxf2Shp plugin only refers to those of type dxf.

    Best regards.

  5. These programs read the files type shape file, if it is in this format that you have the ArcGIS data. What you have to do is rebuild the mxd using an equivalent project.
    If your data is in a geodatabase, you can also import them.

  6. good evening who can help me to move from ArcGis to Kosmo or gvsig or some free tool, I need it urgently because it sparks the end of a matter thank you very much.
    My email is

  7. I am digitizing polygons using a WMS orthophoto as a base.

    gvSIG: The photo loads fast, but the zoom when moving through the orthophoto is a mess

    Kosmo: The photo loads very slowly, although I find it more comfortable to scan

    QGIS: Like Kosmo, more convenience to digitize, the photo can take years to load.

    What problem can there be in each one?

  8. A Quantum GIS project with qgs extension contains nothing, just the reference to the layers being called. So what you are dealing with is how to convert those layers, which may be shape files to dwg or dxf.

  9. Does anyone know how I can pass a quantum file to Autocad?
    Thank you

  10. To download cartography of Spain you can use osm

  11. Hey.
    I am doing an online GIS course in kosmo sextant environment. And I've come across a little problem. When I give any application that has as a purpose to create a raster layer I close the program.
    Does anyone have any idea why it can be?

  12. Very good!
    I would like to know where to find DIGITALIZED CARTOGRAPHY from Spain (especially from Valencia) in order to use it with the QUANTUM GIS program.
    Please, if you have any information, let me know ... I'm a bit lost ...

    Thank you

  13. Thanks, and you do not know if you plan to add a module for visualization without having to go to shapefile since the labels and layers types lines, dots, polygons and labels are seen in different layers, it is often only necessary to visualize and be doing these Steps is delayed

  14. You must convert it to a shape file, you go to Plugins, then choose dxf2shp

  15. Does anyone know how I can open files type dwg and dxf in the quantum gis?

  16. You should explain more your problem:

    Do you know how to load the kml layer?
    Does it send you a message?
    Do you load the layer on the side panel but do not see the objects?

  17. I can not enter kml files from the 5.0 version of google earth aquantum gis anyone can help me the quantum gis ver is 1.2
    Thank you

  18. Yes, they support them. For remote sensing Qgis works very well with Grass and gvSIG with Sextante.

  19. hol, I wanted to know if these programs like Qgis, gvgis or grass support commercial files (shp, tab …….) and can they be handled for remote sensing?

  20. Hello, I am a student of the Geomatics career, just browsing I found out about this new version that is free and I can take it everywhere with the USB, what a good option for students I say it as a student and well I really like the 3 types of tools but more the QGIS that is something similar to Argis and good in the subject of geoprocessing I could only do a simple buffer nose if there is an option where I can make a multiple buffer ... see if you send me examples of how to download images from google earth with the names of avenida..grasias ..

  21. For this you go to:
    Plugins / OGR Converter / Run OGR Layer Converter

    Then there you choose the original files (source), choosing kml format, and the flames

    Then, below you choose the destination (target), and you select to convert them to shp

  22. A question just a few days ago install the qgis I want to know if it is possible to convert kml files to shp and how I would do

  23. You are right Tuxcan, the speed of Qgis process is perceived better than gvSIG. To be free tools, they have matured a lot and now with these you can work as if it were a proprietary program.

  24. I really like both gvSIG and Quantum GIS projects, both of which promise many features and facilities in GIS tasks. However, sometimes the slowness of the JAVA applications, which differs a little with respect to the elaborate QGIS interface, must be emphasized. The great thing about QGIS is its API in Python to program desktop applications, its connection to GRASS GIS and the support of a great variety of formats. Of gvSIG I emphasize its great functionality through SEXTANTE GIS and the great options of connection to mobile devices, 3D visualization, publication, but I insist with some LENGTH of its execution. Of the weaknesses of both tools is the composition of maps, because so far is little elaborated. I think it's great if at some point they can include the editing tools of KOSMO or OpenJUMP, which I have found very complete and friendly.

    Both projects are great and have promoted in an incredible way the free software GIS, that is why the freedom of software, to allow us to choose the tools that best meet our needs.

  25. We sincerely welcome the information of your blog. . . Congratulations from the Patagonia Argentina

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