QGIS – Amazing Functionality

QGIS is an open-source geographic information system (GIS) software that is used for viewing, editing, and analyzing geospatial data. It is designed to provide a user-friendly interface and a variety of tools and plugins for working with geospatial data, making it accessible to users with a wide range of skill levels.

The software has a lot of great features that make it a powerful tool for working with geospatial data. Here are some of the key features and functionalities of QGIS:

  1. Map visualization: QGIS provides a variety of map visualization tools, including the ability to create basic maps, change map projections, and apply different styles and symbols to your data.
  2. Data editing: It provides a variety of tools for editing geospatial data, including the ability to create, modify, and delete features and attributes.
  3. Geocoding: QGIS provides tools for converting addresses and place names into geographic coordinates, which can be used to place markers on a map or perform spatial analysis.
  4. Spatial analysis: QGIS provides a variety of spatial analysis tools, including the ability to perform vector and raster analysis, calculate distances and areas, and perform spatial joins.
  5. Plugins: QGIS has a large library of plugins that provide additional functionality, including tools for network analysis, 3D visualization, and many others.
  6. Customizability: QGIS is highly customizable, with the ability to write custom scripts and create custom plugins to meet specific needs.
  7. Cross-platform support: QGIS is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, making it accessible to a wide range of users.
  8. Large user community: QGIS has a large and active user community, providing a wealth of resources and support for users of all levels.

Let’s explore some interesting bits in QGIS

Layer Styles: Draw effects

Often, we do make beautiful maps in our projects and we are glad about them. But, ever wondered how it would look like if some extra hype was added to the symbology capabilities in QGIS?…probably yes. The “Draw effects” capabilities come in handy to help in such. The section helps add glow and other effects to the vector data available in the project.
Below is an example;
QGIS Screenshot

This is done from this window in QGIS
QGIS Draw Effects

Symbol levels

In a GIS, the three types of data(point, polyline and polygon) have different tools for their tweaking/styling. Loading interlinked linear features in a GIS is at times met with difficulties in displaying their interconnectivity as shown below;

In QGIS, this can be tackled easily using one button click. The “symbol levels” tool enables the user to style the features at wish by reordering the levels in which each section appears. From the above pic, this is what it would look like if the symbol levels are applied.
QGIS Symbol Levels

QGIS Symbol Levels

Explicit class definitions

When symbolizing features in a GIS, it’s important to always have a look at how well classes are distributed within the classification matrix. In QGIS, this is possible using real-time histogram diagrams that show the variability of each class and their distributions. This is really good to ensure balanced and good classification criteria.
QGIS Explicit Classes

The QGIS processing toolbox

The processing toolbox in QGIS is an awesome section to find tools and algorithms to aid in your work. There exist many tools out of the box that can be used for diverse functionalities. It comprises of the GRASS tools, Orfeo toolbox, GDAl/OGR and many more. Each tool is useful for a particular task. Check out the new algorithms in 2.10.0 AND 2.12 (awesome..right?)
QGIS Toolbox

The semi-automatic classification plugin

The need to carry out GIS analysis and Remote Sensing tasks on one platform has been an issue for some time now. Fortunately, modern GIS systems have been able to make this a reality. In QGIS, this is possible using the semi-automatic classification plugin. The plugin offers remote sensing tools useful in analyzing imagery and deriving important information from them. This plugin is an easy-to-understand tool that is really helping users in projects all under the QGIS roof.

These were just a few sections I looked forward to tackling today. For more details, check out the QGIS Official page. If you have a query or comment, let me know right away.

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Wanjohi Kibui

Passionate about harnessing the power of geospatial technology to create innovative solutions, I'm a GIS Consultant and Developer dedicated to building cutting-edge geospatial applications. With a keen eye for spatial analysis and a knack for problem-solving, I specialize in crafting solutions that seamlessly integrate technology and geography.

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