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posted by LaminatorX on Thursday February 27 2014, @11:03PM   Printer-friendly
from the All-roads-lead-to-where-now? dept.

An Anonymous Coward writes:

"Good news, everyone! A brand-new version of QGIS has been released (changelog). QGIS, a full-featured GPL-licensed GIS program has been under active development for twelve years and is now at version 2.2. Funded by a wide range of organizations, the QGIS project lets users create professional-quality maps that compete well with the output of established proprietary GIS packages like ArcView and MapInfo. Notable features of the program include its support for a wide range of file formats, modular design, map server, web publishing, as well as easy python scripting, and an extensive python plugin library.

For those interested, versions are available for GNU/Linux, BSD, Windows, MacOS X, and Android here."

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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Kromagv0 on Friday February 28 2014, @01:57PM

    by Kromagv0 (1825) on Friday February 28 2014, @01:57PM (#8491) Homepage

    My advice is when starting out to stay away from GRASS [] as there are steep learning curves and then there is GRASS. I would suggest starting off with UDig [] as it has a fairly low barrier of entry and when using it you will start to learn the correct terms that should help make things easier. As an added bonus they have some sample data and a simple tutorial/walk through available to help you get going. I used it for several years and started running into its limitations. GRASS is verypowerful but the output sucks but it is wonderful for processing input to get what you want and is worth learning. It is what I started using but I wanted to create maps not do detailed analysis on data so I only use it now for cleaning and processing files. I have only recently started using QGIS and so far have been pleased but have found a few annoyances in the previouos version but with a new version I will hold off on judgment, but overall have been more pleased. It does have a higher learning curve than UDig does but is much easier than GRASS.

    As far as data sources to work with when learning I would suggest:

    The minnesota DNR Data Deli [] (personal favorite of mine)

    MN DOT GIS data []

    The US Census Bureau Tiger data set []

    MN GEO clearing house []
    The US forest service [] select a forest or grassland which will open in a new window and then click on "Land & Resources Management" and then click on "Geospatial Data" to see what is available. What is available varies greatly from one to another.

    The USGS [] I suggest using the National Atlas [] or National Map [] to look for what you want.

    I hope this helps and most of finding out how to do what you want is figuring out what is the correct GIS term to put into google. Also most of the examples I provided are from the state of Minnesota simply because I live there and my main project that I have been working on is in the state. Other states usually have GIS data available through their department of transportation, department of natural resources, or department of wildlife, as well as some counties putting data up on their site for download as well. When using google to look for data the best restults usually come when I use the form:

    [large area name] GIS shape file

    T-Shirts and bumper stickers [] to offend someone
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  • (Score: 1) by germanbird on Saturday March 01 2014, @06:35AM

    by germanbird (2619) on Saturday March 01 2014, @06:35AM (#8991)

    Thanks. That is good info. I'll have to poke about some of the state websites and see what kind of data they have available.