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Introduction to QGIS


Our second OSGeo local chapter meet up! We will chew the cud, show you some cool stuff and start to get people familiar with the brilliant FOSS GeoSpatial products out there, specifically QGIS on this occasion!

We'll go through installing QGIS and getting it to a point where you can have fun (and get your job done) with it.

How Much?

There will be a door charge of R250 to cover costs, lunch and refreshments. That and an open mind are all you need to bring.


St Davids Marist Inanda College
36 Rivonia Rd

Map and Directions

NB: We'll be in the Prep School computer lab.


  • Saturday June 27th 2009
  • QGIS course: 08h30 to 15h30
  • includes lunch and refreshments


Your friendly presenters for the day will be:

  • Tim Sutton (tim at - QGIS hacker and FOSS GIS junkie extraordinaire. Tim eats Weetbix for breakfast because it sounds like Linux. He once rewrote Nkosi Sikelela in C++ because he was feeling patriotic.
  • Graeme McFerren - (graeme.mcferren at - GIS researcher and FOSS4G user. Mmm, aspire to be like Tim then.
  • Gavin Fleming (gavinjfleming at gmail dot com) - I enjoy my daily FOSS4G fix and telling people how great it was. I'm a 'geoinformation scientist' at Mintek and love to see cutting edge and useful geospatial applications emerging.
  • Brendon Wolff-Piggott - (brendon at - Water resources consultant and FOSS GIS enthusiast. I wish there were more hours in the day to keep up with FOSS4G!


Let gavinjfleming at gmail dot com know if you're coming as numbers are limited.

Programme and notes

  • Be there in time for a 8h30 start
  • this programme is subject to change and participant input right to the last minute!

Welcome, introductions and overview

Let's make a map - First steps with QGIS

Intro to the QGIS project - Tim First tour of the UI - Brendon Making your first project - adding layers and saving a project - Graeme Advanced symbolisation - the renderer types, labelling and map actions - Brendon Data capture - editing local and pg datasources - Tim QGIS plugins - Graeme WMS and WFS clients - Graeme GRASS - Bredond Projections - Gav Map Production - Gav


Tim - live usb / vmware image prep

Loading and viewing data - common data formats, symbolisation. Tips and tricks to enhance image display.

Where to get free spatial data - Surveys and Mapping, Demarcation Board, OpenStreetMap, GPS, etc. Check out South_African_Geodata

Menus and Toolbars


Working with attributes

Making changes to the map

Editing spatial data in QGIS

Projection basics

  • Tea

Setting up a QGIS Project

Toolbars and plug-ins revisited

KML and Google Earth

Using QGIS with a spatial database (PostGIS)

  • Lunch

Using Actions

QGIS and Web GIS

Advanced analysis with QGIS

QGIS with GRASS and R

GRASS is a sophisticated standalone GIS package which can also be accessed through QGIS. It installs with QGIS by default.

R is a comprehensive statistics package that can be also accessed through QGIS.

Plugins - Carson Farmer's plugins with R, etc.

  • break

Introduction to the Python console

The Python API

Audience Selections

Show off session

Here we can do some whizz bang demo stuff that we don't have time to do in workshop format but that will give you some hints as to what else can be achieved.

e.g. Terrain modelling and drapes.


Questions and answers. What you can do next. Resources. Possibly some in-depth examples based on frequent questions. What would you like to see at future workshops?

Your assessment of the workshop

Tell us what you thought!