QGIS a free and open-source cross-platform desktop geographic information system (GIS) application that supports viewing, editing, and analysis of geospatial data.
QGIS is able to:
- Support both raster [pictures] and vector layers
- Integrate with other open-source GIS packages, including PostGIS, GRASS GIS, and MapServer.
- Support shapefiles, coverages, personal geodatabases, dxf, MapInfo, PostGIS, and other formats.
- Import different file formats, such as a KML export from the TravelTime Platform
QGIS is also able to support a large number of plugins. Plugins written in Python or C++ extend QGIS's capabilities. Plugins can:
- Perform geoprocessing functions, which are similar to the standard tools found in ArcGIS
- Interface with PostgreSQL/PostGIS, SpatiaLite and MySQL databases
Who uses QGIS?
While ArcGIS remains the standard, QGIS is an increasingly popular alternative to commercial GIS software options. Many public and private organizations have adopted QGIS, including the Austrian state of Vorarlberg, and the Swiss cantons of Glarus and Solothurn.
What skills are needed to use QGIS?
At a basic level, users will need:
- Computer literacy
- An understanding of GIS concepts, such as coordinates, layers and projections
More advanced users might also have knowledge of:
- Database management
- Spatial analysis