User Tools

Site Tools


Getting started with Qgis

To get familiar with Qgis we will look at the following:

  1. Qgis graphical user interface
  2. Qgis Plugins
  3. Import data (vector and raster)
  4. Perform spatial analysis on rasters and vectors
  5. Perform other analysis using Grass functionality

Qgis GUI

Start Qgis from the upper Ubuntu Bar selecting : Application > Science > Qgis
The Qgis GUI is basically composed by:

Main qgis menu;

Map visualization window

To navigate and visualize maps
Visualization window


Access different GIS functions
 Qgis toolbars including as an example the map navigation toolbar Map Navigation Toolbar to zoom in and out maps.


Such as the layer panel to organize uploaded data
Layers panel

Coordinate capture panel

To select locations and know their geographical coordinates.
Coordinate capture panel
Different Panels and toolbars exist and we can visualize it selecting them from the Qgis Main menu > Views.

Qgis plugins

Several GIS functions are provided by Qgis plugins. To access plugins we can download them and install them from the Main menu > plugins > Fetch python plugins

Import data

Qgis allows to import all Gdal/Ogr map format and immediately reproject them on the fly to the same geographic reference system for a quick visualization. On the lower right side of Qgis GUI click on the CRS status logo QGIS CRS status function to access the project properties > Coordinate Reference System tab and be sure to have active the tab on the enable 'on the fly' CRS transformation.

Import raster data

Download the Land Cover map of Africa:
The land cover map of Africa (raster data) available at the JRC's Global Land cover year 2000 map Download here

  • Download the map and save it to a new created ~/tmpqgis folder and extract the zip file
  • From the Qgis menu select: Layer > Add raster layer .. or click on the manage layers toolbar icon
  • click on browse and search for ~/tmpqgis/Grid/africa_v5/hdr.adf file, then select it
  • click on open

Import vectors

Administrative boundary
  • Download the global administrative boundary available to download from the UNEP geodata web portal. Save it to our working directory ~/tmp_qgis/
  • From the Qgis menu select: Layer > Add vector layer .. or click on the manage layers toolbar icon
  • Click on browse and search for the admin98.shp file, select it
  • Click on open
Open street map data for Tanzania

Download OSM data for tanzania.

Qgis uses the Gdal / ogr Geospatial Data Abstraction Library to import and export vector and raster data.

Working with vectors

Query and clipping vectors

Open the global administrative boundary and select the administrative layers of Tanzania. Create a new vector layer including the just selected Tanzania administrative boundary.

  • On the Layer panel > Left click on theadmin98 data, then > Open attribute table
  • The attribute Table pops up; type Tanzania in the Look for option and select in CNTRY_NAME and click the search button; click on the Show selected records only and close the Attribute Table window
  • Click on Layer > Save vector layer as .. > browse the target folder for the output and write a name of your choice (ex.: ~/tmpqgis/vector/admintanzania.shp

Join attributes tables and query

Create a map of natural parks in a sub region of Tanzania (Arusa, Dodoma, Iringa) :
We need information from the administrative boundary in Tanzania and natural areas. They are available on two different vector layers.

Open the polygon vector layer corresponding to OSM natural areas in Tanzania. We exclude natural areas which are not intersecting the administrative boundary. Next we merge the attribute table of OSM to the administrative boundary. Finally we select natural areas within the regions of interest. Afterwards we can create a new vector layer including the selected natural areas.

  • Open the tanzanianatural.shp and admintanzania.shp files in the ~/tmp_qgis/vector folder and subfolder.
  • Visualize maps and play with colors and legends double clicking on maps names in the layer panel.
  • Select vector from Qgis menu → geoprocessing tool → intersect

process the intersection

1. Save the intersection as tanzaniaintersectnatural
2. Zoom in and out to find out what an intersection of vectors is about
3. From Qgis menu select vector > Data Management Tools > join attributes by location
4. In the Join attributes by location pop up windows select tanzaniaintersecnatural In the Target vector layer option; admintanzania in the join vector layer option; take attributes of first located feature as Attribute Summary option;
5. Browse ../vector/ folder and write naturaladmintanzania as output file name, then click OK (see below)

Now we have created a new polygon vector layer called naturaladmintanzania.shp including natural areas and administrative boundary attributes. We use this last layer to query by a sql statement the cities of a particular administrative region:

  • Left click on the naturaladmintanzania layer > Open attribute table
  • Click on advanced search and type or click the following query in the search query builder
ADMIN_NAME = 'Arusa' OR ADMIN_NAME = 'Dodoma' OR ADMIN_NAME = 'Iringa'
  • In the Qgis menu go to layer > Save selection as vector file …
  • Browse the ~/../vector/ folder and save the file as selectednaturalareas.shp

Working with rasters

Clipping rasters

  • Load the admintanzania.shp vector layer and the GLC2000 of Africa africav5.bil raster file
  • Zoom in using the icon and select a limited area from Africa including Tanzania
  • Select in the menu Raster → Clipper → Output file; browse to ~/tmpqgis/ folder and write a name of your choice such as GLC2000_tanzania.tif
    * Select a limited area from East Africa area corresponding to Tanzania; go back to the raster Clipper window and click ok
    * Double click on the
    v5 layer in the Layers panel

    Try to reproduce a final Land cover map of Tanzania including country borders and landcover classes like the one here below.

    Statistics using Grass plugin
    1. Create a grass working environment
    2. Load the raster map
    3. Find the statistical tool
wiki/wikiqgis/startqgis_online.txt · Last modified: 2021/01/20 20:36 (external edit)