QGIS 2.0 for Ecologists

Although not yet officially announced the QGIS Homepage has changed dramatically in preparation for the upcoming release of QGIS 2.0 (“Dufour”). Since its predecessor “Lisboa” many changes have happened to QGIS.  I will try to list them here, but if you really interested then read the last posts on NathanW or Underdarks blogs.

Some of the milestones between 1.8 and 2.0:

  • Improved Design and Buttons. Rearrangements and sorting of features.
  • Styling features have been significantly improved (try out the feature blending and overlay functions)
  • Improved Print Composer (see my example here)
  • Improved stability as many many bugs and blockers were fixed during the past months
  • A lot of changes under the shell. The use of python scripting has become a lot easier.
  • Integration of many plugins into the QGIS core (for instance SEXTANTE – now called Processing)

What does it mean for people in the Ecology and Conservation sector? Well, QGIS offers an easy to understand and free to use tool to map geographical relationships. Contrary to the still widely used ESRI ArcGis solutions, it can be used freely by everyone and is therefore especially useful in projects with not that much money involved (so literally 99% of conservation projects) or in capacity building actions. Furthermore there is an ongoing interest in making QGIS the leading GIS for Ecology. The aim is to extent QGIS functionalities through plugins such as for instance my LecoS plugin. I am currently considering to bring some basic functionalities for species distribution modeling to QGIS (some funds are always welcome 😉 ).

Never used QGIS before? One more reason to try it out now. Download it here.

You love it and want to work more with it (or switch from ESRI products)? Explore the documentation, all the plugins and features here.

You have GIS related Questions? Visit the gis:stackexchange portal.


EDIT:
NOW it is official. QGIS 2.0 is released! See a changelog with all the new awesome features here
http://changelog.linfiniti.com/version/1/

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About Martin Jung

PhD researcher at the University of Sussex. Interested in nature conservation, ecology and biodiversity as well as statistics, GIS and 'big data'
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