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Mon Jul 28 23:35:09 2014

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QGIS Planet

Colour shortcuts in QGIS 2.4

Quick poll… what’s the most frustrating thing about GIS? Fighting with colour plotters? Trying to remember GDAL command line syntax? MapInfo’s new ribbon interface* [1]? All of the above?

Wrong!

It’s getting a colour from here:

colour1

…all the way over to here:

colour2

Since the dawn of GIS humanity has struggled with this simple task* [2]. We’ve come up with multiple techniques for solving this problem, ranging from the RSI inducing “select and copy red value, alt-tab, paste, alt-tab, select and copy green value, alt-tab, paste, etc….” method, through to chanting “70, 145, 160… 70, 145, 160… 70, 145, 150… 70, 145, 150” to ourselves as we frantically try and rearrange dialogs to find the destination colour picker, all the while avoiding strange looks from co-workers.

Fortunately, QGIS 2.4 is coming to the rescue! Now, you can right click on any of QGIS’ colour picker buttons for a handy copy/paste colour shortcut menu. Pasting colours works from a whole range of formats, including hex codes, color names, and css-style “rgb” and “rgba” strings.

Fixed!

Problem solved!

Even better, you can just drag colours from one colour button to another:

Fixed again...

… and solved again…

Or, drag a colour from GIMP and drop it onto a QGIS colour button:

x

… and yet again!

Or even drag a colour from a QGIS button directly onto a shape in Inkscape! All this win is coming your way in QGIS 2.4, due June 2014.

[1] Pre-empting the inevitable flood of complaints when this new interface is rolled out
[2] I assume

Dataviz with OpenSource Tools

Today, I’ve finished my submission for the Hubway Data Visualization Challenge. All parts of the resulting dataviz were created using open source tools. My toolbox for this work contains: QGIS, Spatialite, Inkscape, Gimp and Open Office Calc. To see the complete submission and read more about it, check the project page.


Glowing Hot Maps – QGIS Meets Gimp

Waiting time is over, Gimp 2.8 is finally here. That is reason enough to take it for a quick test run!

How about a new look for the QGIS user map?

This “glowing hot” map was made using the Gimp filter of the same name:

For the user point layer, I selected a simple point style with high transparency and separately exported land and user points from print composer.

user points as exported from QGIS

In Gimp, I applied the “glowing hot” filter to the user points and combined the layers. The trick here is to first use “Color to alpha” on the user point layer and turn black to transparent. This way, the “glowing hot” filter will only be applied to the remaining points.

Gimp 2.8 RC1 is close enough to the previous version to get comfortable fast. I like the single-window mode even if it’s hard to tell which part of the GUI has the focus sometimes.

Open source GIS and image editing for a perfect work flow.


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