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Mon Jul 25 06:55:10 2016

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QGIS Planet

OSM turn restriction QA with QGIS

Wrong navigation instructions can be annoying and sometimes even dangerous, but they happen. No dataset is free of errors. That’s why it’s important to assess the quality of datasets. One specific use case I previously presented at FOSS4G 2013 is the quality assessment of turn restrictions in OSM, which influence vehicle routing results.

The main idea is to compare OSM to another data source. For this example, I used turn restriction data from the City of Toronto. Of the more than 70,000 features in this dataset, I extracted a sample of about 500 turn restrictions around Ryerson University, which I had the pleasure of visiting in 2014.

As you can see from the following screenshot, OSM and the city’s dataset agree on 420 of 504 restrictions (83%), while 36 cases (7%) are in clear disagreement. The remaining cases require further visual inspection.

toronto_turns_overview

The following two examples show one case where the turn restriction is modelled in both datasets (on the left) and one case where OSM does not agree with the city data.
In the first case, the turn restriction (short green arrow) tells us that cars are not allowed to turn right at this location. An OSM-based router (here I used OpenRouteService.org) therefore finds a route (blue dashed arrow) which avoids the forbidden turn. In the second case, the router does not avoid the forbidden turn. We have to conclude that one of the two datasets is wrong.

turn restriction in both datasets missing restriction in OSM?

If you want to learn more about the methodology, please check Graser, A., Straub, M., & Dragaschnig, M. (2014). Towards an open source analysis toolbox for street network comparison: indicators, tools and results of a comparison of OSM and the official Austrian reference graph. Transactions in GIS, 18(4), 510-526. doi:10.1111/tgis.12061.

Interestingly, the disagreement in the second example has been fixed by a recent edit (only 14 hours ago). We can see this in the OSM way history, which reveals that the line direction has been switched, but this change hasn’t made it into the routing databases yet:

now before

This leads to the funny situation that the oneway is correctly displayed on the map but seemingly ignored by the routers:

toronto_okeefe_osrm

To evaluate all restrictions comfortably, I wrote a QGIS script, which allows me to step through the results and visually compare turn restrictions and routing results. It provides a function called next() which updates a project variable called myvar. This project variable controls which features (i.e. turn restriction and associated route) are rendered. Finally, the script zooms to the route feature:

def next():
    f = features.next()
    id = f['TURN_ID']
    print "Going to %s" % (id)
    QgsExpressionContextUtils.setProjectVariable('myvar',id)
    iface.mapCanvas().zoomToFeatureExtent(f.geometry().boundingBox())
    if iface.mapCanvas().scale() < 500:
        iface.mapCanvas().zoomScale(500)

layer = iface.activeLayer()
features = layer.getFeatures()
next()

You can see it in action here:

I’d love to see this as an interactive web map where users can have a look at all results, compare with other routing services – or ideally the real world – and finally fix OSM where necessary.

This work has been in the making for a while. I’d like to thank the team of OpenRouteService.org who’s routing service I used (and who recently added support for North America) as well as my colleagues at Ryerson University in Toronto, who pointed me towards Toronto’s open data.


One “add” button to rule them all

Reducing the number of “Add layer” buttons in the QGIS GUI is a commonly voiced wish. Multiple approaches have been discussed but no decision has been made so far. One idea is to use the existing browser functionality to replace the “Add layer” dialogs. Others are envisioning completely novel approaches.

Since the topic came up again today on Twitter, I decided to implement a quick & dirty version of a unified Add layer button. This way, I can comfortably reduce my Layer toolbar to three buttons using Settings | Customization …

layerToolBar

customization

I pretty much just kept the “Create new layer” button and the “Add delimited text layer” button because, as far as I know, there is no way to call the dialog from the browser. (Instead, CSVs are opened with OGR, which doesn’t have nearly as many nice features.)

And here it is in action:

(I recommend to undock the Browser panel to get the dialog-like behavior that you see in the video.)

To install the plugin: download it and unzip it into your QGIS plugin folder, then activate it in the plugin manager.

I would love to hear what you think about this UX experiment.


Slides & workshop material from #QGISConf2016

If you could not make it to Girona for this year’s QGIS user conference, here’s your chance to catch up with the many exciting presentations and workshops that made up the conference program on May 25-26th:

(Some resources are still missing but they’ll hopefully be added in the coming days.)

Update: Now you can also watch the talks online or even download them.

Thanks to everyone who was involved in making this second QGIS user conference a great experience for all participants!


Exploring CKAN data portals with QGIS

CKAN is for data portals what QGIS is for GIS. The project describes itself as

CKAN is a powerful data management system that makes data accessible – by providing tools to streamline publishing, sharing, finding and using data. CKAN is aimed at data publishers wanting to make their data open and available.

Many open (government) data platforms rely on CKAN and while the web interface is pretty good, there’s still the hassle of finding and downloading the data using a web browser.

This is where the QGIS CKAN-Browser plugin comes in useful. The plugin has been developed by BergWerkGIS for the state of Carinthia, Austria and added to the public plugin repo earlier this year. CKAN-Browser comes preconfigured with some Austrian and European CKAN URLs for testing, so you can get going really quickly. It is easy to search for specific datasets or explore the portal’s data categories and it is just one click to download and load the data into your QGIS map:

Screenshot 2016-06-26 22.25.00

Here’s a quick demo of loading a vector dataset as well as raster tiles:

For the full usage guide, visit the plugin’s Github page.

It’s great to see how well CKAN and QGIS can play together to enable seamless access to open data!


QGIS workshops at FOSSGIS

We are looking forward to a hot geo summer here in Central Europe with both the German FOSSGIS (this year in conjunction with the annual AGIT conference) and the international FOSS4G just a few weeks away. It’s going to be exciting, and I still have a lot of talks (and a keynote) to prep for both events ;-)

If you speak German and want to enhance your geo skills, the FOSSGIS program offers some great opportunities and there is still the chance to sign up for a couple of great FOSSGIS workshops:

Of course the program also features many non-QGIS workshops. If I’d have to pick one of them, it would most certainly be Marc Jansen’s and Andreas Hocevar’s OpenLayers 3 workshop because it’s always great to get the latest information first hand, directly from the developers.

Online registration closes on June 25th.


Traveltime routing & catchment extension for the QGIS IDF router

As announced in Salzburg a few days ago, I’m happy to present the lastest enhancement to my IDF router for QGIS: travel time routing and catchment computation.

Travel times for pedestrians and cyclists are computed using constant average speeds, while car travel times depend on the speed values provided by the road network data.

Catchment computations return the links that can be traversed completely within the given time (or distance limit). The current implementation does not deal with links at the edge of the catchment area, which can only be traversed partially.

Loading the whole network (2.7GB unzipped IDF) currently requires around 10GB of memory. One of the next plans therefore is to add a way to only load features within a specified bounding box.

Plans to turn this into a full-blown plugin will most likely have to wait for QGIS 3, which will ship with Python 3 and other updated libraries.

Screenshot 2016-07-17 22.04.54


QGIS style dock – Part 1 – Live Styles!

This post is part of a series exploring the new style dock.

  • Part 1 – Styles
  • Part 2 – Plugin pages
  • Part 3 – New panel API

A while ago did a post about the new style dock in QGIS. The first stage was getting labels working and then moving on to styles. After many iterations of the UIs and the APIs I’m pretty happy with the release state of the dock. We now have styles (vector and raster), labels, saved styles, undo redo, and plugin support (yep!)

Of all the features I have added to QGIS this is my favorite. Nothing has made me feel more productive then working on this feature and seeing the gains it allows in day to day work.

If you haven’t used the style dock yet I would strongly encourage you to grab the nightly QGIS builds and give it a crack, F7 to open anytime, or use the paint brush icon on the layers panel.   I’m not bragging when I say that it will change your life in QGIS for the better, it has become a part of my daily workflow. No going back!

Dock break down

breakdown

As you can see in the image there is a few main things in the dock, the layer selection, style options selector (come back to this later), undo/redo, live update and apply.

Live Updates

One of the key things for me when doing this dock was instant feedback. I really hated the open close, change, apply, repeat workflow of the old dialogs.  Every widget in the dock can request a redraw on change so you can see feedback instantly in the canvas.  This might not always be what you want so you can disable it for those cases and use manual apply.

Undo Stack

Live updates come with a risk. What happens if you apply something you didn’t mean. There is no cancel button. Well not to fear we now have a undo/redo stack.  Any style change will now add an entry to the style undo stack so you can rollback and forward any changes. Undo/Redo now allows for fearless style changes, so style away to your hearts content and rollback anything you don’t like.

I will also add that the undo stack is stored on the layer object itself, so closing the dock doesn’t clear the stack nor does changing the active layer. You can also access the stack via the Python bindings if needed.

Style Options

On the side of the dock we have the different style options.  These buttons change the style options in the main panel.

options
Vector Style Options
  • Style
  • Label
  • Saved styles
  • Undo/Redo
optionsraster
Raster Style Options
  • Style
  • Transparency
  • Histogram
  • Saved styles
  • Undo/Redo

The Saved Styles and Undo/Redo will always be the last in the stack regardless of the active layer type.

Style UIs (Note: GIF heavy section)

Almost all the widgets have been tweaked to allow for better dock layout. Widgets are now in a more uniform layout which flows better when moving around in the dock and just generally look better.

layout

When I talked about live updates before this applies to everything, even the data defined buttons.  Any changes in those will be reflected into the canvas without any extra clicks.

dd

Changing renderers is now simple and quick. You go from nothing to seeing instant results in seconds.

change

A excellent side effect of the live updates is workflows that were never exposed before and now possible. Using the graduated renderer histogram for example. As the histogram allows for live edits we can now update the map on the fly from adjusting the histogram.

hiso.gif

Style UIs (Raster)

As soon as I finished vectors it became pretty evident that raster layers were going to be the next main thing to move.   So the style dock fully supports raster styling.

raster

Undo/Redo

For the final trick. Here we have the undo/redo stack in action. Unlimited undo/redo  on all layers when changing styles. Fearless change he we come

undo

Trying to find a picture to sum up my feelings about the style dock and I think this fits

but of course I’m super bias.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I talk about adding your own style panels to the style dock.


Filed under: Open Source, qgis

QGIS style dock – Part 2 – Plugin panels

In part 1 I talked about the new style dock and the in built functions it has in this post I would like to cover how you can extend that dock using plugin panels.

While building the dock it became evident that being able to add your own panels with be super neat, why lock the user to what styling controls we have built into core.

After one, or two, API iterations it is now possible to add your own panels to the style dock.

First we need to make a new widget using QgsLayerStylingPanel

class CustomPanel(QgsLayerStylingPanel):
    def __init__(self, layer, canvas, parent):
        super(CustomPanel, self).__init__(layer, canvas, parent)
        self.layer = layer

    def apply(self):
        pass

then we need to create a factory object (QgsLayerStylingPanelFactory) which will hold the metadata for the panel widget, things like icon, title, and the widget it self as required. The factory object looks like this:

class PanelFactory(QgsLayerStylingPanelFactory):
    def icon(self):
        return QIcon(r&quot;F:\icons\SVG\book.svg&quot;)

    def title(self):
        return &quot;&quot;

    def supportsLayer( self, layer):
        return layer.type() == QgsMapLayer.VectorLayer

    def createPanel(self, layer, canvas, parent):
        return CustomPanel(layer, canvas, parent)

# Also make a instance and tell the style dock about it
# make sure you keep a instance of the the factory around
factory = PanelFactory()
iface.registerMapStylePanelFactory(factory)

You can also see we have a supportsLayer() method. This must return True if the layer can be supported for the widget, if the layer isn’t support it’s not shown in the layer style dock. We also have the createPanel method which just returns the widget, you could also use this method to return different widgets based on layer type if you needed. This createPanel method will be called any time the item is selected in the left panel of the style dock. Using the above code we will see a new icon on the side panel

style

Remember, the create method is called any time this new item is selected.    If your widget is expensive to create you can create a cache here.

Now lets add some logic.  As an example I’m going to load the style xml and show it in the panel. Adding some logic to the __init__ method of the CustomPanel class

class CustomPanel(QgsLayerStylingPanel):
    def __init__(self, layer, canvas, parent):
        super(CustomPanel, self).__init__(layer, canvas, parent)
        self.layer = layer
        self.setLayout(QVBoxLayout())

        # Create the editor and set the xml from the layer.
        self.editor = QgsCodeEditorHTML()
        self.editor.setLexer(QsciLexerXML())
        doc = QDomDocument( &quot;style&quot; ) 
        rootNode = doc.createElement( &quot;qgis&quot; )
        doc.appendChild( rootNode )
        iface.activeLayer().writeStyle( rootNode, doc, &quot;&quot;)
        xml = doc.toString()
        self.editor.setText(xml)
        self.layout().addWidget(self.editor)

xml

Nifty.  Now can we 1 UP it and make it live edit?  Sure can!  The style dock will call apply() whenever we raise the widgetChanged signal.  We can just connect this to the text changed event and add some logic to the apply method.

class CustomPanel(QgsLayerStylingPanel):
    def __init__(self, layer, canvas, parent):
        super(CustomPanel, self).__init__(layer, canvas, parent)
        .....
        self.editor.textChanged.connect(self.widgetChanged.emit)

    def apply(self):
        # Read the xml and set it back to the style.
        doc = QDomDocument( &quot;style&quot; ) 
        doc.setContent(self.editor.text())
        node = doc.documentElement()
        self.layer.readStyle(node, &quot;&quot;)
        self.layer.triggerRepaint()

live

WINNING!

Pro Tip: Raise widgetChanged whenever you need to tell the style dock to trigger the apply method. The style state of the layer will also be saved to the undo stack so you don’t have to worry about that.

This is just an example, hand editing xml is well gross, but I’m sure you can see great uses for being able to expand the style dock.


Filed under: Open Source, qgis

Gaining more WMS speed through enabling the QGIS cache directory

Interestingly the WMS caching is not enabled by default in QGIS. To better enjoy WMS/WMS-C/WMTS connections – if you have some disk space to dedicate – it is a good idea to enable the cache in these few steps:

Go to the menu entry Settings >> Options:

Enabling the QGIS WMS cache - step 1

Enabling the QGIS WMS cache – step 1

Go to tab “Network“. Therein, in “Cache settings“, select the “Directory” and choose a folder for the cache files. Be sure that there is free space for lots of megabytes can be stored there over time. And this directory should ideally be located on a fast disk (if you have several).

Here I choose the existing “tmp/” folder in my HOME directory and create inside a new folder “qgis_wms_cache”:

Enabling the QGIS WMS cache - step 2

Enabling the QGIS WMS cache – step 2: create new “qgis_wms_cache” cache folder

Eventually we change the “Default expiration period for WMS-C/WMTS tiles (hours)” to more than 24 hours (as it would be rather useless…). Here I change to 24*30 = 720 hours. And the cache size we increase as well, here to 250MB (written as 250000 since it is to be given in kilobytes):

Enabling the QGIS WMS cache - step 3

Enabling the QGIS WMS cache – step 3: increase expiration period for tiles and cache size

Now we press “OK” and close the dialog. Time to try out a WMS service, zoom back and forth… and:
Enjoy!

The post Gaining more WMS speed through enabling the QGIS cache directory appeared first on GFOSS Blog | GRASS GIS Courses.

Speeding up QGIS build times with Ninja

As a developer, feedback is important when you are working.  The quicker you have the feedback the quicker you can fix the issues.  This doesn’t just apply to feedback from users/clients but also from your tooling.

Finding a new tool that increases my productivity is one of the best feelings, and this is one of those cases.   I was told about using Ninja for building instead Make, Visual Studio, Jom (Qt Build Tool).

If you are not a developer and don’t know what those tools are, they are what we use to build and compile all the code in QGIS.  If this step is slow the feedback loop is slow and it becomes annoying.  Improving this feedback loop greatly increases your workflow and happiness, and by happiness I really do mean that.

Ninja is one of these tools that did this. It’s optimized to be fast.  It does very little work in order to be faster any time it can.  Ninja was built by a developer on the Google Chrome team in order to improve their build times (read the history here)

Building QGIS with Ninja is super easy:

Install Ninja from package manager or using the ninja.exe (the whole tool is a single exe) if you are on windows

cd qgis-src
mkdir ninja-build
cd ninja-build
ccmake -GNinja ..
ninja

Done

You can build just the targets you need using

ninja qgis
ninja pycore

etc

The ccmake setup generates the ninja.build file that ninja uses. Myself and Matthias Kuhn have already patched our QGIS cmake files to handle any odd things that got generated – only a handful of things which was nice

The best thing I find about Ninja is how smart it is on knowing if it needs to build something or not, and this is the point that I find other tools fail on. They spend ages wasting time looking for what to do. Ninja knows it in a instant.

When running Ninja with no code changes I get this (on Windows):

21:18:54: Running steps for project qgis2.15.0...
21:18:54: Starting: &quot;C:\QtCreator\bin\ninja.exe&quot; qgis
ninja: no work to do.
21:18:54: The process &quot;C:\QtCreator\bin\ninja.exe&quot; exited normally.
21:18:54: Elapsed time: 00:00. 

Not even a second. If I did the same with VS or JOM I could have written this post before it finished working out what to do.

Here is what happens changing a single file:

21:19:48: Running steps for project qgis2.15.0...
21:19:48: Starting: &quot;C:\QtCreator\bin\ninja.exe&quot; qgis
[1/6] Building CXX object src\core\CMakeFiles\qgis_core.dir\raster\qgshillshaderenderer.cpp.obj
[2/6] Linking CXX shared library output\bin\qgis_core.dll
21:19:51: The process &quot;C:\QtCreator\bin\ninja.exe&quot; exited normally.
21:19:51: Elapsed time: 00:03.

It’s super impressive. Even a cold build on Windows is shorter now. On Linux it’s even faster due to faster disk access in Linux vs Windows

If you build QGIS form source I would highly recommend giving it a crack because I know you will love it.


Filed under: Open Source, qgis

How to create round maps in Print Composer

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen previews of my experiments with round maps. These experiments were motivated by a recent question on GIS.stackexchange whether this type of map can be created in QGIS and while it’s not very convenient right now, it is definitely possible:

http://www.quantarctica.org

All maps in this post are created using data from the Quantarctica project.

I’ve been planing to try the Quantarctica datasets for a long time and this use case is just perfect. When you download and open their project, you’ll see that they have already clipped all datasets to a circle around Antarctica:

Quantarctica project with some custom styling

Quantarctica project with some custom styling

Since the map of the full extent of the dataset is already clipped to a circle, the overview map is easy to deal with. The detail map on the other hand is rectangular by default:

circle_maps_start

Since we cannot change the shape of the map item, we have to use a mask instead. To create a circular mask, we can add an ellipse shape:

circle_maps_addellipse

The main challenge when creating the mask is that there is no inverted polygon renderer for shapes in print composer. I’ve evaluated to workarounds: First, I created a style with a wide white outline that would cover all map parts outside the circle shape. But this solution slowed the print composer down a lot. An alternative, which doesn’t suffer from this slowdown is using draw effects:

circle_maps_mask_style

In particular, I created a big outer glow effect:

circle_maps_mask_style_effect

Note that the effect only works if the symbol itself is not transparent. That’s why I set the symbol fill to black and used the Lighten blending mode:

circle_maps_mask

Voilà! Both maps appear are nicely circular.

It is worth noting though that this workaround has a downside: it is not possible to create automatic grids/graticules for these maps. The graticule in the overview map only works because it is a layer in the main project that was already clipped to the circular shape.

Finally, you can add more depth to your map by adding shadows. To create the shadow effect, I added additional ellipse items which are styled with a drop shadow draw effect. If you only enable the drop shadow effect, you will notice that the shadow is cut off at the ellipse bounding box. To avoid this undesired effect, you can add a transform effect, which reduces the size of the drawn shape and it’s shadow so that the shadow fits into the bounding box:

circle_maps_mask_shadow_effect

It requires some manual adjustments to place the shadow at the optimal location on top of the mask:

circle_maps_mask_shadow

Add another ellipse to create the shadow for the overview map.

For more cartography tips and tricks check my new book QGIS Map Design or join my QGIS training courses.


Agenda for 5th QGIS user group – Scotland

scottish thistleThe 5th QGIS user group meeting in Scotland takes place next Wednesday at the University of Glasgow.  It is being hosted by the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences and has been generously sponsored by thinkWhere and Ordnance Survey.  You can find the draft programme of talks and presentations here: 5th-QGIS-user-group-programme

All tickets are now gone but get on the waitlist and you may be lucky.

See you all there!


Interview: QGIS in journalism

Last year, I published the short post QGIS on the rise with journalists showcasing how QGIS is used by journalists with examples from the Los Angeles Times and Financial Times.

The latest QGIS case study now features an interview with Steven Bernard (Interactive Design Editor at the Financial Times) by A. Neumann and T. Sutton.

QGIS is now an integral part of our mapping workflow. (…) I would say 80% of our maps are now produced in QGIS. read more …

It’s great to see all the great examples of QGIS used to communicate international news. Thanks to everyone involved in this interview for sharing this case study with the community!


Styling maps in QGIS is better when it’s interactive

I’m sure you are all well aware of my hate of blocking dialogs, and when it comes to styling QGIS has a few and they annoy me to no end. With new fancy map making tools like MapBox and CartoDB all having nice non blocking styling options it’s about time QGIS followed suit to bring better control and faster workflows to users.

The first stage of the dock is complete, pending feedback of course, and merged into master.

Introducing the map styling dock:

2016-04-19 20_27_00-Action center

Having the style (label only at the moment) options in a dock widget opens up some really nice workflows to map styling.

Firstly, now you don’t have to do the Open -> Change Setting -> Apply -> Close -> Open dance each time you want to change a layer style.  The dock is linked to the active layer in the legend so you can move around freely, update settings, and move on.

Second, we can now have a great workflow and allow for live updating. Yes you did read that right, it will live update the map as you change values. How bloody great is that!  Reducing the feedback loop is always the best.  If it can be done live, do it live.  There is a Reset button if you make a mistake.

Third, all styling options will now live in a single location going forward. Once we have moved style, diagrams, blend modes, it will be a one stop shop for styles with no annoying dialogs getting in the way.

In QGIS 2.14 we also have this awesome feature for rule based labels, however that added another dialog, and I wasn’t going move to a dock just to have another dialog block me two steps down the road. So now all the rules based labels dialogs are panels inside the main dock. When adding a new rule it will show the rule editor, and the list when not.  Remember how I said the dock updates the map live, well that also applies when you add/update rules.  The dock will update the canvas as the rule changes even before you hit save on the rule

2016-04-19 20_48_36-Action center

2016-04-19 20_48_28-Action center

The new styling dock is in master now, although might not be in the nightly build for a day or so.

You can check out some videos of the dock in action here:

Super keen on any feedback and ideas anyone might have.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

EDIT: I would also like to add that what I have started/done is only possible because of the great work that has been done before me. Big thanks to all the people that have done work to enable me to make this feature,  label settings, threaded rendering, data defined buttons, etc.


Filed under: Open Source, qgis Tagged: qgis

Learning QGIS 3rd ed. discounts

In time for QGIS 2.14 (soon to be LTR), I have updated “Learning QGIS” to reflect the latest improvements of our favorite GIS.

To celebrate, we are giving away 100 copies of the book at 30% (for print) and 50% (for eBook) discount if you use the following codes:

30% off  the Print version
Code: prt30LeaQS

50% off the eBook version
Code: LeaQSebok50

(Codes are valid until 30th April 2016 or we’ve reached 100 copies.)

B05278_MockupCover_Normal


New demos: live labels & gradient editor

Following up on last week’s post, Nyall has continued his work on the QGIS gradient editor:

Latest version of the new QGIS interactive gradient edit. This now includes an interactive plot of the color hue/saturation/lightness/alpha, allowing a visual overview of these color components and easy editing.

Another equally awesome demo has been posted by Nathan, who is currently working on usability improvements for labeling and styling without blocking dialogs:

This is going to be great for map design work because it makes many complex styles much easier to create since you can interact with the map and attribute table at the same time.

These are definitely two developments to follow closely!


Towards better gradients

Interesting developments going on if you like creating your own gradients. After all, that’s not as easy as it might initially seem, as Gregor Aisch describes in his post “Mastering Multi-hued Color Scales with Chroma.js”:

The issues with simple color interpolations, which include nonuniform changes in lightness between classes, also haunt us in cartography. Just have a look at the map and legend on the left-hand side, which has been created using a normal custom QGIS gradient with colors ranging from black to red, yellow and finally white. We end up with three classes in yellow which are nearly impossible to tell apart:

comparing_ramps

For comparison, on the right side, I’ve used Gregor’s corrected color ramp, which ensures that lightness changes evenly from one class to the next.

Wouldn’t it be great if the built-in gradient tool in QGIS could correct for lightness? Too bad the current dialog is not that great:

My first reaction therefore was to write a short script to import gradients from Gregor’s Chroma.js Color Scale Helper into QGIS:

But we’ll probably have a much better solution in QGIS soon since Nyall Dawson has picked up the idea and is already working on a completely new version of the gradient tool. You can see a demo of the current work in progress here:

I’m really looking forward to trying this out once it hits master!


How to fix the Windows config for .qgs default program

This is a short tip for you if you use QGIS on Windows and ended up with an error like this:

The program can't start because qgis_app.dll is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix the problem.

Windows’ suggestion to reinstall probably won’t fix this issue. Instead, you want Windows to run qgis.bat instead of any .exe it is trying to use. Right-click a .qgs file and go to Open with | Choose default program:

Screenshot 2016-03-26 16.22.15

In OSGeo4W, the .bat file is located in the bin folder:

Screenshot 2016-03-26 16.27.01

Happy QGISing!


Creating dynamic icon series

Today’s post was motivated by a question on GIS.StackExchange, which is looking for an automated way to symbolize the amenities available at a location using a series of icons, like this:

Screenshot 2016-03-19 23.02.30

Assuming the information is available in  a format similar to this example attribute table

Screenshot 2016-03-19 23.02.00

we can create a symbol, which adapts to the values in the icon columns using data-defined overrides:

Screenshot 2016-03-19 23.04.17

The five potential symbol locations are aligned next to each other using offsets. We use the following expression to determine the correct SVG symbol:

CASE
WHEN "icon4" = 'dinner'
 THEN 'C:/OSGeo4W64/apps/qgis-dev/svg/entertainment/amenity=restaurant.svg'
WHEN "icon4" = 'sleep'
 THEN 'C:/OSGeo4W64/apps/qgis-dev/svg/accommodation/accommodation_hotel2.svg'
WHEN "icon4" = 'ship'
 THEN 'C:/OSGeo4W64/apps/qgis-dev/svg/transport/amenity=ferry_terminal.svg'
WHEN "icon4" = 'house'
 THEN 'C:/OSGeo4W64/apps/qgis-dev/svg/accommodation/accommodation_house.svg'
 ELSE  ''
END

To hide icons if the icon value is NULL, the marker size is set to 0 using, for example:

CASE
WHEN "icon4" is not NULL
 THEN 4
 ELSE 0
END

Finally, to ensure that the labels don’t cover the icons, we can use the cartographic label placement with the position priority set to ‘TR,TL,BL’, which restricts labels to the top right, top left, and bottom left position.

Screenshot 2016-03-19 23.04.43

With these settings in place, we can zoom out and the labeling algorithm picks the most suitable position from the list of allowed positions:

Screenshot 2016-03-19 23.02.11

For more cartography tips and tricks check my new book QGIS Map Design or join my QGIS training courses.


How to create a graduated renderer for polygon borders instead of fills

Today’s post was motivated by a recent question on the #gistribe Twitter chat:

So what’s the issue?

Default polygon symbols come with a fill and a border color:

Screenshot 2016-03-12 15.40.37

When they are used in a graduated renderer, the fill color is altered for each class:

Screenshot 2016-03-12 15.40.26

What if you want to change the border color instead?

The simplest solution is to add an outline symbol layer to your polygon symbol:

Screenshot 2016-03-12 15.40.46

The outline layer has only one color property and it will be altered by the graduated renderer.

If you now hit ok, the graduated renderer will alter both the simple fill’s fill color and the outline’s color. To stop the fill color from changing, select the simple fill and lock it using the small lock icon below the list of symbol layers:

Screenshot 2016-03-12 15.40.50

Voilà:

Screenshot 2016-03-12 15.40.58

For more cartography tips and tricks check my new book QGIS Map Design or join my QGIS training courses.


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