Related Plugins and Tags

QGIS Planet

QGIS and point clouds in MapScaping podcast

Listen to the latest developments in point clouds and QGIS from Martin Dobias: MapScaping podcast.

Martin Dobias, our CTO and the lead developer of 3D and point clouds integration in QGIS sat down with Daniel O’Donohue from Mapscaping to talk about point clouds and QGIS.

Martin discusses his early involvment with QGIS back in 2005 and how he started his journey to become a QGIS developer.

Plugin Update November 2022

The QGIS plugin repository currently lists 1739 plugins and the list keeps on growing. This month has been busy with 12 new plugins. It can be challenging to stay up to date.

Our monthly plugin update is meant to provide you a quick overview of the newest plugins. If any of the names or short descriptions piques your interest, you can find the direct link to the plugin page in the table below the screenshot.

BDOT10k
Wtyczka do pobierania danych BDOT10k. Plugin for downloading BDOT10k data.
DMI Open Data
This plugin lets you import data from DMIs Open Data
road2QGIS
Plugin faisant appel au calcul d’itinéraires du Géoportail pour intégration dans QGIS
NextGIS Points2One
Create lines and polygons from vertices.
Go Data Extraction
This is a Plugin for QGIS that enables users to log in to Go.Data and extract case data. Go.Data is an application which facilitates outbreak investigation, including field data collection, contact tracing, and visualization of chains of transmission.
LayerTree2JSON
Parse QGIS 3 project and write a JSON config file with layer information.
Tieosoitetyökalu
Tieosoitetyökalu-plugin hakee VKM-rajapinnasta osoitetietoja ja esittää niitä erilaisin tavoin QGIS:sissa.
Koordinates
Discover, view and clone Koordinates hosted data directly from QGIS.
GPS Replay
Allows replay of a previously logged GPS file (i.e. a NMEA text log).
Segment reshape tool
Tool to reshape toplogically connected segments
GBFS-NOW
GBFS-NOW
School placement multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA)
This plugin generates a customized site classification raster layer for educational facilities (schools).

How to contribute to QField

QField is a community-driven open-source project. It is free to share, use and modify and it will stay like that. The very essence of a community is to help and support each other. And that’s where YOU come into play. To make it work we need your support!

For those who don’t know much about the concept of open source projects, a bit of background. Investing in open-source projects is a technical and ethical decision for OPENGIS.ch. Open source is a technological advantage, as we receive input from many developers worldwide who are motivated to work out the best possible software. It prevents our customers from vendor lock-in and allows complete ownership and control of the developed software. And finally, not only financially independent businesses and people should benefit from professional software but also those who might not have the financial means to pay for features, and licences. 

You are not a developer, but you still like to use QField and support it? Good news. You don’t have to be a developer to use, contribute or recommend the app. There are plenty of things that need to be done to help QField to remain the powerful software it is right now and become even better. Here are a few suggestions on how you can give something back.

  1. Review the app ★★★★★ in google’s play store or apple’s app store
  2. Let the world know about it! It doesn’t matter if you’re on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or any other social media platform. Show and tell about where QField helped you. We appreciate every post and we promise to like, share and comment.
  3. Write about your experience and please let us know. Be it in your blog or as a new success story. Insights into field projects are extremely valuable. It helps us to make the app even more efficient for your work, and it helps others to understand the range of applications for QField.
  4. Register for a paid QFieldCloud account. QFieldCloud allows to synchronize and merge the data collected in QField. QFieldCloud is hosted by the makers of QField and by getting an account you help QField too.

Do you want to do something that is more hands-on and directly linked to the app? No problem. 

  1. Help with the documentation. You can document features, or improve the documentation in English. Read the how-to guide to get started.
  2. And if you are multilingual you might consider translating the documentation or the app in your language.
  3. Become a beta tester and be the first to report a bug! When something doesn’t work properly it might be a bug. The quicker we know about it, the faster it can be resolved.
  4. You can ask and answer questions on gis.stackexchange and help others on the user discussions platform.
  5. If you are a developer and you want to get involved in QField development, please refer to the individual documentation for QField, QFieldCloud and QFieldSync.

And now finally for those of you who have the financial means, you can either sponsor a feature or subscribe to one of the monthly sponsorships. By doing so you help get freshly baked QField versions straight to everyone’s devices.

Nothing in it for you? In that case, just drop by to say thank you or have a hot or cold beverage with us next time you meet OPENGIS.ch at a conference and you might make our day!
Want to know more about the idea of community-driven open-source projects and the QGIS project in particular? Check out Nyall Dawson’s blog post about how to effectively get things done in open source!

2.5.6 - Fancy Flamingo

Changes

🐛 Bug Fixes

  • Geometry editor rubberband fix (#3709)
  • Keep the feature form model alive when hiding form to digitize child geometry (#3705)

2.5.5 - Fancy Flamingo

Changes

🐛 Bug Fixes

  • Fix field constraints not ignored when field hidden
  • Fix freeze on old devices when clicking the layer tree (or toggling editing on)
  • Fix UI elements overlapping with bottom OS system bar
  • Fix iOS native camera / gallery failing when destination directory does not exist
  • Fix handling of unique constraints when adding child features in a newly-created parent feature
  • Fix clipping of QFieldCloud password text input
  • Fix checkbox editor widget regression

QGIS Relations, their Widgets and the Plugins of them

This blog post is about QGIS relations and how they are edited in the attribute form with widgets in general, as well as some plugins that override the relations editor widget to improve usability and solve specific use cases. The start is quite basic. If you are already a relation hero, then jump directly to the plugins.

QGIS Relations in General

Let’s have a look at a simple example data model. We have four entities: Building, Apartment, Address and Owner. In UML it looks like this:

  • A building can have none or multiple apartments, but an apartment must to be related to a building. This black box on the left describes the relation strength as a composition. An apartment cannot exist without a building. When a building is demolished, all apartments of it are demolished as well.
  • An apartment needs to be owned by at least one owner. An owner can own none or more apartments. This is a many-to-many relation and this means, it will be normalized by adding a linking (join) table in between.
  • A building can have an address (only one – no multiple entrances in this example). An address can refer to one building.
    Why not making one single table on a one-to-one relation? To ensure their existence independently: When a building is demolished, the address should persist until the new building is constructed.

Creating Relations in QGIS

In QGIS we have now five layers. The four entities and the linking table called “Apartment_Owner”.

Open Project > Properties… > Relations

With Discover Relations the possible relations are detected from the existing layers according to their foreign keys in the database. In this example no CASCADE is defined in the database what means that the relations strength is always “Association”.

Where would “Composition” make sense?

Of course in the relation “Apartment” to “Building”, to ensure that when a feature of “Building” is deleted, the children (“Apartment”) are deleted as well, because they cannot exist without a building. Also a duplication of a feature of “Building” would duplicate the children (“Apartment”) as well.

But as well on the linking (join) table “Apartment_Owner” and its relation to “Apartment” and “Owner” a composition would make sense. Because when a feature of “Apartment” or “Owner” is deleted, the entry in the linking table should be deleted as well. Because this connection does not exist anymore and otherwise this would lead to orphan entries in the linking table.

Walk through the widgets

To demonstrate the relation widgets Relation EditorRelation Reference and Value Relation we make a walk through the digitizing process.

Relation Editor

First we create a “Building” and call it “Garden Tower”. Then we add some “Apartments”.

The “Apartments” are created in the widget called Relation Editor. This shows us a list (similar to the QGIS Attribute Table) of all children (“Apartment”) referencing to this “Building”. We have here activated the possibilities to adddelete and duplicate child-features.

In the widget settings (Right-click on the layer > Properties… > Attribute Form) we see that there are other possibilities to link and unlink child-features as well as zoom to the current child-feature (what only would make sense when they have a geometry).

As well we can set here the cardinality. This will become interesting when we go to the “Owner” to “Apartment” relation. But let’s first have a look at the opposite of what we just did.

Relation Reference

When we open now a feature of “Apartment”, we see that we have a drop down to select the “Building” to reference to.

On the right of this drop down we can see some buttons. Those are for the following functionalities (from left to right):

  • Open the form of the current parent feature (in our case the “Building” feature called “Garden Tower”)
  • Add a new feature on the parent layer (in our case “Building”)
  • Highlight the parent layer (in our case “Building”) on the map
  • Select the parent feature (in our case “Building”) on the map to reference it

In the settings (Right-click on the layer > Properties… > Attribute Form) we see that we choose the configured relation to connect the child (“Apartment”) to the parent (“Building”). This won’t be needed with the widget Value Relation.

Value Relation

The Value Relation does not require a relation at all. We simply choose the “parent” layer (“Building”) its primary key as the key (“t_id”) and a descriptive field as the value (“Description”).

The result shows us a drop down as well to select the parent.

It is much easier to configure, but you can see the limitations. There are no such functionalities to control the parent feature like addidentify on map etc. As well you need to be careful to fulfill the foreign key constraint (you have to choose the correct field to link with). All this is given, when you build a Relation Reference on an existing relation.

Many-to-Many Relations

Now we link some “Owner” to our “Apartment”. We could create new ones like we did it for the “Apartment” in “Building” or we can link existing ones. For linking we choose the yellow link-button on the top of the Relation Editor.

This dialog looks similar to the Relation Editor widget. You have just to select the “Owner” you want to link to the “Apartment” by checking the yellow box. It’s a very powerful tool, but people are often confused about the load of functionality here and the selection that can be difficult to get used to (yellow boxes vs. blue index selection). For this case we extended the Relation Editor widget with a plugin.

Anyway after that we linked our features of the layer “Owner”.

Have you seen the linking table in between? Well, me neither. It’s completely invisible for the end user. This because of the cardinality setting I mentioned already. When we choose the linked table “Owner” instead of “Many to one relation”, then we can create and link the other parent (“Owner”) directly.

One-to-One Relation

A one-to-one relation like we have here between “Building” and “Address” is created in the database more or less like a normal one-to-many relation. This means one of the tables (in our case “Address”) has a foreign key pointing to the parent table (“Building”). There are tricks to fulfill the one-to-one maximum cardinality (like e.g. by setting a UNIQUE constraint on this foreign key column) but still in the QGIS user interface it looks like a one-to-many relation. It’s displayed in a normal Relation Editor widget.

Solutions could be so called “Joins”. Go to the settings (Right-click on the layer > Properties… > Joins)

Here you can join a layer of your choice and add the fields of this other layer (in our case “Address”) to your current feature form (of “Building”). So it appears to the user that it’s the same table containing fields of “Building” and “Address”.

Negative point about those joins are, that they are fault prone. You have to be careful with default values (e.g. on primary keys) of the joined layer. You cannot expect a fully reliable feature form like you have it in the Relation Editor. Here as well, we extended the Relation Editor widget with a plugin.

Plugins for Relation Editor Widgets

Since QGIS 3.18 the base class of the Relation Editor Widgets became abstract, what opened the possibility to use it in PyQGIS and derive it to super nice widgets handling specific use cases and improving the usability.

Linking Relation Editor Widget

As mentioned before, the QGIS stock dialog to link children is full of features but it can be overwhelming and difficult to use. Mostly because of the two selection possibilities in the list. A blue selection is for the currently displayed feature, and a yellow checkbox selection is for the features to be actually linked.

In collaboration with the Model Baker Group we wanted to improve the situation. But as we where unsure how the end solution should look like, so we decided to experiment in a plugin. The result is a link manger dialog, in which features can be linked and unlinked by moving them left and right. The effective link is created or destroyed when the dialog is accepted.

Find more information on the repository https://github.com/opengisch/qgis-linking-relation-editor

Ordered Relation Editor Widget

Sometimes the order of the children play a role on the project, and you want to have them displayed following that. For that there is the Ordered Relation Editor Widget. You can configure a field in the children to be used to order them. In the given example the field Floor was used to order Apartments. Reordering the fields by Drag&Drop would change the value of the configured field. Display name and optionally a path to an icon to be shown on the list can be configured by expression in the Attribute Form tab in the layer properties (Right-click on the layer > Properties… > Attribute Form).

Find more information on the repository https://github.com/opengisch/qgis-ordered-relation-editor

Document Management System Widgets

Often in QGIS projects there is the need to deal with external documents. This could be for example pictures, documentations or reports about some features. To support that we added two new tables in the project:

  • Documents each document is represented by a row in this table. The table has following fields:
    • id
    • path is the filename of the document.
  • DocumentsFeatures this is a linking (join) table and permits to link a document with one or more features in more layers. The table has following fields:
    • id
    • document_id id of the document.
    • feature_id id of the feature.
    • feature_layer layer of the feature.

Thanks to a QGIS feature named Polymorphic Relations we can link a document with features of multiple layers. The polymorphic relation can evaluate an expression to decide in which table will be the feature to link. Here a screenshot of the relation configuration:

After this configuration in the layers “Apartment” and “Building” it will be possible to link children from the “Documents” table. The document management plugin provides two widgets to simplify the handling of the relation. In the feature side widget the documents are displayed as a grid or list. If possible a preview of the contend is shown and you can add new documents via Drag&Drop from the system file manager. Double-click on a document will open it in the default system viewer.

The second widget is meant to be used in the Feature Form of the “Documents” table, and it permits to handy see, for each document, with which feature from which layer it is linked.

Find more information on the repository https://github.com/opengisch/qgis-document-management-system-plugin

That’s it

Well then. We hope that all the beginners reading this article received some light on QGIS Relations and all the advanced user some inspiration on the immense possibilities you have with QGIS 🙂

QGIS 3.28 improvements for working with ESRI formats and services

The QGIS 3.28 release is an extremely exciting release for all users who work in mixed software workplaces, or who need to work alongside users of ESRI software. In this post we’ll be giving an overview of all the new tools and features introduced in 3.28 which together result in a dramatic improvement in the workflows and capabilities in working with ESRI based formats and services. Read on for the full details…!

Before we begin, we’d like to credit the following organisations for helping fund these developments in QGIS 3.28:

  • Naturstyrelsen, Denmark
  • Provincie Gelderland, Netherlands
  • Uppsala Universitet, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History
  • Gemeente Amsterdam
  • Provincie Zuid-Holland, Netherlands

FileGeodatabase (GDB) related improvements

The headline item here is that QGIS 3.28 introduces support for editing, managing and creating ESRI FileGeodatabases out of the box! While older QGIS releases offered some limited support for editing FileGeodatabase layers, this required the manual installation of a closed source ESRI SDK driver… which unfortunately resulted in other regressions in working with FileGeodatabases (such as poor layer loading speed and random crashes). Now, thanks to an incredible reverse engineering effort by the GDAL team, the open-source driver for FileGeodatabases offers full support for editing these datasets! This means all QGIS users have out-of-the-box access to a fully functional, high-performance read AND write GDB driver, no further action or trade-offs required.

Operations supported by the GDAL open source driver include:

  • Editing existing features, with full support for editing attributes and curved, 3D and measure-value geometries
  • Creating new features
  • Deleting features
  • Creating, adding and modifying attributes in an existing layer
  • Full support for reading and updating spatial indexes
  • Creating new indexes on attributes
  • “Repacking” layers, to reduce their size and improve performance
  • Creating new layers in an existing FileGeodatabase
  • Removing layers from FileGeodatabases
  • Creating completely new, empty FileGeodatabases
  • Creating and managing field domains

On the QGIS side, the improvements to the GDAL driver meant that we could easily expose feature editing support for FileGeodatabase layers for all QGIS users. While this is a huge step forward, especially for users in mixed software workplaces, we weren’t happy to rest there when we  had the opportunity to further improve GDB support within QGIS!

So in QGIS 3.28 we also introduced the following new functionality when working with FileGeodatabases:

FileGeodatabase management tools

QGIS 3.28 introduces a whole range of GUI based tools for managing FileGeodatabases. To create a brand new FileGeodatabase, you can now right click on a directory from the QGIS Browser panel and select New – ESRI FileGeodatabase:

After creating your new database, a right click on its entry will show a bunch of available options for managing the database. These include options for creating new tables, running arbitrary SQL commands, and database-level operations such as compacting the database:

You’re also able to directly import existing data into a FileGeodatabase by simply dragging and dropping layers onto the database!

Expanding out the GDB item will show a list of layers present in the database, and present options for managing the fields in those layers. Alongside field creation, you can also remove and rename existing fields.

Field domain handling

QGIS 3.28 also introduces a range of GUI tools for working with field domains inside FileGeodatabases. (GeoPackage users also share in the love here — these same tools are all available for working with field domains inside this standard format too!) Just right click on an existing FileGeodatabase (or GeoPackage) and select the “New Field Domain” option. Depending on the database format, you’ll be presented with a list of matching field domain types:

Once again, you’ll be guided through a user-friendly dialog allowing you to create your desired field domain!

After field domains have been created, they can be assigned to fields in the database by right-clicking on the field name and selecting “Set Field Domain”:

Field domains can also be viewed and managed by expanding out the “Field domains” option for each database.

Relationship discovery

Another exciting addition in QGIS 3.28 (and the underlying GDAL 3.6 release) is support for discovering database relationships in FileGeodatabases! (Once again, GeoPackage users also benefit from this, as we’ve implemented full support for GeoPackage relationships via the “Related Tables Extension“).

Expanding out a database containing any relationships will show a list of all discovered relationships:

(You can view the full description and details for any of these relationships by opening the QGIS Browser “Properties” panel).

Whenever QGIS 3.28 discovers relationships in the database, these related tables will automatically be added to your project whenever any of the layers which participate in the relationship are opened. This means that users get the full experience as designed for these databases without any manual configuration, and the relationships will “just work”!

Dataset Grouping

Lastly, we’ve improved the way layers from FileGeodatabases are shown in QGIS, so that layers are now grouped according to their original dataset groupings from the database structure:

Edit ArcGIS Online / Feature Service layers

While QGIS has had read-only support for viewing and working with the data in ArcGIS Online (AGOL) vector layers and ArcGIS Server “feature service” layers for many years, we’ve added support for editing these layers in QGIS 3.28. This allows you to take advantage of all of QGIS’ easy to use, powerful editing tools and directly edit the content in these layers from within your QGIS projects! You can freely create new features, delete features, and modify the shape and attributes of existing features (assuming that your user account on the ArcGIS service has these edit permissions granted, of course). This is an exciting addition for anyone who has to work often with content in ArcGIS services, and would prefer to directly manipulate these layers from within QGIS instead of the limited editing tools available on the AGOL/Portal platforms themselves.

This new functionality will be available immediately to users upon upgrading to QGIS 3.28 — any users who have been granted edit capabilities for the layers will see that the QGIS edit tools are all enabled and ready for use without any further configuration on the QGIS client side.

Filtering Feature Service layers

We’ve also had the opportunity to introduce filter/query support for Feature Service layers in QGIS 3.28. This is a huge performance improvement for users who need to work with a subset of a features from a large Feature Service layer. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the Feature Service protocol, these layers can often be slow to load and navigate on a client side. By setting a SQL filter to limit the features retrieved from the service the performance can be dramatically increased, as only matching features will ever be requested from the backend server. You can use any SQL query which conforms to the subset of SQL understood by ArcGIS servers (see the Feature Service documentation for examples of supported SQL queries).

 

What’s next?

While QGIS 3.28 is an extremely exciting release for any users who need to work alongside ESRI software, we aren’t content to rest here! The exciting news is that in QGIS 3.30 we’ll be introducing a GUI driven approach allowing users to create new relationships in their FileGeodatabase (and GeoPackage!) databases.

At North Road we’re always continuing to improve the cross-vendor experience for both ESRI and open-source users through our continued work on the QGIS desktop application and our SLYR conversion suite. If you’d like to chat to us about how we can help your workplace transition from a fully ESRI stack to a mixed or fully open-source stack, just contact us to discuss your needs.

2.5.4 - Fancy Flamingo

Changes

🐛 Bug Fixes

  • Fix regression with QML and HTML containers not displaying in feature forms
  • Fix initial extent when opening individual datasets with single-point (or multiple points at same location)

Visualizing trajectories with QGIS & MobilityDB

In the previous post, we — creatively ;-) — used MobilityDB to visualize stationary IOT sensor measurements.

This post covers the more obvious use case of visualizing trajectories. Thus bringing together the MobilityDB trajectories created in Detecting close encounters using MobilityDB 1.0 and visualization using Temporal Controller.

Like in the previous post, the valueAtTimestamp function does the heavy lifting. This time, we also apply it to the geometry time series column called trip:

SELECT mmsi,
    valueAtTimestamp(trip, '2017-05-07 08:55:40') geom,
    valueAtTimestamp(SOG, '2017-05-07 08:55:40') SOG
FROM "public"."ships"

Using this SQL query, we again set up a — not yet Temporal Controller-controlled — QueryLayer.

To configure Temporal Controller to update the timestamp in our SQL query, we again need to run the Python script from the previous post.

With this done, we are all set up to animate and explore the movement patterns in our dataset:


This post is part of a series. Read more about movement data in GIS.

2.5.3 - Fancy Flamingo

Changes

🐛 Bug Fixes

  • Fix Bluetooth scanning on devices running Android >= 12
  • Fix multi-line text editor widget
  • Fix wrong magnetic variation value with internal GNSS devices

MovingPandas v0.12 released!

The latest v0.12 release is now available from conda-forge.

This release contains some really cool new features, including:

  • New function to add an acceleration column #253
  • We have further improved our repo setup by adding an action that automatically creates and publishes packages from releases, heavily inspired by the work of the GeoPandas team.
  • Last but not least, we’ve created a Twitter account for the project. (And might soon add a Mastodon account as well.)

As always, all tutorials are available from the movingpandas-examples repository and on MyBinder:

If you have questions about using MovingPandas or just want to discuss new ideas, you’re welcome to join our discussion forum.

QField 2.5 is here, reaching new heights

Our ninjas have been so busy that less than a month after we released QField 2.4, we find ourselves with so many new features we simply can’t wait any longer to present to you the latest version of QField: 2.5 “Fancy Flamingo 🦩”.

Exciting new features

QField’s main new feature of this 2.5 release cycle is its brand new elevation profiling functionality which has been added to the measuring tool. Users are now able to dynamically build and analyze elevation profiles wherever they are – in the field or on their desktop – by simply drawing paths onto their maps and projects.

This is a great example of QField’s capability at bringing the power of QGIS through a UI that keeps things simple and avoids being in your way until you need it. Oh and while we’re speaking of the measuring tool, check out the new azimuth measurement!

This new version also brings multi-column support to feature forms. QField now respects the number of columns set by users in the attributes’ drag and drop designer while building and tweaking projects in QGIS. The implementation will take into account the screen availability and on narrow devices will revert to a one-column setup. Pro tip: try to change the background color of your individual groups to ease understanding of the overall feature form.

Another highlight of this release is a brand new screen lock action that can be triggered through QField’s main menu found in the side dashboard or in the map canvas menu shown when long pressing on the map itself. Once activated, QField will become unresponsive to touch and mouse events while keeping the display turned on. When locked, QField also hides tool buttons which results in a more complete view of the map extent.

Stability improvements

As with every release, our ninjas have been spending time hunting nasty bugs and improving stability and QField 2.5 is no exception. In particular, the feature form should feel more reliable and even more polished.

2.5.2 - Fancy Flamingo

Changes

🐛 Bug Fixes

  • Feature form fixes and optimizations
  • Nicer in-app QFieldCloud registration process

2.5.1 - Fancy Flamingo

🐛 Bug fixes

  • Fix occasional crash when activating the measuring tool
  • Further feature form stability fixes

View and track changes in QGIS

With the recent changes to the Mergin Maps plugin for QGIS, you can visualise the local changes before synchronising your data.

Have you ever been in the situation when, after making a lot of changes in your Mergin Maps project, you hesitate to press Sync button because you are not sure that all required changes are made or afraid that some unwanted edits were introduced? Or maybe you need to review the work done and see what actually have changed between two versions? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes” then you will like the changes visualisation functionality we introduced in the 2022.4 version of the Mergin Maps plugin for QGIS.

Changes visualisation functionality comes handy in two use-cases: revising local changes made in the Mergin Maps project before syncing them with the server and getting a list of changes between two versions of the project. Let’s take a closer look at this feature.

Local changes visualisation

While working with Mergin Maps project, the user can at any time revise their current changes made locally. First, make sure that all your layer’s edits are saved (committed) as currently viewing of the unsaved changes is not supported. Then right-click on any vector layer and select “Show Local Changes” entry in the context menu.

Accessing local changes from context menu

Accessing local changes from context menu

This will open the Changes Viewer dialog. Each vector layer with local changes has its own tab in the Changes Viewer dialog, the name of the tab matches the layer name and also contains information about the number of changes in this specific layer. Local changes are shown on the map and in the tabular form, to distinguish different types of edits a following color codes are used: inserts (new features) are green, edits orange and deletions red. It is possible to enlarge or reduce the size of the map and table by dragging the splitter between them, splitter position is applied to all tabs and will be saved and reused on the further dialog calls.

Features added, deleted and modified in map and tabular views

Features added, deleted and modified in map and tabular views

Map canvas in the Changes Viewer dialog supports basic operations like panning as well as zooming in and out. By default, all project layers are shown on the map to provide better context, but it is possible to toggle their visibility by unchecking the “Toggle Project Layers” button in the toolbar above the map. When this button is unchecked, only changes from the current vector layer are shown.

If, after some panning/zooming, you need to return to the extent where all changes are visible — press “Zoom Full” button. Also, it is possible to select a specific feature(s) in the table below map and zoom to them by clicking the “Zoom To Selection” button. Finally, changes can be added as a new memory layer to the current project. To do so, click “Add to project” button and choose one of the options: add changes from the current layer or add all changes from all layers. For each changed layer, a new memory layer will be added to the current project. These changes layers will preserve the same color coding for features and attribute table as used in the Changes Viewer dialog. Please note, that these layers should be manually removed from the project before the sync, unless it is your intention to make them a part of your Mergin Maps project. Another way to revise local changes is to open Changes Viewer from the Project Status dialog by clicking “View Changes” button.

Mergin Maps Processing tools

Sometimes one may want to export local changes as a vector layer and save that file for further usage. Of course, this can be done with the help of Changes Viewer dialog, but it is time-consuming, especially when the Mergin Maps project has many layers or if there is a need to check local changes in several projects. To cover this use-case, we also provide “Extract local changes” tool. This tool is a part of the Mergin Maps QGIS plugin and can be found under the “Mergin Maps” group in the Processing Toolbox.

Mergin Maps Processing tools to create changeset

Mergin Maps Processing tools to create changeset

In the tool dialog you need to specify a directory with your Mergin Maps project, select a layer of interest either choosing from available layer or selecting a GeoPackage file in the project directory and layer in this file.

Processing tool to extract local changes

Processing tool to extract local changes

An output layer containing local changes will be created as a temporary or regular layer and added to the current project. This layer will have the same styling (both for features and attribute table) as the layers produced by Changes Viewer dialog.

Result of the local change processing tool

Result of the local change processing tool

The “Create diff” tool comes handy when you need to revise the changes between two versions of the layer in the Mergin Maps project. This tool is also a part of the Mergin Maps QGIS plugin, and it is implemented as a Processing algorithm. The “Create diff” tool can be found under the “Mergin Maps” group in the Processing Toolbox.

The tool dialog is quite similar to the “Extract local changes” tool dialog. Fill in input values: directory of your Mergin Maps project, layer of interest, start and end version numbers. Finally, specify location of the output vector layer or leave the field empty if you want it as a temporary layer in your current project. After clicking “Run” the tool will query the server for information and generate a vector layer containing all changes made between specified layer versions. For example, if some field value was changed in one version and then the same field was changed again in another version, then only the last change will be shown in the output changes file.

This feature is an another step in our ongoing efforts to create an easy-to-use tool for collaborative data collection and data management. If you need help or want to share your experience with Mergin Maps QGIS plugin, please join us in the community chatroom, and we will be happy to hear your thoughts.

2.5.0 - Fancy Flamingo

🚀 New features

25

  • Elevation profiling of terrain and layers (#3501)
  • Multi-column support in feature form (#3518)
  • Measuring tool display azimuth values (#3503)
  • Locked screen mode to avoid accidental touches while QField is in your pocket (#3507)
  • Customize number of items shown in the feature form’s relation editor widget (#3520)

Improvements

  • Handling of feature form group’s background color
  • Improved viewing resolution of GeoPDFs and georeferenced PDFs datasets
  • Font sizing on Windows, Linux, and MacOS
  • NULL state for the feature form’s checkbox widget
  • New feature handling of default values improved to match QGIS behavior

🐛 Bug fixes

  • Fix default value relying on positioning variables updated on feature edits
  • Fix external GNSS receiver’s ellipsoidal elevation regression
  • More feature form-related bugs addressed, simply too many to list

Plugin Update October 2022

The QGIS plugin repository currently lists 1728 plugins and the list keeps on growing. October has been busy with 15 new plugins. It can be challenging to stay up to date.

Our monthly plugin update is meant to provide you a quick overview of the newest plugins. If any of the names or short descriptions piques your interest, you can find the direct link to the plugin page in the table below the screenshot.

Query Tool
The plugin is used to extract clusters (Tie) on shapefile issue for the Pavemetrics inspections systems.
NextGIS IdentifyPlus
Extended identify tool. Show photos and other attachments stored in your Web GIS right in QGIS. Developed by NextGIS.
MapBiomas Collection Official
This plugin lets you add the anual land use and land cover maps from the MapBiomas Project (http://mapbiomas.org/) as a collection of WMS layer.
FLINTpro Datacheck
This plugin is designed for FLINTpro users to easily check the compatibility of data for uploading to FLINTpro.
Selection Sets Reloaded
Plugin for saving and loading selection sets for layers.
Deepness: Deep Neural Remote Sensing
Inference of deep neural network models (ONNX) for segmentation, detection and regression
Create points on arcs’ intersection
The plugin creates a new layer with points on arcs’ intersection within the same layer
Download data from IBGE
This plugin downloads data from IBGE
QGIS-GMSH
This is a plugin to interract with the GMSH mesh generator (see http://geuz.org/gmsh).
Replace Geometry
Replaces a geometry keeping the attributes unchanged
SensorThings API
The plugin enables QGIS to access dynamic data from sensors, using SensorThings API protocol (https://www.ogc.org/standards/sensorthings)
Fast Field Filler
The plugin was created to quickly fill in the fields in the attribute table.
Nearest Neighbor Method for Linear Features (NNMLF)
This plugin estimates the spatial distribution pattern of linear features.
NDFF Connector Plugin
This connector uses the NDFF-Connector library to create all needed configuration and settings to connect to the NDFF api, to upload Observations/Waarnemingen
Zone Label
This plugin allows to split and manually label rectangular areas.

SLYR Update — November 2022

Our SLYR tool is the complete solution for full compatibility between ArcMap, ArcGIS Pro and QGIS. It offers a powerful suite of conversion tools for opening ESRI projects, styles and other documents directly within QGIS, and for exporting QGIS documents for use in ESRI software.

A lot has changed since our last SLYR product update post, and we’ve tons of very exciting improvements and news to share with you all! In this update we’ll explore some of the new tools we’ve added to SLYR, and discuss how these tools have drastically improved the capacity for users to migrate projects from the ESRI world to the open-source world (and vice versa).

ArcGIS Pro support

The headline item here is that SLYR now offers a powerful set of tools for working with the newer ArcGIS Pro document formats. Previously, SLYR offered support for the older ArcMap document types only (such as MXD, MXT, LYR, and PMF formats). Current SLYR versions now include tools for:

Directly opening ArcGIS Pro .lyrx files within QGIS

LYRX files can be dragged and dropped directly onto a QGIS window to add the layer to the current project. All the layer’s original styling and other properties will be automatically converted across, so the resultant layer will be an extremely close match to the original ArcGIS Pro layer! SLYR supports vector layers, raster layers, TIN layers, point cloud layers and vector tile layers. We take great pride in just how close the conversion results are to how these layers appear in ArcGIS Pro… in most cases you’ll find the results are nearly pixel perfect!

In addition to drag-and-drop import support, SLYR also adds support for showing .lyrx files directly in the integrated file browser, and also adds tools to the QGIS Processing Toolbox so that users can execute bulk conversion operations, or include document conversion in their models or custom scripts.

ArcGIS Pro map (mapx) and project (aprx) conversion

Alongside the LYRX support, we’ve also added support for the ArcGIS Pro .mapx and .aprx formats. Just like our existing .mxd conversion, you can now easily convert entire ArcGIS Pro maps for direct use within QGIS! SLYR supports both the older ArcGIS Pro 2.x project format and the newer 3.x formats.

Export from QGIS to ArcGIS Pro!

Yes, you read that correctly… SLYR now allows you to export QGIS documents into ArcGIS Pro formats! This is an extremely exciting development… for the first time ever QGIS users now have the capacity to export their work into formats which can be supplied directly to ESRI users. Current SLYR versions support conversion of map layers to .lyrx format, and exporting entire projects to the .mapx format. (We’ll be introducing support for direct QGIS to .aprx exports later this year.)

We’re so happy to finally provide an option for QGIS users to work alongside ArcGIS Pro users. This has long been a pain point for many organisations, and has even caused organisations to be ineligible to tender for jobs which they are otherwise fully qualified to do (when tenders require provision of data and maps in ArcGIS compatible formats).

ArcGIS Pro .stylx support

Alongside the other ArcGIS Pro documents, SLYR now has comprehensive support for reading and writing ArcGIS Pro .stylx databases. We’ve dedicated a ton of resources in ensuring that the conversion results (both from ArcGIS Pro to QGIS and from QGIS to ArcGIS Pro) are top-notch, and we even handle advanced ArcGIS Pro symbology options like symbol effects!

Take a look below how even very advanced ArcGIS Pro style libraries convert beautifully to QGIS symbol libraries:

ArcMap Improvements

While we’ve been focusing heavily on the newer ArcGIS Pro formats, we’ve also improved our support for the older ArcMap documents. In particular, SLYR now offers more options for converting ArcMap annotation layers and annotation classes to QGIS supported formats. Users can now convert Annotation layers and classes directly over to QGIS annotation layer or alternatively annotation classes can be converted over to the OGC standard GeoPackage format. When exporting annotation classes to GeoPackage the output database is automatically setup with default styling rules, so that the result can be opened directly in QGIS and will be immediately visualised to match the original annotation class.

Coming soon…

While all the above improvements are already available for all SLYR license holders, we’ve got many further improvements heading your way soon! For example, before the end of 2022 we’ll be releasing another large SLYR update which will introduce support for exporting QGIS projects directly to ArcGIS Pro .aprx documents. We’ve also got many enhancements planned which will further improve the quality of the converted documents. Keep an eye on this blog and our social media channels for more details as they are available…

You can read more about our SLYR tool at the product page, or contact us today to discuss licensing options for your organisation.

 

Creating circular insets and other fun QGIS layout tricks

Thanks to the recent popularity of the “30 Day Map Challenge“, the month of November has become synonymous with beautiful maps and cartography. During this November we’ll be sharing a bunch of tips and tricks which utilise some advanced QGIS functionality to help create beautiful maps.

One technique which can dramatically improve the appearance of maps is to swap out rectangular inset maps for more organic shapes, such as circles or ovals.

Back in 2020, we had the opportunity to add support for directly creating circular insets in QGIS Print Layouts (thanks to sponsorship from the City of Canning, Australia!). While this functionality makes it easy to create non-rectangular inset maps the steps, many QGIS users may not be aware that this is possible, so we wanted to highlight this functionality for our first 30 Day Map Challenge post.

Let’s kick things off with an example map. We’ve shown below an extract from the 2032 Brisbane Olympic Bid that some of the North Road team helped create (on behalf of SMEC for EKS). This map is designed to highlight potential venues around South East Queensland and the travel options between these regions:

Venue Masterplan Brisbane 2032 Olympics
Venue Masterplan for 2032 Olympic Games, IOC Feasibility Assessment – Olympic Games, Brisbane February 2021

Circles featured heavily in previous Olympic bid maps (such as Budapest) where we took our inspiration from. This may, or may not, play a part in using the language of the target map audience – think Olympic rings!

Budapest Olympics 2024 MasterplanBudapest Olympics 2024 Masterplan

 

Step by Step Guide to Creating a Circle Inset

Firstly, prepare a print layout with both a main map and an inset map. Make sure that your inset map is large enough to cover your circular shape:

From the Print Layout toolbar, click on the Add Shape button and then select Add Ellipse:

Draw the ellipse over the middle of your inset map (hint: holding down Shift while drawing the ellipse will force it to a circular shape!). If you didn’t manage to create an exact circle then you can manually specify the width and height in the shape item’s properties. For this one, we went with a 50mm x 50mm circle:

Next, select the Inset Map item and in its Item Properties click on the Clipping Settings button:

In the Clipping Settings, scroll down to the second section and tick the Clip to Item box and select your Ellipse item from the list. (If you have labels shown in your inset map you may also want to check the “force labels inside clipping shape” option to force these labels inside the circle. If you don’t check this option then labels will be allowed to overflow outside of the circle shape.)

Your inset map will now be bound to the ellipse!

Here’s a bit more magic you could add to this map – in the Main Map’s properties, click on Overviews and set create one for the Inset map – it will nicely show the visible circular area and not the rectangle!

Bonus Points: Circular Title Text!

For advanced users, we’ve another fun tip…and when we say fun, we mean ‘let’s play with radians’! Here we’re going to create some title text and a wedged background which curves around the outside of our circular inset. This takes some fiddly playing around, but the end result can be visually striking! Here we’re going to push the QGIS print layout “HTML” item to create some advanced graphics, so some HTML and CSS coding experience is advantageous. (An alternative approach would be to use a vector illustration application like Inkscape, and add your title and circular background as an SVG item in the print layout).

We’ll start by creating some curved circular text:

First, add a “HTML frame” to your print layout:

HTML frames allow placement of dynamic content in your layouts, which can use HTML, CSS and JavaScript to create graphical components.

In the HTML item’s “source” box, add the following code:

<svg height="300" width="350">
        <defs>
            <clipPath id="circleView">
                <circle id="curve" cx="183" cy="156" r="25" fill="transparent" />
            </clipPath>
        </defs>
        <path id="forText" d="M 28,150, C 25,50, 180,-32,290,130" stroke="" fill="none"/>
            <text x="0" y="35" width="100">
                <textpath xlink:href="#forText">
                    <tspan font-weight="bold" fill="black">Place text here</tspan>
                </textpath>
            </text>
             <style>
    <![CDATA[
      text{
        dominant-baseline: hanging;
        font: 20px Arial;
      }
    ]]>
  </style>
</svg>

Now, let’s add in a background to bring more focus onto the title!

To add in the background, create another HTML item. We’ll again create the arc shape using an SVG element, so add the following code into the item’s source box:

<svg width="750" height="750" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg">
  <path d="M 90 70
           A 56 56, 0, 0, 0, 133 140
           L 150 90 Z" fill="#414042" transform=" scale(2.1) rotate(68 150 150) " />/>
</svg>

(You can read more about SVG  curves and arcs paths over at MDN)

So there we go! These two techniques can help push your QGIS map creations further and make it easier to create beautiful cartography directly in QGIS itself. If you found these tips useful, keep an eye on this blog as we post more tips and tricks over the month of November. And don’t forget to follow the 30 day Map Challenge for a smorgasbord of absolutely stunning maps.

Best of Swiss Enterprise App Award for QField

What a night it was. The “Best of Swiss Apps Awards” took place in Zurich yesterday, November 2, 2022. We were also nominated with QField. And in the enterprise category, the app was so convincing, that it was awarded the highest possible price. So it brought the award “Best of Swiss Enterprise App” home to Graubünden. And as cherry on the cake: QField was also nominated as finalist in the UX/UI category!

We are extremely proud and happy about the received award. And even more when we look at the contendants that won in the other categories. We’re talking companies like SBB, Swiss Life, Switzerland Tourism and, yes, Rivella 🙂.

You can check out all results at https://www.bestofswissapps.ch/bosa/hall-of-fame

If you are interested in more details, we released a press release in German and in English.

QField is an open source mobile app. The app is designed to use and edit geographically referenced data. In urban environments with 5G connectivity, but also with offline data. The mobile GIS app combines minimal design for simplicity with sophisticated technology for a versatile range of uses to bring data conveniently from the field to the offices. The app was started in 2011 and received a major rebuild in 2022.

QField is mainly funded by customer feature requests, support contracts and sponsoring and is continuously improved an released for Android, iOS, Windows, MacOS and Linux.

It offers a seamless QGIS integration and is GPS-centric, with offline functionality, synchronisation options and desktop configuration. QField is designed for fieldwork: simple, but uncompromising. The app is used internationally and is the first choice for mobile GIS projects. In the city, in the countryside and in the forest.

Soon, QFieldCloud will also be launched. QFieldCloud is a cloud service integrated into QField that enables the remote provision and synchronisation of geodata and projects.

And here some moments of the award night. It was a blast!

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