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QGIS Planet

Securely accessing ArcGIS Online (AGOL) and enterprise ArcGIS Portal sites through QGIS (2022 update!)

We’re often contacted for advice regarding our recommendations for securely accessing content on ArcGIS Online (AGOL) or enterprise ArcGIS Portal deployments from within QGIS. While we ran through our recommended setup in an older post, we thought it was time for a 2022 update for our recommendations. In this version we’ve updated some of the descriptions and screenshots for newer QGIS releases, and have added explicit instructions on accessing ArcGIS Online content too.

This post details step-by-step instructions in setting up both AGOL/ArcGIS Portal and QGIS to enable this integration. First, we’ll need to create an application on the server in order to enable QGIS users to securely authenticate with the server. The process for this varies between AGOL and ArcGIS Portal, so we’ve separated the guidelines into two sections below:

ArcGIS Portal

Creating an application

Logon to the Portal, and from the “Content” tab, click the “Add Item” option. Select “An application” from the drop down list of options:

Set the type of the application as “Desktop

You can fill out the rest of this dialog as you see fit. Suggested values are:

  • Purpose: Ready to Use
  • Platform: Qt
  • URL: https://qgis.org
  • Tags: QGIS, Desktop, etc

Now – here comes a trick. Portal will force you to attach a file for the application. It doesn’t matter what you attach here, so long as it’s a zip file. While you could attach a zipped copy of the QGIS installer, that’s rather wasteful of server space! We’d generally just opt for a zip file containing a text file with a download link in it.

Click Add Item when you’re all done filling out the form, and the new application should be created on the Portal.

Registering the Application

The next step is to register the application on Portal, so that you can obtain the keys required for the OAuth2 logon using it. From the newly created item’s page, click on the “Settings” tab:

Scroll right to the bottom of this page, and you should see a “Register” button. Press this. Set the “App type” to “Native“.

Add two redirect URIs to the list (don’t forget to click “Add” after entering each!):

  1. The Portal’s public address, e.g. https://mydomain.com/portal
  2. http://127.0.0.1:7070

Finally, press the “Register” button in the dialog. If all goes well then the App Registration section in the item settings should now be populated with details. From here, copy the “App ID” and “Secret” strings, we’ll need these later:

Determine Request URLs

One last configuration setting we’ll need to determine before we fire up QGIS is the Portal’s OAuth Request and Token URLs. These are usually found by appending /sharing/rest/oauth2/authorize and /sharing/rest/oauth2/token to the end of your Portal’s URL.

For instance, if your public Portal URL is http://mydomain.com/portal, then the URLs will be:

Request URL: http://mydomain.com/portal/sharing/rest/oauth2/authorize
Token URL: http://mydomain.com/portal/sharing/rest/oauth2/token

You should be able to open both URLs directly in a browser. The Request URL will likely give a “redirect URL not specified” error, and the Token URL will give a “client_id not specified” error. That’s ok — it’s enough to verify that the URLs are correct.

When this is all done we can skip ahead to the client-side configuration below.

ArcGIS Online (AGOL)

Registering an application on AGOL must be done by an account administrator. So first, we’ll logon to AGOL using an appropriate account, and then head over to the “Content” tab. We’ll then hit the “New Item” button to start creating our application:

From the available item types select the “Application” option:

We’ll then select the “Mobile” application type, and enter “https://qgis.org” as the application URL (it actually doesn’t matter what we enter here!):

Lastly, we can enter a title for the application and complete all the metadata options as desired, then hit the “Save” button to create the application. AGOL should then take us over to the applications content page (if not, just open that page manually). From the application summary page, click across to the “Settings” tab:

Scroll right down to the “App Registration” section at the bottom of this page and click the “Register” button:

Leave the “App Type” as browser, and then enter the following “Redirect URIs”:

  • localhost
  • http://127.0.0.1:7070
  • https://127.0.0.1:7070

 

Hit the “Register” button to continue

You’ll be taken back to the application Settings page, but should now see an App ID value and option to show the App Secret. Hit the “Show Secret” option now, then copy the “App ID” and “App Secret” strings as we’ll need these later:

We’re all done on the AGOL side now, so it’s time to fire up QGIS!

Creating an QGIS OAuth2 Authentication Configuration

From your QGIS application, select Options from the Settings menu. Select the Authentication tab. We need to create a new authentication configuration, so press the green + button on the right hand side of the dialog. You’ll get a new dialog prompting you for Authentication details.

You may be asked to create a “Master Password” when you first create an authentication setup. If so, create a secure password there before continuing.

There’s a few tricks to this setup. Firstly, it’s important to ensure that you use the exact same settings on all your client machines. This includes the authentication ID field, which defaults to an auto-generated random string. (While it’s possible to automatically deploy the configuration as part of a startup or QGIS setup script, we won’t be covering that here!).

So, from the top of the dialog, we’ll fill in the “Name” field with a descriptive name of the Portal site. You then need to “unlock” the “Id” field by clicking the little padlock icon, and then you’ll be able to enter a standard ID to identify the Portal. The Id field is very strict, and will only accept a 7 letter string! Since you’ll need to create a different authentication setup for each individual ArcGIS Portal site you access, make sure you choose your ID string accordingly. (If you’re an AGOL user, then you’ll only need to create one authentication setup which will work for any AGOL account you want to access).

Drop down the Authentication Type combo box, and select “OAuth2 Authentication” from the list of options. There’s lots of settings we need to fill in here, but here’s what you’ll need:

  • Grant flow: set to “Authorization Code”
  • Request URL: 
    • For ArcGIS Portal services: enter the Request URL we determined in the previous step, e.g. http://mydomain.com/portal/sharing/rest/oauth2/authorize
    • For AGOL services: enter https://www.arcgis.com/sharing/rest/oauth2/authorize
  • Token URL:
    • For ArcGIS Portal services: enter the Token URL from the previous step, e.g. http://mydomain.com/portal/sharing/rest/oauth2/token
    • For AGOL services: enter https://www.arcgis.com/sharing/rest/oauth2/token
  • Refresh Token URL: leave empty
  • Redirect URL: leave as the default http://127.0.0.1:7070 value
  • Client ID: enter the App ID from the App Registration information (see earlier steps)
  • Client Secret: enter the App Secret from the App Registration information (see earlier steps)
  • Scope: leave empty
  • API Key: leave empty
  • For AGOL services only: you’ll also need to set the “Token header” option under the “Advanced” heading. This needs to be “X-Esri-Authorization” (without the quotes!)

That’s it — leave all the rest of the settings at their default values, and click Save.

You can close down the Options dialog now.

Adding the Connection Details

Lastly, we’ll need to setup the server connection as an “ArcGIS Rest Server Connection” in QGIS. This is done through the QGIS “Data Source Manager” dialog, accessed through the Layer menu. Click the “ArcGIS REST Server” tab to start with, and then press “New” in the Server Connections group at the top of this dialog.

Enter a descriptive name for the connection, and then enter the connection URLs. These will vary depending on whether you’re connecting to AGOL or an ArcGIS Portal server:

ArcGIS Online Connection

  • URL: This will be something similar to “https://services###.arcgis.com/########/arcgis/rest/services/”, but will vary organisation by organisation. You can determine your organisation’s URL by visiting the overview page for any dataset published on your AGOL account, and looking under the “Details” sidebar. Copy the address from the “Source: Feature Service” link and it will contain the correct URL parameters for your organisation. (Just make sure you truncate the link to end after the “arcgis/rest/services” part, you don’t require the full service endpoint URL)
  • Community endpoint URL: https://www.arcgis.com/sharing/rest/community
  • Content endpoint URL: https://www.arcgis.com/sharing/rest/content

ArcGIS Portal Connection

  • URL:  the REST endpoint associated with your Portal, e.g. “https://mydomain.com/arcgis/rest/services”
  • Community endpoint URL (optional): This will vary depending on the server setup, but will generally take the form “https://mydomain.com/portal/sharing/rest/community”
  • Content endpoint URL (optional): This will vary depending on the server setup, but will generally take the form “https://mydomain.com/portal/sharing/rest/content”

Lastly, select the new OAuth2 configuration you just created under the “Authentication” group:

Click OK, and you’re done! When you try to connect to the newly added connection, you’ll automatically be taken to the AGOL or ArcGIS Portal’s logon screen in order to authenticate with the service. After entering your details, you’ll then be connected securely to the server and will have access to all items which are shared with your user account!

We’ve regularly use this setup for our enterprise clients, and have found it to work flawlessly in recent QGIS versions. If you’ve found this useful and are interested in other “best-practice” recommendations for mixed Open-Source and ESRI workplaces, don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your requirements… at North Road we specialise in ensuring flawless integration between ESRI based systems and the Open Source geospatial software stack.

2.3.0 - Diversified Dugong

Changes

🚀 Features

  • QR code reader functionality (#3104, #3142)
  • Position tracking on point layers (#3247)
  • Layer properties action to show list of features visible on the current map extent (#3213)
  • Symbol-level show features list action (#3261)
  • Remember individual layers visibility and styling (opacity, labels visibility) across QField sessions (#3237)
  • Setting to adjust screen dimmer timeout (#3265)
  • QField Android & iOS now draws under the device’s top status bar (#3188)

Usability Improvements

  • Layer properties popup reorganizing (#3249)
  • Topology editing toggle now visible when a point layer is active (#3273)
  • The measuring tool now respects projects' distance and area units type (#3276)
  • Further improvements to the stakeout/precise view panel (#3244)
  • A pair of copy / paste actions for text attributes when the form is in editing mode (#3142)
  • Significant iOS-specific improvements
  • Windows specific improvements

🐛 Bug Fixes

  • Fix crash when entering geometry editing mode of a point layer (#3273)
  • Fix hidden legend symbols identified when tapping on the map (#3262)
  • Tons of stability improvements

2.3.1 - Diversified Dugong

Changes

🐛 Bug Fixes

  • Fix a very unpleasant crash on Windows and iOS

2.3.2 - Diversified Dugong

Changes

🐛 Bug Fixes

  • Group cloud projects by owner (#3292)
  • Fix delta generation on NULL and 0 (#3280)
  • Fix WMS and WMTS reprojection issues (#3294)
  • Allow all types of image to by selected on Android's gallery (#3287)

Mixed Format Labels in QGIS — coming soon!

For the QGIS 3.28 release North Road had the exciting opportunity to add some much desired new functionality to QGIS: the ability to mix font formatting and styles within a single map label! This enhancement was funded by the Swiss QGIS User Group, and offers a whole range of new cartographic possibilities for all QGIS users. Read on for more details on how this can impact your mapping…

QGIS has long supported the ability to combine different values inside a label for a feature, via the use of custom QGIS expressions. For example, the map below labels features from a rail station layer with the expression

"NAME" || '\n' || "PATRONAGE"

This expression concatenates the field values inside the “NAME” field with their “PATRONAGE” values, using a new line character to separate the two values. The end result looks something like this:

While custom expressions are extremely flexible and offer an almost unlimited range of possibilities to tweak label content, the limitation has been that all of this label text will always be displayed using a single font, font size, and font style. For example, there was no capacity to show the station names in a larger, bold font, and the patronage values in a smaller size.

That’s all changing thanks to the funding from the QGIS Swiss User Group! Now, in QGIS 3.28, users can combine label text with HTML formatting tags in order to customise exactly how each individual word or character in the label is drawn. Let’s revisit the map shown above and flex these new cartographic muscles…

The first thing we need to do is enable the HTML formatting tags for our labels by checking the “Allow HTML formatting” option in the text properties:

With this option enabled, we can now use a range of HTML and CSS tags to format individual parts of our label. For instance, “<b>bold text</b>” will show the text between the <b> and </b> tags in a bold font. By revising our previous labelling expression we can now get the station names to render in a bold font. Here’s the revised expression:

'<b>' || "NAME" || '</b><p>' || "PATRONAGE"

There’s one other important change we’ve made in the above expression. When using HTML formatting for labels, we need to replace the ‘\n’ newline character with the HTML new paragraph tag “<p>”. Otherwise, our expression is very similar to the previous one, with the exception that we’re wrapping the “NAME” field in <b>…</b> tags.

Here’s how it looks:

That’s already a dramatic improvement in the readability of the map! Let’s try refining it further by dropping down the font size of the patronage values. We can do that by inserting some CSS into the label string, specifically the “font-size” property. Here’s our new expression:

'<b>' || "NAME" || '</b><p><span style="font-size: 10pt">' || "PATRONAGE" || '</span>'

It’s so beautiful now! (Go on, scroll back up to our original map, we dare you to compare!).

So which HTML/CSS formatting options are supported? For QGIS 3.28, these options are:

  • Font family, via the CSS font-family tag. E.g. <span style=”font-family: Comic Sans MS”>…</span>
  • Font size, via the CSS font-size tag. E.g. <span style=”font-size: 30pt”>…</span>
  • Font weights, via the HTML <b> tag or CSS font-weight tag
  • Italic, via the HTML <i> tag or CSS “font-style: italic”
  • Font color, via the CSS “color: #rrggbb” tag
  • Underline, via the HTML <u> tag or CSS “text-decoration: underline” tag
  • Strikethrough, via the HTML <s> tag or CSS “text-decoration: line-through” tag
  • Overline, via the CSS “text-decoration: overline” tag

Oh, one last thing we nearly forgot to mention: all these wonderful styling options also apply perfectly to curved label text!

Our thanks go out to the members of the Swiss QGIS User Group for funding this feature! It’s an exciting addition to QGIS and can offer new ways to dramatically improve your mapping creations.

Got any QGIS needs you’d like to discuss? Or want to see additional formatting options added in a future QGIS release? Just contact our friendly team to discuss your needs — we’d love to assist!

QGIS out in the fields…

Wednesday the 28th of September, we’re organizing a thematic day on the field use of QGIS. It’s being hosted by VRBZO (the Fire Department in the Eindhoven region). Theme is the use of QIS in the filed, (mostly) using QField or MerginMaps. Want to join us (language will be mostly Dutch)? Tickets (free for members) […]

24th Contributors QGIS Meeting in Firenze 2022

The international community of QGIS contributors got together in person from 18 to 22 August in parallel to OpenStreetMap State of The Map event and right before the FOSS4G. So there was a lot of open source geo power concentrated in the beautiful city of Florence in those days. It was my first participation and all I knew was that it’s supposed to be an unconference. This means, there is no strict schedule but space and opportunity for everyone to present their work or team up to discuss and hack on specific tasks to bring the QGIS project to the next level.

Introduction and first discussions

We were a group of six OPENGIS.ch members arriving mostly on Thursday, spending the day shopping and moving into our city apartment. In the evening we went to a Bisteccheria to eat the famous Fiorentina steak. It was big and delicious as was the food in general. Though, I am eating vegetarian since to compensate. On Friday we went to the Campus to meet the other contributors. After a warm welcome by the organizer, Rossella and our CEO and QGIS chair Marco Bernasocchi we did an introduction round where everyone mentioned their first QGIS version ever used. At this point, I became aware of the knowledge and experience I was sharing the room with. Besides this, I noticed that there was another company attending with several members, namely Tim Sutton’s Kartoza, which is also contributing a lot to QGIS. The first discussion was about QGIS funding model, vision, communication and on the new website in planning. This discussion then moved into some smaller groups including most of the long term contributors. I was looking around, physically and virtually, and tried to process all the new inputs and to better understand the whole QGIS world. Besides, I noticed my colleague Ivan having problems with compiling QGIS after upgrading to Ubuntu 22.04 which then motivated my other colleague Clemens to implement a docker container to do the compilation. Nevertheless, I postponed my Ubuntu upgrade. That evening we went out all together to have a beer or two and play some pool sessions and table football. Finally, the OPENGIS.ch crew navigated back home pairing a high-precision GNSS sensor with a mobile device running OpenStreetMap in QField. We arrived back home safely and super precise.

First tasks and coffee breaks

There was catering in the main hall covering breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks. It never took long after grabbing a cup of coffee to find yourself in a conversation with either fellow contributors or OpenStreetMap folks. I chatted with a mapper from Japan about mobile apps, an engineer from Colombia about travelling and a freelancer from the Netherlands about GDAL, to name 3 coffees out of many.

QGIS plugins website

After some coffee, Matthias Kuhn, our CTO and high-ranking QGIS contributor, asked me whether I could improve some ugly parts of QGIS plugins website. So I had my first task which I started working on immediately. The task was to make the site more useful on mobile devices which would be achieved by collapsing some unimportant information and even removing other parts. I noticed some quirks in the development workflow, so I also added some pre-commit hooks to the dev setup. Dimas Ciputra from Kartoza helped me finalize the improvements and merge them into master branch on github.

QGIS website downloads section

Regis Haubourg asked to help simplify the QGIS Downloads for Windows section on the main QGIS website. We played around in the browser dev tools until we thought the section looked about right. I then checked out the github repo and started implementing the changes. I need to say the tech stack is not quite easy to develop with currently, but there is a complete rework in planning. Anyway, following the pull request on github a lively discussion started which is ongoing by the time of writing. And this is a good thing and shows how much thought goes into this project.

Presentations

There were many interesting and sometimes spontaneous presentations which always involved lively discussions. Amy Burness from Kartoza presented new styling capabilities for QGIS, Tobias Schmetzer from the Bavarian Center for Applied Energy Research presented the geo data processing and pointed out issues he encountered using QGIS on this and Etienne Trimaille from 3liz talked about qgis-plugins-ci, just to name a few.

Amazing community

On Saturday evening a bus showed up at the campus and took us on a trip up to the hills. After quite a long ride we arrived at a restaurant high up with mind-blowing view of the city. I forgot how many rounds of Tuscan food were served, but it was delicious throughout. An amazing evening with fruitful conversations and many laughs.

The weather was nice and hot, the beers cold, the Tuscan food delicious and the contributors were not only popular Github avatars but really nice people. Thank you QGIS.

Plugin Update August 2022

The QGIS plugin repository currently lists 1694 plugins and the list keeps on growing, even during the holiday season. It can be challenging to stay up to date.

Our new 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.

STL Generator
This plugin lets you generate an STL from a DEM and allows the exclusion of nodata regions.
Maxent Model
Maxent mapping adapter for QGIS. Adaptador de cartografía Maxent para QGIS
SRApp
Synchronizacja z bazą danych aplikacji Metryka
QGIS Redistricting
Tool for drawing districting plans from geographic units
XPlan-Reader
Import XPlan-GML
GEO_search
Layer Geo Search
Check, Define & Convert CRS
Check, define and convert CRS
Dynamic Provider Filter Plugin
QGIS plugin to dynamically set provider filters using QGIS variable replacement.
TopoTijdreis
This plugin loads all historic maps from 1815-2020 from topotijdreis.nl into QGIS
Tanaka Contours
Generates Tanaka-contours from a DEM

FOSS4G 2022 Florence

FOSS4G is the annual global event of free and open source geographic technologies and open geospatial data hosted by OSGeo. In 2022 it took place in Firenze with over 1300 participants, 402 talks and 44 workshops.

Forget label buffers! Better maps with selective label masks in QGIS

Cartographers use all kind of tricks to make their maps look deceptively simple. Yet, anyone who has ever tried to reproduce a cartographer’s design using only automatic GIS styling and labeling knows that the devil is in the details.

This post was motivated by Mika Hall’s retro map style.

There are a lot of things going on in this design but I want to draw your attention to the labels – and particularly their background:

Detail of Mike’s map (c) Mike Hall. You can see that the rail lines stop right before they would touch the A in Valencia (or any other letters in the surrounding labels).

This kind of effect cannot be achieved by good old label buffers because no matter which color we choose for the buffer, there will always be cases when the chosen color is not ideal, for example, when some labels are on land and some over water:

Ordinary label buffers are not always ideal.

Label masks to the rescue!

Selective label masks enable more advanced designs.

Here’s how it’s done:

Selective masking has actually been around since QGIS 3.12. There are two things we need to take care of when setting up label masks:

1. First we need to enable masks in the label settings for all labels we want to mask (for example the city labels). The mask tab is conveniently located right next to the label buffer tab:

2. Then we can go to the layers we want to apply the masks to (for example the railroads layer). Here we can configure which symbol layers should be affected by which mask:

Note: The order of steps is important here since the “Mask sources” list will be empty as long as we don’t have any label masks enabled and there is currently no help text explaining this fact.

I’m also using label masks to keep the inside of the large city markers (the ones with a star inside a circle) clear of visual clutter. In short, I’m putting a circle-shaped character, such as ◍, over the city location:

In the text tab, we can specify our one-character label and – later on – set the label opacity to zero.
To ensure that the label stays in place, pick the center placement in “Offset from Point” mode.

Once we are happy with the size and placement of this label, we can then reduce the label’s opacity to 0, enable masks, and configure the railroads layer to use this mask.

As a general rule of thumb, it makes sense to apply the masks to dark background features such as the railways, rivers, and lake outlines in our map design:

Resulting map with label masks applied to multiple labels including city and marine area labels masking out railway lines and ferry connections as well as rivers and lake outlines.

If you have never used label masks before, I strongly encourage you to give them a try next time you work on a map for public consumption because they provide this little extra touch that is often missing from GIS maps.

Happy QGISing! Make maps not war.

MovingPandas v0.11 released!

The latest v0.11 release is now available from conda-forge.

This release contains some really cool new algorithms:

  • New minimum and Hausdorff distance measures #37
  • New functions to add a timedelta column and get the trajectory sampling interval #233 

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

The new distance measures are covered in tutorial #11:

Computing distances between trajectories, as illustrated in tutorial #11

Computing distances between a trajectory and other geometry objects, as illustrated in tutorial #11

But don’t miss the great features covered by the other notebooks, such as outlier cleaning and smoothing:

Trajectory cleaning and smoothing, as illustrated in tutorial #10

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

2.2.3 - Coordinated Capybara

Changes

  • More bug fixes and stability improvements.

2.2.2 - Coordinated Capybara

Changes

  • Proximity to navigation destination alarm can now be snoozed or permanently turned off
  • New setting to allow for users to manually end the averaged positioning collection when a minimum requirement is enabled
  • Fix vertex editor's handling of geometries with Z and M dimensions
  • Fix serious crasher on iOS when activating positioning

2.2.1 - Coordinated Capybara

Changes

  • A few more bugs have been squashed

Mergin Maps in MapScaping podcast

We talked about Mergin Maps in the MapScaping podcast: QGIS Offline And In The Field

Peter Petrik was a guest in the episode of QGIS Offline And In The Field. He talked with Daniel O’Donohue about collection of spatial data in the field.

Mergin Maps is a field data collection app based on QGIS. It makes field work easy with its simple interface and cloud-based sync. Available on Android, iOS and Windows. Screenshots of the Mergin Maps Input App for Field Data Collection
Get it on Google Play Get it on Apple store

Official Austrian basemap and cadastre vector tiles

The BEV (Austrian Bundesamt für Eich- und Vermessungswesen) has recently published the Austrian cadastre as open data:

The URLs for vector tiles and styles can be found on https://kataster.bev.gv.at under Guide – External

The vector tile URL is:

https://kataster.bev.gv.at/tiles/{kataster | symbole}/{z}/{x}/{y}.pbf

There are 4 different style variations:

https://kataster.bev.gv.at/styles/{kataster | symbole}/style_{vermv | ortho | basic | gis}.json

When configuring the vector tiles in QGIS, we specify the desired tile and style URLs, for example:

For example, this is the “gis” style:

And this is the “basic” style:

The second vector tile source I want to mention is basemap.at. It has been around for a while, however, early versions suffered from a couple of issues that have now been resolved.

The basemap.at project provides extensive documentation on how to use the dataset in QGIS and other GIS, including manuals and sample projects:

Here’s the basic configuration: make sure to set the max zoom level to 16, otherwise, the map will not be rendered when you zoom in too far.

The level of detail is pretty impressive, even if it cannot quite keep up with the basemap raster tiles:

Vector tile details at Resselpark, Vienna
Raster basemap details at Resselpark, Vienna

2.2.0 - Coordinated Capybara

Changes

🚀 Features

Building on its predecessor, QField 2.2 continues to improve its navigation functionality with a brand new precise view (i.e. stakeout) panel as well as adding the capability to cycle through feature vertices to set a destination.

22_showcase

Noteworthy changes include:

  • Navigation to feature vertices (#2997)
  • Precise view (i.e. stakeout) panel (#3003)
  • Averaged positioning functionality (#2926)
  • Large number of measuring tool improvements (#2934)
  • Displayed coordinate throughout QField now respect the opened projects' coordinate display unit type setting (#2945)
  • Layer opacity slider in the layer properties' panel (#2986)
  • Auto-setup of temporal context when opening individual datasets with a {date,datetime} field (i.e. GPX tracks) (#2991)
  • Support for animated symbology
  • Preview thumbnails while browsing local projects/datasets
  • New 'open project folder' action found in the main menu (quickly send individual cloud and non-cloud project datasets)

A number of serious issues have also been addressed in this release.

Detailed hillshading anywhere in the world!

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Create detailed hillshading anywhere on earth with the MapTiler Plugin and the latest version of QGIS, 3.26 Buenos Aires.

All you need is a free MapTiler Cloud account, version 3.26 of QGIS, and the MapTiler plugin. The plugin provides access to the Terrain RGB layer and a range of other vector and raster basemaps.

QGIS Hillshades at multiple scales

Hillshades made with the plugin look great for whole mountain ranges but are detailed enough to pick out gorges and volcanic craters. The data has a 30m resolution, and with the early resampling now available from MapTiler’s collaboration with Lutra Consulting you can now zoom in without the pixelation that occurred in earlier versions of QGIS.

Multi-scale Hillshades

Add the Terrain RGB layer to any map in QGIS and use the Hillshading renderer to make the landscape appear on your map. Hillshading can be found in the styling panel for terrain layers, just use the dropdown menu to change from the default Singleband to Hillshading.

I recommend using the following settings to make the landforms stand out:

  • Z Factor: 1.5 - to boost the effect
  • Multidirectional: tick - to make a much more realistic hillshade
  • Blending mode: Multiply - to add light and shadows without hiding the other layers
  • Brightness and Contrast: Adjust them up to suit your layers
  • Early resampling: tick - ensures the effect doesn’t pixelate as you zoom in.

Better maps for outdoor activities

The Outdoor and Winter layers available in the Plugin also benefit from the new hillshading. Not only do these layers look better than ever, you can modify the hillshading element to boost the effect or make it more subtle depending on how you want your map to look.

Multi-scale Hillshades

Global contour lines

Terrain RGB does not provide only great hillshading. You can use it for contours as well using the contour renderer.

Global contour lines

Use the same drop-down menu on the styling panel as you did with hillshading to change the rendering.

Master QGIS Hillshading Techniques at FOSS4G 2022

We will be running a workshop at FOSS4G 2022 Firenze, where you can learn more about making beautiful hillshades in QGIS: QGIS & MapTiler Workshop. As one of the sponsors of FOSS4G we also have a stand there. Make sure you drop by and find out more about our Cloud, Data, Server, and other products and opensource projects.

Setting up the plugin

Here is a quick 4 step guide to setting up the MapTiler Plugin:

  1. Get a MapTiler cloud account, they are free to set up and use for non-commercial purposes. Use the following link to sign up or sign in; the process is very simple and only takes a few minutes: Create Account.
  2. Go to your MapTiler Cloud Account page, and click Credentials on the left of the interface. Click on the New Credential button and copy the token (keep this token private – treat it the same way as a password).

MapTiler Cloud Credentials

  1. In the MapTiler plugin, paste this token into the account dialog:

MapTiler QGIS Plugin Authentication

  1. After you paste your token, it is saved in your QGIS Authentication database, which you can control using the Authentication manager in the QGIS Options… menu.

If you haven’t used QGIS Authentication manager before, QGIS will ask you for a master authentication password. The master password is used to protect all your connection details and is used by other plugins such as Mergin. You can find out more here: QGIS Docs: Authentication Overview

More about the MapTiler Plugin for QGIS

The MapTiler Plugin homepage

What is the MapTiler QGIS plugin

How to use the MapTiler plugin

MapTiler QGIS plugin - supported expressions

Book your place at the FOSS4G 2022 Workshop

QGIS 3.26 Buenos Aires is released!

We are pleased to announce the release of QGIS 3.26 ‘Buenos Aires’!

Installers for all supported operating systems are already out. QGIS 3.26 comes with tons of new features, as you can see in our visual changelog. QGIS 3.26 Buenos Aires is named after last year’s FOSS4G host city.

We would like to thank the developers, documenters, testers and all the many folks out there who volunteer their time and effort (or fund people to do so). From the QGIS community we hope you enjoy this release! If you wish to donate time, money or otherwise get involved in making QGIS more awesome, please wander along to qgis.org and lend a hand!

QGIS is supported by donors and sustaining members. A current list of donors who have made financial contributions large and small to the project can be seen on our donors list. If you would like to become a sustaining member, please visit our page for sustaining members for details. Your support helps us fund our six monthly developer meetings, maintain project infrastructure and fund bug fixing efforts.

QGIS is Free software and you are under no obligation to pay anything to use it – in fact we want to encourage people far and wide to use it regardless of what your financial or social status is – we believe empowering people with spatial decision making tools will result in a better society for all of humanity.

Swiss QGIS user group Meeting Berne 2022

Learn, Present, Discuss and MEET

In Summer 2022 the Swiss QGIS User community finally got together physically again to meet at the University of Berne, after 3 years of online meetings. Up to 90 QGIS users and contributors out of academia and engineering enjoyed and discussed the newest QGIS features and use cases.

After a warm welcome and introduction by Isabel Kiefer from OPENGIS.ch the presentations started.

QGIS Update

Marco Bernasocchi (OPENGIS.ch CEO and Qgis.org Chair) presented recent QGIS features out of the changelogs of current long term release 3.22, followed by versions 3.24 and 3.26. Among the enhancements are the new curve conversion vertex tool and improvements to the mesh editing, 3D-mode, WMS server and SQL logging, to name a few.

QGIS Animation Workbench

The real world is not static. Thus, often information can be understood more easily in animated form, like visualizing traffic on a map with moving vehicles. QGIS now supports dynamic renderings with the Animation Workbench Plugin. Tim Sutton (Kartoza) led through a Youtube Video showing the underlying mechanisms of the plugin and how to use it.

QGIS Model Baker Update

Starting with the new logo, Romedi Filli (GIS-Fachstelle, Kt. Schaffhausen) showed the latest improvements to the QGIS Model Baker plugin. Especially the data validator and UsabILIty Hub make QGIS project generation out of Interlis data even easier. Even more there is now a python package for those who prefer to python script it all together.

Using QGIS Model Baker for OEREB Cadastre

Adrian Weber (Dütschler + Partner) followed up presenting the use of QGIS Model Baker in migrating their management of municipal usage plans from proprietary software to QGIS driven workflow. Though they see the potential in this approach, they lack time and money, thus doing it step by step. In providing this public service the difficulty is that data is legally binding and system components need to meet this requirements.

Dynamic Forms and Widgets with QGIS Expressions

After a coffee break, Andreas Neumann (Amt für Geoinformation, Kt. Solothurn) gave an interesting technical speech on more dynamic QGIS forms and widgets. Form values can now be defined via expressions so they update automatically depending on other form values. Furthermore, action buttons can be included into forms and defined which can call external web-services, data dependent constraints be defined and more.

Analysis of Flight Trajectories

Driven by technical ambition and will to set some factual basis for political discussion, Yvo Weidmann (Geoidee) carried out a sophisticated analysis of descents to Zurich airport based on Open Source Flight Trajectories and swisstopo data. Therefore he processed data from opensky-network.org, the Aeronautical Information Publication after a lot of initial data validation and cleaning. He finally visualized the results in a nice QGIS driven animation of flight descents.

Teksi utilities application modules

Alexandre Bosshard (Ville de Pully) presented TEKSI, an association that has set itself the task of providing the operators of public infrastructure with decision-making support in the form of professional modules for controlling their activities, namely QGEP and QWAT for the moment with more to follow. Therefore they work on open-source software built mainly on top of QGIS and PostgresSQL/PostGIS.

QGEP (by Teksi) and hydraulic analysis with SWMM

Timothée Produit (Alpnetsystem SA (IG-Group)) gave a more technical speech on their approach of managing a central database to serve both, Teksi’s waste water management tool and QGIS extension QGEP and Stormwater Management Software SWMM to carry out hydraulic analysis in Swiss Romandie. He showed the necessary database and infrastructure setup and workflow steps to create the desired product.

The new Profile Tool in QGIS Core

Nyall Dawson (North Road) led through his Youtube video about QGIS project terrain settings and how they interact with 3d maps and the new elevation profile tool, which is only possible from version 3.26. Powerfull new possibilities to process and visualize elevation and 3D geodata worth watching. Nyall joined the conference virtually after the video to answer questions from the impressed audience.

Cool Maps made with QGIS

Finally Marco Bernasocchi closed the presentations with a collection of incredibly creative QGIS results including Xmas wishes, sports statistics and human facial topology

Workshops

After a tasty lunch including a delicious cheese selection and fruitful conversations the lucky subscribers where asked to take action themselves in the four afternoon workshops. Among other interesting topics the users could get hands on working with QField and QFieldCloud or could get started with QGIS Model Baker and data validation, all tought by the experts and developers of OPENGIS.ch.

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