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Introducing the Latest Style User Interface Improvements

Yesterday, Martin Dobias announced that Arun’s GSoC work on QGIS symbology has been merged into the developer version. So let’s have a look at todays nightly-build!

I’ll step through the features mentioned in the announcement to see how they look and work:

1. Style manager has been greatly improved: grouping of symbols, tagging, “smart” groups (showing only symbols matching some criteria), search

On opening new Style Manager, we can already see that it has changed considerably: There are groups on the left, tags at the bottom and a search field in the upper right corner.

new Style Manager

New groups are created with the “+” button and styles can be added using the context menu:

adding a style to a group

2. Symbol selector and properties dialogs have been integrated to just one dialog, improving the usability a lot

Instead of opening tons of nested windows, complex styles can now be easily edited using the symbol layer tree on the left:

new Properties window

3. Style database is now stored in a SQLite database rather than an XML file for better scalability. You can import all your saved symbols and color ramps from ~/.qgis/symbology-ng-style.xml – from now they will be stored in ~/.qgis/symbology-ng-style.db.

Importing through Style Manager works like a charm. All styles will be imported into the given group.

importing previous style.xml

4. Style import improvements: load style directly from given URL, saving imported symbols into a group

Instead of giving a path to a style XML, it’s also possible to specify a URL. That’s a great step towards shared symbol libraries!

5. SVG fill: shows directories for easier traversal through the SVG directories

Definitely a plus! It’s now much easier to work with big SVG symbol collections.

What a great result of this year’s Google Summer of Code for QGIS. Give these new features a try! I already fell in love with them.

A First Glimpse at the QGIS Processing Framework

The aim of QGIS Processing Framework developed by Polymeris is to provide a generic framework for accessing existing geo-processing functionality of e.g. SAGA, GRASS, Orfeo Toolbox, etc. This should enable users to script their geo-processing work in python console and allow development of a tool to graphically build workflows using VisTrails an “open-source scientific workflow and provenance management system”.

For a first impression, Polymeris has published some screenshots of QGIS with SAGA modules loaded: [1],[2]

This project is big and if it turns out well, QGIS will profit enormously from it. Both scriptable geoprocessing functionality and a graphic workflow builder can improve user experience a lot if they are implemented well. You can follow further development on the project homepage on GitHub.

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