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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!

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.

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!

A New Trick up QField’s Sleeve: Animated Maps

Starting with QField 2.2, users can fully rely on animation capabilities that have made their way into QGIS during its last development cycle. This can be a powerful mean to highlight key elements on a map that require special user attention.

The example below demonstrates a scenario where animated raster markers are used to highlight active fires within the visible map extent. Notice how the subtle fire animation helps draw viewers’ eyes to those important markers.

Animated raster markers is a new symbol layer type in QGIS 3.26 that was developed by Nyall Dawson. Supported image formats include GIF, WEBP, and APNG.

The second example below showcases more advanced animated symbology which relies on expressions to animate several symbol properties such as marker size, border width, and color opacity. While more complex than simply adding a GIF marker, the results achieved with data-defined properties animation can be very appealing and integrate perfectly with any type of project.

You’ll quickly notice how smooth the animation runs. That is thanks to OPENGIS.ch’s own ninjas having spent time improving the map canvas element’s handling of layers constantly refreshing. This includes automatic skipping of frames on older devices so the app remains responsive.

Oh, we couldn’t help ourselves but take the opportunity to demonstrate how nice the QField feature form layout is these days in the video above 😄 To know more about other new features in QField 2.2, go and read the release page.

Happy field mapping to all!

The lovely animal markers used in the zoo example above were made by Serbian artist Arsenije Vujovic.

QField 2.4 is here, and it is 🍏icious

Yes, QField for QGIS, the leading fieldwork app, was released on the iOS App Store!

Get It now for Android, iOS, MacOS, Windows and Linux

Good things take time (and sponsors), and we wanted our Apple users to enjoy the same solid and seamless experience as our Android users. So we took the time needed and ran beta testing of QField for multiple months. Thanks to all the community feedback and to the uncountable work hours put in by our development team, today we released QField on the iOS Appstore.

Following the naming scheme for the 2.X series, we decided to name QField 2.4 Ecstatic Elk (Cervus Canadensis), honouring “the land of maple leaf 🇨🇦”, the home country of Mathieu (QField lead UX designer) and origin of some recent funding.

New features, improvements and demo projects

Releasing for iOS is the main news for QField 2.4, but we also added some new features as well as fixed some annoying bugs we had.

New demo projects showing many new QField features. We merged the Bee simple and Bee advanced projects into one bees project and added a wastewater management project that comes with beautiful dark and light themes.

The new features include atlas-driven print layouts that can now be printed through the main menu’s print to PDF item and dragging files onto an iOS device via USB Cable with iTunes support.

Some more UX improvements can be noticed when sending or exporting datasets via the project folder. All sidecars will now be considered so that, for example, you can send your edited shapefiles via your favourite email or messenger app.

Finally, QFieldCloud’s projects are better sorted, and its community tab is now functional.

Bugfixes

During the last sprint, we greatly improved QField’s automated testing framework, greatly decreasing the risks of regressions slipping into future releases. We also ensured that QGIS-shipped SVG markers will now render properly within QField.

Finally, we fixed freehand toggling when using a stylus and ensured the changelog popup doesn’t overlap with the OS’ status bar.

Best of Swiss Apps Nomination

We put a lot of effort into ensuring that QField, is of the highest possible quality, so being nominated as a finalist for the BestOfSwissApps award was even sweeter 🚀🚀🚀

Beginning of November, we’ll know more about the outcome of the votes 🤞

QFieldCloud

QFieldCloud has been in Free BETA for half a year now. Thanks to the precious help of the many early adopters (we already have over 30K users), we were able to identify and fix plenty of issues. In the last months, our service status page has been consistently looking super-green 😉

We are extremely happy with how the system is behaving and are even happier with the feedback we are receiving!

As of today, we’ve implemented all the functionality that we want to have for the GA release. All we are missing is finishing testing the billing and payment system and rolling the drums 🥁

So keep on enjoying our fantastic fieldwork ecosystem, and let us know the amazing things you do with it!

Support QField

We put a lot of effort into ensuring that QField, is of the highest possible quality and invest a lot of developer time in QField, QFieldCloud and QGIS. Plenty of it is sponsored by OPENGIS.ch because we believe in giving back to the OS geo community; part is sponsored by the clients that ask us to develop features, and part is financed through our support contracts that come with a sustainability initiative.

If you think that helping QField is a good thing, go to our donate page to find out more or immediately start sponsoring QField.

QField 2.0 Arctic Fox is here

Let’s not paraphrase it, QField 2.0 is here and it is taking professional GIS fieldwork to a completely new level.

TL;DR

After an intense development and testing period, we are ready, QField 2.0 is out.

QField 2.0 is packed with new features that will make your professional fieldwork even more efficient. You can get a taste of all you will be getting with this major update on QField’s changelog. Be aware, it will blow your mind… 🤯

If you do not have it yet, get it now!

Work efficiently 🚀 – Be anywhere ⛰ – Open anything 🔧

Survey and digitise data in no time. QField is the professional mobile app for QGIS, allowing users to deploy their existing QGIS projects to the field.

Edit your data on the go. The seamless integration with QFieldCloud allows your team to work on your projects anywhere anytime.

Open a wide range of spatial data formats, connect to industry-leading spatial databases and consume standardised geowebservices.

The 🤖 looks out of the 🪟 and sees lots of 🍎

For Android, iOS and Windows tablets and mobiles. But also for Linux, macOS and Windows laptops and desktops.

QField can be installed basically anywhere and can help thanks to its simplicity even on desktop work.
If you do not have it yet, get it now!

What mountain is Arctic Fox?

If you have been following QFields development, you might remember that we named each release after a mountain. We are very outdoorsy and this was a sort of tribute to the places we love. With each release, we had great fun looking for places that would be meaningful for us and our community. From beautiful mountains outside our window to the remotest island mountain on Earth and even further.

After Elbrus (0.5), Finsteraarhorn (0.6), Gonnus Mons (0.7), Hiendertelltihoren (0.8), Jungfraujoch (0.9), Kesch (0.10), Lucendro (0.11), Matterhorn (1.0 – 1.2), Ben Nevis (1.3), Olavtoppen (1.4), Piz Palü (1.5), Qinling (1.6), Rockies (1.7), Selma (1.8), Taivaskero (1.9) and Uluru (1.10), we decided to change the subject and for the 2.X series we’ll name the releases after cool animals that reflect different characteristics of QField.

The arctic fox is an incredibly hardy animal that can survive frigid Arctic temperatures as low as –50°C in the treeless lands where it makes its home. It has furry soles, short ears, and a short muzzle—all-important adaptations to the chilly clime. Arctic foxes live in burrows, and in a blizzard, they may tunnel into the snow to create shelter.

Like an Arctic Fox, QField is perfectly adapted to the outdoors and helps you get your data in the most efficient way possible.

Ah yes, and they seem to be pretty good navigators and tech-savvy too: https://www.space.com/arctic-fox-epic-journey-satellite-tracking.html

Packed with new functionalities

Obviously, the big news in QField 2.0 is the integration with QFieldCloud BETA, but besides that, we’ve added a lot of new features and fixed plenty of bugs. If you are interested in all the details, you should go to the changelog page and check out all the new goodies. If you just want the major additions, here you go:

  • – Support for the opening of projects and datasets directly from your favourite messenger app, browser, etc. on Android.
  • – Support for opening ZIP compressed projects on Android.
  • – Support for remote datasets via GDAL’s /vsicurl/ URIs
  • – Greatly improved scale bar overlay
  • – Incremental improvements to the user interface all across QField

Cloudy ☁ with a chance of meatballs

QFieldCloud’s unique technology allows your team to focus on what’s important, making sure you efficiently get the best field data possible. Thanks to the tight integration with QField, you will be able to start surveying and digitising data in no time.

Some of you may already have been part of the closed BETA testing phase. THANKS!
For all the others, great news, QFieldCloud is now officially in open BETA.

You can register directly from QField 2.0 or simply head to qfield.cloud and create your free account now.

What is QFieldCloud?

Seamless synchronisation

QFieldCloud is a synchronisation platform, that we offer as a service, which takes the pain out of syncing data from multiple data collectors. Thanks to seamless synchronization, your surveyors will be able to push their work anytime they want. Working in the wild? Your team can continue working with no limitations and sync back their changes once back in town.

Team management

QFieldCloud’s fine-grained permissions system allows you to efficiently define who can collaborate with you on your projects and what operations they are allowed to perform. You can for example add a junior surveyor as a reporter, a senior one as a project manager and you can even add users with read-only permissions.

Hosted or in your own cloud – open source

QFieldCloud perfectly integrates and extends your QGIS based geodata infrastructure, you can either subscribe for a worry-free Swiss-made solution hosted on Swiss data centres or contact us for your private cloud instance.

QFieldCloud code is open source so you can see what is actually happening to your data.

Known issues

Please note that on older AMRv7 architectures, some devices are suffering from a crash at launch. As such, we have not yet updated QField to 2.0 for these devices. If you own one such device and want to manually download and install QField, please visit the release page on GitHub.

Also, since November 2021, Google has enforced new storage access limitations for apps published on its Play store which prohibits direct storage access on Android 11 and above forcing QField to adapt and rely on importing projects and datasets to access those. As part of the enforcement of these new policies, Google came up with an arbitrary mechanism to whitelist some apps which allows those to retain full storage access given the user explicitly allowed for it. We here at OPENGIS.ch believe QField had ample justifications to be whitelisted, however, Google’s appeal process judged otherwise after a series of email exchanges detailing our reasoning. While we have so far lost this argument with Google, we will continue fighting for our users and for their freedom to choose. If you are interested in more details, read our blog post about it.

Join the effort

QField is an open-source project. It is free to share, use and modify and it will stay like that. We are very happy if this app helps you in whatever creative way you may use it. If you found it useful, we will be even happier if you could give something back. You can easily sponsor QField, contribute some help or ask us to develop a new feature.

QField 1.10 Uluru: Faster, Better, Stronger

While OPENGIS.ch’s GeoNinjas are busy getting QFieldCloud ready for primetime, it has not kept them away from concocting a brand new feature-packed QField 1.10 “Uluru”. Most users will find something to fall in love with in this release. From an improved feature form to new digitizing functionalities and quality of live updates.

Major feature form improvements

QField’s feature form has received lots of attention during this development cycle. Its user interface and stability have greatly improved, and there are simply too many individual changes to list here.

On the new functionality front, the feature form has gained:

  • An ordered relation editor widget allowing users to re-order the children features of a relationship
  • A complete-as-you-type mode for value relation editor widget
  • A new UUID generator editor widget
  • Support for “live” default expression value to be on feature update

Speed up workflow with new duplicate and move feature(s) actions

QField 1.10 brings in a pair of new useful actions: the duplicate feature(s) and move feature(s). This can speed up work in the field for many surveyors by avoiding potentially lengthy digitizing and attribute filling processes in favour of quickly duplicating what’s already done whenever possible.

Vertex digitizing logger

Conducting quality assurance (QA) reviews from work done in the field with QField has just gotten a lot better thanks to the brand new vertex digitizing logger. When enabled, each vertex entered while digitizing new features or editing preexisting geometries are logged as point features onto a ‘digitizing logs’ layer. Each point feature added has access to snapping result context, position context including horizontal and vertical accuracy, and more. This allows for data reviewers to get a fuller picture of how geometries were built.

Quality of life improvements

Quite a few improvements have landed in QField 1.10 which should improve users’ experience. To list a few:

  • To save battery, QField will now automatically dim the screen backlight after a period of inactivity, allowing users to conduct longer tracking sessions before running out of power
  • Tracking settings are now remembered and sub-meter minimum distance constraint allowed
  • The map scale bar now avoids degrees and instead automatically converts units into meters
  • Opening an individual point dataset will automatically setup and show feature labels; for other geometry types, users can show labels via a new checkbox in the layer item properties panel

QField speaks many languages

Thanks to community efforts, QField has been translated into a growing number of languages. However, the user interface language adopted by QField was until now hard-coded to match that of the device onto which QField was running.

Starting with QField 1.10, users are able to customize the language used by going to the settings panel.

Updates to foundational libraries

Time was spent during this development cycle to update a large number of libraries powering up QField, which is now running against QGIS 3.22, gdal 3.3.2, PROJ 8.1.1. This has resulted in increased stability as well as speed gains in a number of scenarios.

The Future is almost here

We are working hard to get QFieldClour open to the public, we currently have more than 2/3 of our waiting list actively using it. In the next 2-3 weeks we will invite all waiting users and then open up Beta registrations to the public.Meanwhile, we have also been working on fully supporting iOS, Windows and Linux. Simply go to https://qfield.org/get and start using QField immediately on your favourite device.

QFieldCloud now opensource – Happy 10 Years of field mapping with QGIS

Today, on QField’s 10th anniversary, we’re extremely proud to publish the results of over 18 months of development and give you the source code of QFieldCloud to go and make your awesome adaptations, solutions, and hopefully contributions 🙂

If you want to quickly try it out, head to https://qfield.cloud where our hosted solution is running and secure yourself a spot in the beta program.

QFieldCloud’s unique technology allows your team to focus on what’s important, making sure you efficiently get the best field data possible. Thanks to the tight integration with the leading GIS fieldwork app QField, your team will be able to start surveying and digitising data in no time.

QField git history
After 10 years of OPENGIS.ch giving to the QGIS community, here is our latest present. Happy birthday #fieldmapping with QGIS https://github.com/opengisch/qfieldcloud/pull/3

What a journey it was and what plans do we already have… It has now been 10 years since I pushed the first scripts to build Quantum GIS for Android and it is incredible what we’ve been able to achieve thanks to a vibrant community, sponsors and especially our fantastic team.

At OPENGIS.ch we strongly believe in giving back. We live from open-source projects and are deeply committed to sustaining their technological and economic well-being. We also believe everyone should have access to the best possible tools and knowledge. By committing ourselves to develop open-source applications, we give everyone access to powerful tools to plan, review and mitigate geospatial issues.

That is why we are even more thrilled to have created and open-sourced a professional data and team management solution for the best QGIS fieldwork app and would like to share a bit of the history of how we revolutionised field work by creating QField for QGIS.

Prehistory – QGIS for Android is born

Stone-, bronze-, iron-age, you get it, the beginnings of field mapping in the QGIS world were pretty rough around the edges. It all started thanks to me being accepted in the Google Summer of Code 2011 programme with the “QGIS mobile” submission. In the following 3 months, I’d try, with the help of my mentors Pirmin Kalberer and Marco Hugentobler, to get Quantum GIS to run on my tablet.

The first start

Hi all, it is a pleasure to announce that I finally got Quantum GIS to start on an android (3.2) tablet (Asus transformer). I tested as well on a Samsung Galaxy phone with cyanogen mod 7 RC1 and it works well (with the obvious screen size limitations).
Qgis still doesn’t load many elements, but the GUI is there and the rest should be only minor issues. I’ll post more as soon as I make further developments. Meanwhile, if you want to test the apk, you can download it from my GitHub here. For building your own, have a look at qgis wiki

https://www.opengis.ch/2011/08/17/qgis-on-android/
The first ever video about QGIS on Android

A proper GUI

See my last posts. In short, I managed to get qgis packaged as an APK and to properly run with only one major problem. The map canvas is always black. I’ll investigate this till Tuesday.
Cheers

https://www.opengis.ch/2011/08/18/qgis-on-android-has-a-proper-gui/
After 3 months of intensive work, QGIS for android finally has a a proper GUI

Blazing fast startup

Hi, I just managed to create an APK with all the resources needed by qgis …

The only inconvenience at the moment is that at the first startup the app shows a black screen while it’s copying the files for about 30 to 60sec so just be patient and remember that the whole app will take up to 230MB (it installs on external storage by default)

https://www.opengis.ch/2011/08/19/qgis-on-android-has-complete-gui-and-supports-translations/

A working reality

I still remember the feeling that day when after almost 3 months, of fighting with shell scripts, patching of build systems, debugging via ADB, writing C++ in Java wrappers and so on, my Quantum GIS test project was suddenly running on my tablet… I Was so happy I just went running in the mountains :).

Just a quick screenshot to show that qgis on android is now a working reality. Tomorrow I’ll make a video and so on. The major missing thing now is reading SHP files ad maybe spatialite… maybe tomorrow. Now it’s Sunday 😉

https://www.opengis.ch/2011/08/21/qgis-android-works-2/

GSoC 2011 results

At the end of the Google Summer of code, I received my MSc in geoinformatics and left for 3 Months to Indonesia working as a consultant/developer for the World-bank Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery.

So, it is over, after 3 months of working on QGIS for android as a Google Summer of Code project it is now time to wrap up what I did and didn’t do.
First of all a QGIS android app exists now and it has many features including:
– reading/writing projects
– raster support
– spatialite support
– WMS support
– (apparent – untested) WFS and Postgres support
– partial shape files support (string attributes still crash the app)
– Fully functional GUI (SymbologyV2 doesn’t work yet)
– (all?) core C++ plugins beside globe (any takers? 😉)
Furthermore, I created a series of build scripts that make it easier to set up a dev environment.
Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to implement live GPS tracking and a larger GUI optimisation, but all in all, I’m very happy with the results and seeing that few peoples are already testing it. Soon ill publish a video.
cheers

https://www.opengis.ch/2011/08/24/gsoc-2011-final-report/

Quantum GIS for Android was a reality and I was fully committed to keeping working on it. Turns out I wasn’t wrong 🙂

A commitment is a commitment 🙂

Classical – QGIS for Android grows

The Next Era of QGIS for android is what could be seen as the time of great knowledge enhancement, philosophical musings and the rise of the first great features including:

Middle Ages – QGIS Mobile

The dark ages, times of instability, change and some setbacks. Sounds terrifying, it was not at all, on the contrary it was a very formative period that apexed with the fantastic release of QGIS 2.0 for android.

The QML app experiment

From the beginning on, the idea behind QGIS for android was to eventually ditch the GUI and build a dedicated one for touch devices. The code for the future.

The Python failure

Probably the major setback in QGIS for android’s history was the non-completion of the Python support. I got really close to it multiple times but unfortunately never managed to tame the snake. Maybe something we’ll look into in future, who knows.

The QGIS 2.0 release

The pivotal point of the Middle Ages was definitely 20.09.2013, when Tim Sutton presented to a full auditorium the shiny new QGIS 2.0. And along with it it introduced the general availability of QGIS 2.0 on android. The first real QGIS version for mobile devices was finally available for the broad public.

After the launch followed a very active time of keeping QGIS for Android on pair with the desktop versions leading to a regular release of updates on the playstore between 2013 and late 2014. This is also when Matthias Kuhn started committing to the QGIS for Android repository.

Early Modern – QField for QGIS is here

Humanism, Renaissance and Enlightenment are what we saw happening in the period between 2015 and early 2019. Field users were put at the centre of the design process, new ideas were explored and a new name was chosen to reflect the main goal of the application: Make fieldwork as efficient as possible.

Early 2015 was also when Matthias Kuhn and myself decided to join forces in OPENGIS.ch LLC.

The rebranding

The project never had a clear name, at times it was called QGIS for Android at times QGIS mobile, we felt that to clearly convey what we were building we needed a clear, simple and poignant name.

Beginning of 2015 saw the last rebranding

It is with great pleasure that we want to announce the new name for what was briefly known as QGIS mobile.

Please welcome QField for QGIS™!

After long thinking about various names and variants including QGIS mobile, QTouch, OPENGIS.ch QGIS mobile, QWork, and many more, we felt that QField represents best what we want to archive. A field data capture and management app fully compatible with QGIS™.

https://www.opengis.ch/2015/01/28/qgis-mobile-is-now-qfield/

QField Experimental is out, after a couple of months of requirements gathering, private early alpha testing and foremost tons of  emails requesting access to the testes group we decided today to put the current BETA version in the playstore.

https://www.opengis.ch/2015/06/15/qfield-in-the-wild/

Streamlined installation

Since the beginning of QGIS for android, to distribute the needed Qt libraries, we used a project called “ministro”. This was interesting because it allowed to download the libraries only once but on the other hand, it was a very painful experience for the user that needed to install a second app before getting QField to start. Around the end of 2015 it was so far, we finally managed to get rid of that dependency and make the installation process as streamlined as possible.

It’s done, finally we managed to get rid of Ministro so that we finally can say, QField runs on any android from 4.0.3 (ICS). This makes as of today (according to google) 96% of the android installations worldwide.

https://www.opengis.ch/2015/12/01/qfield-for-android-5/

Release candidates

In these 3.5 years, a continuous, mainly volunteer-driven iterative process led by Matthias Kuhn made QField grow to the point where we felt confident it was time to launch QField 1.0.

After a series of release candidates with lots of feedback from the community, we felt it was time to move into a New Era.

It was a long and winding road but we are very excited to announce the general availability of QField 1.0 Release Candidate 1.

Packed with loads of useful features like online and offline features digitizing, geometry and attributes editing, attribute search, powerful forms, theme switching, GPS support, camera integration and much more, QField is a powerful tool for those who need to edit on the go and would like to avoid standing in the swamp with a laptop or paper charts.

https://www.opengis.ch/2019/01/08/qfield-1-0-rc1/

Modern times – QField 1.X

Fast forward to March 28th 2019,

Let’s get straight to the point

It’s official, QField for QGIS 1.0 is out!

Get it while it’s hot on the Playstore (qfield.org/get) or on GitHub

We are incredibly pleased and proud of just having released such a jewel and are convinced that thanks to all its features and conscious design choices, QField will make your field digitizing work much more efficient and pleasant.

https://www.opengis.ch/2019/03/28/qfield-1-0-is-here/

Recent releases

In the last 2 years the development pace increased tremendously, the sponsored featured grew as never before, QField rating skyrocketed to 4.7 ⭐ we currently have 100’000 active users and we’re getting around 500 new users every day.

Our QField core team grew more and now thanks to David Signer’s lead and Mathieu Pellerin keen eye for UX we’re pushing QField even further.

Going into all releases would be so much information that this post would turn into a 3 volumes classic, and since starting from QField 1.0 we’ve documented each new release, we’re just going to link them: https://www.opengis.ch/category/qfield/highlights/

The future is cloudy – ehm sunny of course 😉

Yesterday we published QField 1.9.6, which is going to be the last 1.X release and will put QField 2.0 into the beta channel so that every beta tester can start using QFieldCloud without having to use the developer version.

But that is a different story and you can read all about it in our latest newsletter

QField 1.9 Taivaskero is out to further empower users

From unlocking selective atlas layout export to opening individual datasets and creating GeoPDFs, QField 1.9 is all about giving even more power to its users. The release also comes with significant user experience improvement, such as faster rendering and restoring the last viewed map extent.

Print Atlas-Driven Layouts to PDF

QField has long supported exporting print layouts to PDF, but now users are able to export atlas-driven layouts from selected features, all while being in the field. A new print action is now attached to the feature form and identified features list for all vector layers acting as atlas coverage layers in any of the print layouts present in a loaded project.

Oh, and did we mention exported PDFs from QField are now georeferenced?

Opening of individual datasets

Users in the field can find themselves in need of opening individual geospatial datasets not bound to a project: that KML file a colleague has just sent through via a messenger app or a new GeoPDF sitting in the inbox. QField 1.9 will seamlessly do that for you.

geopackage

Out of the box, users will now be able to open vector and rasters datasets from their mobile devices. By default, an OpenStreetMap base map will be added as an underlying basemap to the opened dataset layer(s).

Geometry digitizing when adding child features to relationships

While QField has long allowed users to add new child features to predefined layers’ relationships, users were only able to add feature attributes. This changes with this new version of QField.

As of now, users will be able to digitize geometries alongside attributes for new child features. This is a significant user experience improvement and will surely ease field data entry in many cases.

A maturing search bar now with address searches

A new address search framework was added to QField’s search bar. In this new version, Finnish users will be able to search for street addresses and locations straight from QField. More coverage is planned in future releases.

serach

If you want to sponsor a specific country, contact us.

User interface and experience improvements

While this new version of QField brings an exciting amount of new features, it also showcases countless refinements and improvements to its user interface and experience. Some noteworthy improvements include:

  • QField now remembers the last map extent for each project and dataset opened, allowing users to launch QField and pick things up where they left off.
  • QField now provides visual feedback when opening large projects so users don’t have to wonder what is happening to a frozen QField frame.
  • Significant attention was paid to improve the visual consistency of the feature form widgets, and users will be pleased to see project-set background colours for attributes are now reflected in the QField interface.

QField Cloud

We have also been working hard on improved methods for synchronizing data from field to the office. QField Cloud is looming around the corner to help you simplify processes and data integration. Don’t miss out and join the waiting list if you haven’t done so already!

That’s it! Thanks for reading and check out the complete changelog on our repository.

Powerful and gentle QField 1.8 Selma sneaked in

Get fieldwork smoothly and nimbly done despite the ice and snow outside. Collect accurate data with freehand digitizing and improved form widgets, use the data from your external GNSS receivers without any third-party apps and enjoy the pleasant usability of QField 1.8 Selma.

This year started off hi-speed for us. There’s been already a lot of coding, designing and teaching, and we’ve thrown ourselves into these things we love to do. And we published another QField release last week that I completely forgot to announce in this blog. But here it is. It’s QField 1.8, Selma. And it’s packed with cool features.

Let’s have a look.

Freehand drawing

This might be a feature that brings a lot of fun and professionalism to your work. The freehand digitizing mode allows the user to “draw” lines and polygons with the stylus pen. The mode is available for adding line/polygon features as well as for the ring tool of the geometry editor.

Together with the powerful options in the topological editing where you can snap to existing features and avoid overlaps, it’s very convenient to digitize complex shapes.

Zoom in and out

Speaking of fun. One day, a guy from the QGIS community asked us if we could implement the functionality to zoom in and zoom out like he is able to do with an app called Maps from a company named Google. I didn’t know what he meant, but he explained: Single finger double tap-and-hold zoom gesture (which allows you to zoom smoothly from anywhere on the screen). Wow! Didn’t know it before, but it’s super neat! So we made it available in QField as well.

If you are used to it, it’s quite easy. But for beginners it can be a bit difficult. So for people who are not that deft – and to keep the UX self-explanatory and simple – we also added two buttons + / – to zoom in and zoom out with just one finger. So now even a clumsy pirate with a hook instead of a hand can collect data with QField 🙂

Powerful Relation Reference Widget

Let’s be a little bit more serious and talk about how powerful the relation reference widget has become.

View and Edit selected feature

The intuitive eye icon next to the widget lets you open the form of the referenced parent feature to view and edit it.

Autocomplete mode

When auto-complete is enabled, you can easily perform a search in all available parent features.

autocomplete

With space-separated input, you can search for the beginning of multiple words in the display name of the parent features. So in this example searching for “Ma” will find the name “Mae” and “Marie” and using the second word “buck” it finds the Buckfast bees – so the entries containing both values will be listed on top.

Integration of external GNSS receivers

In case you wondered, why we did not release 1.8 Selma earlier? Because we wanted to have it feature loaded and rocket proof. And one of this cool feature is the integration of external GNSS receivers.

QField can receive and decode NMEA sentences received via Bluetooth from an external GNSS receiver (such as an EMLID Reach RS2) without the need for any third party app.

nmea

Search for paired Bluetooth devices in the device settings, connect to the external device and receive the GNSS information.

Select vertical grid shift files

In the QField settings, you can select a grid file on your mobile device by placing it in a directory named QField/proj in the main folder of the internal storage to increase the vertical location accuracy.

Postgres Config File

If you once started using PostgreSQL configuration files, you don’t want to live without them anymore. And when you use it on your PC, I’m sure you want to use it on your mobile device as well.

Define Postgresql services in a pg_service.conf file and use it on QField by placing it directly in a directory named QField in the main folder of the internal storage.

Add reload data button

The layer properties have been polished and in addition, you will find a button to reload the layer data. This is especially useful if you use WFS layers from which you need to get updates.

nmea

Register extra fonts

Also, you can add TTF and OTF font files into a directory named QField/fonts at the main folder of the internal storage to use the nice fonts you like.

fonts

How beautiful is that!

Support of new raster file formats

By the way: Many new raster file formats are supported – most notably COG. While not yet supported as remote format streamed directly from the web, it is also a high performance format if used locally

What about the cloud?

You might be one of these people eagerly waiting and always receiving the same message: Keep calm, it’s coming soon. Sorry for that. But when we do something, we do it right. And we prefer to have a stable solution than to publish half baked stuff. We are still highly busy coding, testing and promoting QFieldCloud. It’s announced for this spring / early summer.

Also, keep an eye on the @QFieldForQgis and @QFieldCloud twitter accounts to stay updated.

We ♥ our Beta Testers

The Beta Testers are our secret heroes. They report bugs and inconveniences before the normal users are bothered with them. Thanks to the Beta Testers QField is so stable. And at this point we would like to say: Thank you, test heroes!

And what do the beta testers get in return? Well, they can be the very first to try out the great new features. This is exciting and fun. So don’t hesitate. Join the beta.

In the Play Store you should find this section under the “QField for QGIS” app listing. Enjoy the feature frenzy and report the problems at qfield.org/issues

And if you wondered…

… why this release is called “Selma”. It’s of course because of the Mount Selma in Australia… And because it’s the name of my beloved cat. That’s her – Selma Eulenkopf – staring at me while I’m coding QField.

QField 1.7 Rockies hits the stage

Be ready for the cold weather with a smooth coordinate search, filters in the value relation widget, fancy new QML and HTML widgets, enhanced geometry editing functionalities and an expandable legend. Right when Autumn starts, QField 1.7 Rockies hits the stage.

As usual get it now on the play store or on github!

The days are getting shorter and the wind blows colder. It’s always good to be in a good company outside while getting your mapping work done. QField will be your reliable companion.

We know, QField 1.6 Qinling has only been out two months and with its amount of new features and stability improvements, it would have deserved a longer primetime. But we just couldn’t withhold you all the new great stuff we’ve been building lately.

So let’s welcome QField 1.7 Rockies. And yes, we mean THE Rockies, where QField is looking for plenty of new buddies.

Let’s have a look.

Merging features

Splitting of a feature has been possible for quite some time. Now the merging of features of multipolygon-layer is possible as well. Select them and merge them – easy like that. The first selected feature gets the new geometry and keeps its attributes.

Filters in the Value Relation Widget

The value relation widgets provide an easy selection of a related feature. Often it’s used for lookup tables but sometimes the related tables contain a lot of entries and the list of the possible values is long.

Using filters in the value relation drop-down can increase the efficiency in selecting the correct value. It can be configured by expressions in QGIS, so it’s possible to have the content of the drop down depend on the values entered previously in other fields.

In the screenshot above there is a Map Value Widget with “forest” and “meadow” as values. On selecting “forest”, only the trees appear in the Field “Plant Species”. On selecting “meadow” there would be listed flowers instead.

Go to coordinates in the Search

The search has not only been improved in its appearance, but it’s handling is much more comfortable with a button to clear the text and easy opening and closing.

Additionally, we added the possibility to jump to coordinates. Searching a place you know the coordinates of is now super simple. And this means that digitizing that precise geometry with known coordinates is finally possible.

coordinates

QML and HTML Widget

You might remember when we introduced the QML widget in QGIS. Now it’s in QField as well. And it’s not alone. HTML widgets are supported too.

This provides a lot of possibilities to display information with texts, images and charts and it even allows you interaction.
Do you need help setting up complex forms? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!


Expandable legend icons

The legend items are now expandable and collapsible.

Wait a minute… Wasn’t this possible before? Yes. It was possible in earlier versions. But why it’s announced here as a new feature?

Because now it is built in a future proof manner thanks to all the people and organisations who care for QField and bought a support contract with the sustainability initiative or committed to a recurring sponsorship.

Some technical background: As you may be aware QField uses QGIS under the hood and QGIS uses Qt under the hood. Qt is currently used in version 5. Qt 5 is not that young any more and has a lot of functionality which is no longer supported by Qt. The old legend was based on the tree view, a deprecated module. Using it had some implications like the suboptimal support of HiDPI. Furthermore, these deprecated modules will disappear in the soon-to-come Qt 6.

As you can see, keeping QField at the quality we and you expect requires a lot of maintenance work. It is of utmost importance and only possible thanks to sponsoring since paying for fixing already existing features is less attractive for most people.

What will the future bring

In the last weeks, we have been highly busy on coding, testing and promoting QFieldCloud and we are very happy to be able to announce it very soon. So be prepared.

Also, keep an eye on the @QFieldForQgis and @QFieldCloud twitter accounts to stay updated.

Open Source

QField is an open source project. This means that whatever is produced is available free of charge. To anyone. Forever. This also means that everyone has the chance to contribute. You can write code, but you don’t need to. You can also help translating the app to your language or help out writing documentation or case studies or by sponsoring a new feature.

And now…

… enjoy QField 1.7 Rockies and have a nice autumn!

QField 1.6 is out!

Editing multiple features at the same time, support for stylus pens, dynamic configuration of image names and much more.
QField 1.6 Qinling 秦岭 comes packed with awesome new features and an improved user experience.

We have been very busy over the last few months working on a new and shiny QField release. We have added many new features that increase efficiency on the field or allow for new workflows. In parallel, we have also been working on ironing out a series of issues and improving the overall user experience to make the app as pleasurable to use as possible. The result is QField 1.6 which has been published now.

Enough of the highlevel talking, let’s see what has been done.

Multi editing

Do you recall Geography lesson 101, Toblers first law? Everything is related to everything else. But near things are more related than distant things.

Very often there are similar objects nearby which share a property, tree species tend to group, human created objects like street light types or street paint markings tend to be of the same type at the same location.

With QField 1.6 it is now much easier to select a couple of features and change an attribute with very few taps. Identify a feature, long press an identify results, select more features and click the edit attributes button.

Stylus support

Sometimes it is just too cold to be working with fingers (although of course you can get capacitive gloves too). Or you just prefer to be working with a pen. QField 1.6 comes with support for stylus pens. If your device ships with one, give it a try.

Lock geometries

For some scenarios, especially in asset management, you only need to change attributes of existing objects and never add new features, delete features or change geometries. This can be configured through QFieldSync and set in the layer properties.

Image name configuration

Did you ever want to have the file names of your pictures to match the feature id, the layer name or any free text? The expression based configuration in QFieldSync offers now complete freedom in naming your images.

Legend and UX and legacy code

Didn’t expect to read UX and legacy code in one single title?

QML is the technology on which the QField user interface is built. QML ships a lot of user interface elements in a library called “Quick Controls”. A long time ago already it received an update from version 1 to version 2. Up to recently we still have been using some elements from version 1, which had an effect on high resolution displays not being able to properly display everything. To workaround that we introduced a lot of band aids, to improve the situation. We are very happy, that by migrating the legend and few other remaining elements to Quick Controls 2 in version 1.6, we have been able to completely drop this code.

Topological editing

QGIS can detect shared boundary by the features, so you only have to move a common vertex once, and QGIS will take care of updating the neighboring ones. So does his little college QField since this release.

Fast editing mode

For the real adventurers who know what they are doing this release brings the fast editing mode. In this mode, the features will automatically be stored on every change. The user interface is lighter and it combines perfectly with the topological editing.

Unter the hood

We have brought the whole technology stack up to speed with modern requirements. Proj and GDAL have been updated to recent versions. This helped to mitigate a couple of issues with coordinate transformations that were completely misplaced. It also paves the path for a future with datum corrections and always more important high precision measurements.

Known Issues

Unfortunately, we are experiencing a crash on startup with 32 bit devices. These devices are not that common any more, but if you have a device that is already a couple of years old it’s very well possible that it comes with a 32 bit cpu builtin. Despite the team’s hard efforts to isolate the reason, we were not able to find out what it was yet. Because of this we will not be able to update to 1.6 for these devices at the moment. We still hope that we will find a solution for this but don’t know yet when this will be.

We have updated proj to version 6. This brings plenty of bug fixes with coordinate handling. Among other things it adds support for using datum grids (gsb files) for very precise transformations, it is not yet possible to install those on the device. You will get an information message in the about dialog if your project happens to fall into this category. In this case, as a workaround switch the CRS of the project to a CRS with a known conversion that works without grid files.

What will the future bring

You guessed it already, we are not tired and have plenty of things stacked for the future. Prepare for more exciting updates for attribute forms and also for QFieldCloud which is right now being tested in our R&D labs.

Also keep an eye on the @QFieldForQgis Twitter account to stay updated.

Open Source

QField is an open source project. This means that whatever is produced is available free of charge. To anyone. Forever. This also means that everyone has the chance to contribute. You can write code, but you don’t need to. You can also help translating the app to your language or help out writing documentation or case studies or by sponsoring a new feature.

Thanks to sponsors

Various organisations have helped to make this new release become a reality. Without the support of people in organisations who believe in the future of QField and open source tool for geospatial in general. The whole team behind QField would like to thank you with a big applause!

QField 1.4 released – Happy new year

What a year’s start! After a very packed December publishing all the QGIS on the road videos and quietly releasing QField 1.3 – Ben Nevis we could have gone and relaxed over the holidays. But since we love QField so much we immediately started working on the next iteration. Now, after an intensive testing period, we are proud to announce the release of QField 1.4 – Olavtoppen.

Olavtoppen!? yes, the highest point of Bouvet Island, the remotest island on Earth. And sure enough, QField would follow you there!

As usual, get it on play store or download it from GitHub.

QField Crowdfunding Campaign

Before digging into all the new goodness that you will find in QField 1.4, let’s get a big “Thanks” out to everybody who supported our crowdfunding campaign for improved camera support and all our customers that agreed to open source the work we did for them.

If you like QField, want a new feature or would like to support the project, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Usability enhancements

In QField 1.2 we started to improve on the usability of the user interface. We are constantly working on this with a usability expert to get the user interface to be even more appealing and user-friendly.

Besides lots of clean-up and polishing, QField received two major improvements, a portrait mode and a new welcome screen with recent projects.

Welcome screen with recent projects

QField is all about efficiency. While favourites folders in the file selector already give a great productivity boost, very often we work with the same 3-4 projects. This is why we redesigned the welcome screen to list the last five project used. And if you look carefully you might get a hint of what will be coming soon…

Portrait mode

QField now flawlessly works in portrait mode. We heard you say you needed a comfortable way to work in portrait mode, especially on smartphones. QField forms and button placements are now optimized to be easy to use with your thumbs.

New features

We keep on listening to your feedback and prioritize new features based on it. We did implement some minor features like allowing hiding legend nodes and printing to PDF using the current extent. But this time’s superstars are three highly expected features: Splitting of geometries, compass integration and, yes you guessed right, native camera and gallery app support!

Split Features

ezgif com-optimize

A new editing tool is available that allows for splitting existing features. This adds an even more powerful operation to an already impressive geometry editing tools set.

Compass integration

A long-awaited feature! QField now shows you on-screen in which direction you are looking, walking, driving, flying or warping direction. This makes it much easier and more pleasant to navigate in the field.

Screenshot_20200115-154223_QField Nightly

Native Camera and Gallery

It is now possible to use your favourite camera app so that you have more control over how pictures are taken. It is also possible to select pictures which are already on your device by using the new gallery selector.

Pro Tip: You can use any camera app. For example, you can use the open camera app to create geotagged photos if your preinstalled system camera doesn’t save positioning information in EXIF data.

Pro Tip 2: You can use an image annotation app to add notes, sketches, drawings and so on to your images and then choose them from QField via the add from gallery button.

Antenna Height Correction

For high precision measurements, it’s possible to compensate your altitude by a fixed antenna height. This will then automatically adjust all the digitised altitude values.

JPEG 2000

Support for JPEG 2000 raster datasets was added. This lossy format offers a compression rate at par with proprietary formats like ECW or Mr SID.

Pro Tip: save your base maps in JPEG 2000 to save storage.

New Languages

Thanks to the hard work of our community, QField is now also available in Turkish and Japanese.

New packages

You say: wow that’s a lot! We say: there is more 🙂
We have upgraded our whole building infrastructure so that you can comfortably get even more QField goodness without having to uninstall your production ready QField.

Automated master builds

After each pull request is merged into our master code, a new package is created and automatically published on the playstore in a dedicated app called QField for QGIS – Unstable (Early Access). Installing this app will allow you to always have the latest build of QField for testing and giving feedback. On your device, this app is completely separated from the production-ready QField and has a distinctive black icon so that you do not confuse it.

Pull request builds

QField is an extremely active project, and as you see we develop multiple functionalities and fixes at the same time. If you’re particularly interested in one of this, our continuous integration fairy builds and publishes new packages automatically at each commit directly to the pull request you are interested in. To see what we are currently working on, have a look at the pull request overview page.

Experimental Windows builds

Last but definitely not least, we’ve set up an Azure CI infrastructure to build QField for windows. For now, we still consider this experimental but we already had some very successful testing. If you are interested in testing out QField for windows you can get it here, remember it is experimental so don’t use it in production yet and give us as much feedback as possible 🙂

What’s next?

As you can imagine we’ve had a very busy start of 2020, but even more is to come soon with the next releases of QField. We’d like to thank again all companies and individuals that actively use QField and that invest in making QField even better. If you feel QField misses something you need or would like to support the project, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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