The QGIS Podcast






October 2015
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In this episode we have a short round table discussion to round off our week's activities at the QGIS user conference and hackfest in Nodebo, Denmark, May 2015.


Raw video recordings from the User Conference are here:


The conference programme and web site is here:


A very special thanks to all the many people that helped to make this conference happen. It was an incredible success thanks to you:





Mikkel M



Mikkel N












Employees at University of Copenhagen


















 And a very big thank you to Lene Fischer, Associate Professor, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen

Direct download: QGISHackFest2015Nodebo_-_20150522_18.56.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:04pm EDT

In this episode Anita Graser interviews Marco Hugentobler - one of the earliest QGIS developers about the awesome work he does on the QGIS project.

Direct download: QGISEpisode9-MarcoHugentobler.mp3
Category:QGIS -- posted at: 6:57pm EDT

In this episode, Tim Sutton interviews Jachym Cepicky - core contributor to the PyWPS project and OSGEO Board member. We chat about ethics and open source.

Direct download: JachymCepicky.Interview.mp3
Category:QGIS -- posted at: 4:39pm EDT

In this episode, Tim Sutton interviews Martin Dobias - long time core contributor to the QGIS project. Martin has had a major part in building many of the great features you use in QGIS every day - python bindings, the symbology system, the canvas rendering system and many other important parts of the QGIS application.

Direct download: MartinDobiasInterview.mp3
Category:QGIS -- posted at: 7:50am EDT

In this episode, Tim Sutton interviews Paul Ramsey - founder of the PostGIS project. PostGIS is an enterprise ready geospatial extension to the Free and Open Source PostgreSQL database. QGIS has had very good support for working with PostGIS since its inception so we took the opportunity to chat to Paul Ramsey to find out more about the history, goals and workings of the PostGIS project.

Direct download: InterviewWithPaulRamsey.mp3
Category:QGIS -- posted at: 1:53pm EDT



What have you been up to lately?





Tim: Playing around with OSM planet dumps and loading them into postgis


Jeff: Have been preparing to give several upcoming QGIS workshops based on the training manual and organizing the US User Group meetup in Washington DC in a few weeks. I’ve also been doing alot testing with OpenGeo suite 4.1 beta builds that now bundle QGIS.


Anita: Tested Qgis2Threejs plugin and blogged about it → caused quite a buzz, 3D is popular

New in QGIS this week.





  1. Tim: Scottish User Group meetup was held

  2. Anita: more news from the UK: Ordnance Survey is continuing to broaden their support for QGIS. They just released QML styles for their national datasets

  3. Tim: New external polygon fill style pull request

  4. Anita: Some really great maps have been added to the QGIS Flickr group recently. Check it out if you haven’t seen it yet.

  5. Jeff: I Have been doing a bit of testing of the new multi-rendering support in master. Seems very very fast and a nice improvement.


In depth.



10 min. Take one or two of the items above and discuss them in depth in round table fashion.


Tim: Top things you should grasp to make the most of QGIS. This week I thought we could share our top tips that will let users make the most of QGIS. This can relate to anything, not only the physical use of the software.


Here is our top tips list:


  1. Tim: Use PostGIS as a datastore. QGIS was built from the ground up as a PostGIS client. In fact the early versions could only read from PostGIS and nothing else. Embracing PostGIS even in the most basic way (i.e. not becoming a database guru). There are many good reasons to use PostGIS which we can delve into in a future episode, but if you are planning to use QGIS in any serious way, put your data into PostGIS. If you want to get started with PostGIS you could take a look at chapters 14, 15 and 16.

  2. Anita: I’m a big fan of the QGIS browser panel. It provides easy and fast access to file, service and database sources. And the best thing is that you can configure your favorite paths. I find this especially convenient when working with datasets on network drives which can be hidden in extremely deeply nested folder structures.

  3. Jeff: Along those same lines of PostGIS and the Browser panel. The support for working with single file databases like sqlite/spatialite files and things like geopackage … which has recently had the the spec finalized by OGC and added to OGR and GeoTools/GeoServer … as well as file geodatabases with the QGIS Browser is really interesting and makes it easy to work with these kinds databases.

  4. Tim: Understand symbol layers - it is the key to making great looking maps. When QGIS paints a line, point or polygons it can do the brush stroke multiple times per feature. That means that you can e.g. draw a road first with a thicker gray line and then overpaint it with a thinner green line. You can (within reason) do this as many times as you like. Each symbol layer that you draw that feature with can have its own style properties and the result is you can make extremely sophisticated looking maps. QGIS layer files? ← Tim? forgot them in the news ok

  5. Anita: If you want to create a coherent series of maps, I highly recommend using  the Print composer’s Atlas feature. Atlas can not only recenter the map extent, it can also control the value of labels and even html labels. So for example, you can have pictures  from the focus area which are exchanged automatically when exporting the map series.

  6. Jeff: It sounds a bit boring, but I’m really excited about the state of the documentation and other community materials. The training manual is such an excellent resource for giving workshops, and there is so much great material to draw from that its easy to give introductory or advanced courses or to focus on something very specific like processing or developing with pyqgis. People coming to QGIS with a strong background using other tools can easily get up to speed on how to perform the same tasks with QGIS. I think this is really powerful and am excited to see these resources continue to mature and grow. Anita’s book is also fantastic of course :)

  7. Tim:Explore the plugin repository. There are so many plugins out there that there is a good chance that if QGIS is not able to do the thing you are trying to do, someone already wrote a plugin for it. The really awesome thing about plugins from the repository is that they are all shipped in source form and so they can easily be modified, tweaked and adapted. They also make a good learning ground for those wanting to get into Python programming on QGIS. Simply look for a plugin that does something like what you need and then peek under the hood to see how it did it and adapt that approach to your own needs.


Group discussion commences here - we can dig into the above items as they are mentioned a little too.

Pie in the sky or Interview:



10 min. Mention an idea / thing you would like to be able to do in QGIS in the future. Or interview someone.


Guest Jeff - Jeff please help us to ask you the right questions! Just jot down any things you think would be good to ask here (and you can keep bullets for your answers too if it helps you to keep your head straight in the chat).



Anita: Can you tell us something about your GIS background? How did you get started?


I really loved maps since I was a kid and started working with computers in middle school, but never put the two together until I was a University student much later. I got a bachelors degree in Geography from Humboldt State and did quite a few cartography projects there, but really using print carto tools like Illustrator. I had already been working with linux for quite a while and decided to try grass vs using the Arc tools in the school lab since I couldn’t use them off campus. It took me a while to get grass to build back then and I felt quite a sense of accomplishment getting things like NVIZ to work.


Tim: How did you get involved in QGIS?


I have tried various versions of qgis all the way back to Titan and Ganymede 6 or 7 years ago I guess, but I’ve really been more engaged and focused on server side tools (geoserver, mapserver geonode and now geogit) for the last several years at B.


I really started using QGIS quite a bit more at 1.8 Lisboa. My employer, Boundless, is now working toward bundling QGIS with our flagship product OpenGeo Suite providing commercial support for a complete GIS stack … so as part of us taking this step, we’ve started working with the QGIS community on things like the main website revamp and porting the training materials to 2.0 as well as working on our own plugins and such.


Anita: What sorts of plugins?


One plugin that we published with OpenGeo Suite 4.0 makes it easy to pull data from PostGIS or GeoServer right into QGIS where it can be easily worked with then published back to the web. In effect, it makes it possible to configure OpenGeo Suite — add new layers, publish maps, etc. — almost entirely from the desktop. One of my colleagues, Victor Olaya, who is a QGIS developer at Boundless, wrote a blog post about it late last year. We also have some other interesting plugins in the works, like one that makes it possible to use GeoGit to manage data using versioned workflows, but that’s still in the early stages.

Link to blog post:


Tim: What do you think the benefit of regional user groups is? Some people argue that it might dilute effort away from the central project (e.g. by creating silo’d mailing lists with their own accumulated knowledge bases) - do you think these concerns are warranted?


I think these kinds of concerns are actually totally warranted, IF the communities let that be a problem. The best solution is to get all the groups to try to use common resources or knowledge bases like the main lists, gis stackexchange etc to handle questions that are of general interest to the entire qgis community. I do think qgis-user itself is a little overwhelming for people are new to open source in general and not used to very active mailing lists.


That said, Our main goal with the US User group is to bring together people who are already using QGIS here in the US and trying to attract people who may want to try it and find support from other local users. We’d love to see people self organize meetups at all of the regional GIS conferences around the US. There are literally dozens of them all throughout the year and around the country and if people who are using qgis and other open source geospatial tools can really just get together for a happy hour or birds of a feather type discussion … then we have done our job.


Anita: To me, it seems like the US has historically been quite slow to adopt QGIS. If you look at the user and developer map, you will see a strong european bias. Do you have an idea why this might be the case? Especially from a developer point of view, but also from a user point of view. Is it just a case of people using QGIS but not being too vocal about it?


Its true that there are almost no QGIS developers here in the US other than the project founder Gary Sherman and a few people like Larry Shaffer (dakcarto). BTW Larry is going to give a workshop at our User Group meeting next month, he’ll be presenting on how to get setup as a QGIS dev whether you want to do plugin development or work on the core. I think longer term we will really see people building all kinds of interesting plugins and thats pretty exciting to me.


The user population is certainly growing here actually, and there is really a lot of interest and people trying QGIS for the first time and really being amazed at how powerful it is. People who might not have ever used a desktop GIS before.


I suppose its worth mentioning that the GIS market in the US is very much dominated by a proprietary vendor in Esri. There is really a strong community around their platform all over the country … and as I live in San Diego, I’ve been to their User Conference here many times. Its huge (12-15k people) and a really full of lots of interesting people doing interesting things. So there is a very vibrant GIS community and  we want to convince them to give QGIS a try, work on making it meet all of their needs, and help to build up a strong community of QGIS users who can help each other and pool their resources to make QGIS better. Thats really what open source is all about.


Tim: So do you have any plans to translate QGIS into American? :-) But seriously do you think there are concrete ways that the US QGIS community will contribute to QGIS?


The first thing we can do is assist the growth of the user population by getting people using QGIS in their everyday GIS workflows. We think we can help this by more documentation, workshops etc. and of course making good software that people want to use and really helps them do their job.

But beyond that, I think that there is lots of interest in QGIS among Government Agencies in the Federal, State and Local Governments who can find a greater return on investment with QGIS and the rest of the open source geo stack than with the proprietary toolset. I hope that as a community we can convince them to invest in the long term success of the project whether directly with sponsored development or contributing toward bug fixes and community infrastructure. We are of course still working out all of the details on how Boundless can be an effective catalyst for this.



Anita: Is there anything else interesting that you are doing with QGIS that you want to mention?


Actually yeah! I recently got a 3DRobotics quadcopter UAV and plan to collect some aerial photography with it. I spent alot of time several years ago working on collecting earth imagery from RC aircraft with smartphones. Things have advanced a TON in the years I’ve been away from the hobby. People in the Osgeo world here in the US like Aaron Raciot and Chris Schmidt are just now starting to do interesting things with imagery from these kinds of vehicles and I’m personally really excited about using tools like OSSIM and Orfeo toolbox in QGIS to process and work with this kind of imagery. I have many geologist friends who are very interested to fly this thing over their research sites and I think QGIS can be a very effective tool for them.


The calendar:





  1. Tim: QGIS Hackfest, Vienna, March 24 - 28  (

  2. Tim: QGIS-UK South-East user group meeting, being held at Imperial College, on the 2nd April

  3. Jeff: QGIS US User group in Washington DC April 11th just before State of the Map (OpenStreetmap) OpenGovHub

  4. Anita: Swiss QGIS User’s Group meets on Wednesday, June 18

  5. Tim: Swedish User group meets 22 April

  6. Anita: Romanian FOSSGIS meetup: Romania 4-5 april on Cluj Napoca

  7. CALGIS: April 14

Contact us:



2 min. Provide contact details for listeners to get into contact with us.


Tim: Thanks to our guest Jeff for joining us this week - would you like to let our listeners know how to get in touch with you?




  1. Twitter: Im @ortelius on twitter and we have setup @qgis_us as well

  2. Blog: I dont have my own blog, but post sometimes on the main boundless one.

  3. Google+:

  4. email:

You can also find me on irc


Tim: If you the audience would like to be on this podcast as a guest, please pop us a note at


Tim: and you can follow us on:


  1. qgispodcast on twitter

  2. qgispodcast on linkedin

  3. on google+

  4. Anita:

  5. Anita: and email us on




Direct download: QGISPodcast5.mp3
Category:QGIS -- posted at: 6:18am EDT

In this weeks episode: We discuss the idea of having bugfix releases and talk about QGIS activities in Romania.


News Links



  1. Tim: QGIS 2.2 ‘Valmeira’ was released at the end of Feb, binary packages for most operating systems are now available.

  2. Anita: Multithreading has landed in QGIS testing! Advantages: QGIS stays responsive while the map is being rendered. You can see how rendering progresses because the map is updating during the rendering process.

  3. Tim: Another round of Google Summer of code - OSGEO is once again a participant. See

  4. Anita: Nathan Woodrow announced the first release of ROAM. Roam is a standalone, fully bundled, Python application that was created to do data collection with a QGIS backend. See :

  5. Tim: Semi automatic classification plugin had a major update, no longer needing OTB (it now relies on scipy, numpy and gdal which are more readily available on many platforms):

  6. Anita: And speaking of OTB, they just announced a new release candidate for OTB 4.0:

  7. Tim: Nyall Dawson posted some pics of the new ‘burst fill’ symbology that he is working on that will allow you to make buffered gradient fills for polygons. Its easier to understand by taking a look at his example images than it is to try to explain it, so checkout out his post about this using the link provided in the shownotes if you are interested.:


The community of those who use QGIS in Romania is on  

Direct download: QGISPodcast4.mp3
Category:QGIS -- posted at: 1:31am EDT

This week our guest is Richard Duivenvoorde who chats to us about his activities as a QGIS Project Steering Committee member. We also chat about the QGIS plugin approval process.



  1.  Github updates its Spatial data support (with swipe!) - where is a nice swiper for QGIS?

  2. We now have a QGIS trainings manual as part of the website. http://www.qgis.org
  3. New arc.js at - Nice javascript library for plotting great circles from Dane Springmeyer.



Richard Duivenvoorde contact details:



Our contact details:


  1. qgispodcast on twitter

  2. qgispodcast on linkedin

  3. on google+


  5. and email us on

Direct download: QGISPodcast3.mp3
Category:QGIS -- posted at: 3:03am EDT

This week our guest is Anita Graser who chats to us about her activities as a QGIS Project Steering Committee member. We also chat about how to contribute to QGIS.


  1. New usability mailing list

  2. CAD Tools in QGIS : DEMO (video) : GITHUB (readme, download...) : (also available in the repos)

  3. North American QGIS Users Group - Jeffrey Johnson

  4. Flood mapping in Jakarta with QGIS

  5. Point clouds in QGIS. Lots of discussion on the dev mailing list on how we should handle support for them in QGIS. 

  6. Anita's video done with QGIS TimeManager and taxi GPS data

Anita Graser contact details:

Twitter: @underdarkGIS


You can also find me on Linkedin and Google+.

Our contact details:

  1. qgispodcast on twitter

  2. qgispodcast on linkedin

  3. on google+


  5. and email us on

Direct download: QGISPodcast2.mp3
Category:QGIS -- posted at: 10:26am EDT

Welcome to the first QGIS Podcast! This week our guest is Australian QGIS developer Nyall Dawson who chats to us about his work on QGIS Composer. We also chat about how best to spend money donated by sponsors.

Direct download: TheQGISPodcast-Episode-1-TheQGISComposer.mp3
Category:QGIS -- posted at: 11:23am EDT