Tuesday, 27 January 2015

QGIS Mobile is dead...long live 'QField'

QGIS has become one of the most successful Open Source GIS projects on the planet. From it's early beginnings as not much more than a Shapefile viewer to an ArcGIS alternative coupled with Grass GIS Modules there is very little general spatial functionality missing... well almost.

QGIS was never meant to be a convenient field data entry tool and QGIS for mobile was meant to fill the gap however as of December 2014 the project has been refocused to create a touch optimised interface aimed at field work using the QGIS libraries.

'QField' aims to take your pre-prepared QGIS project out into the field and maintain QGIS styling. Some of the promised tools include:-
  • More GPS centric editing.
  • Desktop compatibility.
  • Synchronisation.
  • Project preparation on QGIS Desktop.
  • Simple interface with just a couple of buttons.
  • Switchable use paradigm
Built from Qt5, QtQuick 2 and OpenGL.

For a proposed list of functions click here.



More information is available and developers wishing to contribute with a use case should contact:- info@opengis.ch

or mail:-

OPENGIS.ch GmbH
Via Cochetta 2
7152 Sagogn, GR
Switzerland

source: http://www.opengis.ch/android-gis/qfield/

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Grass 7 Beta 4 just announced.

Hope you are having a great Christmas. Just wanted to remind the Free and Open Source Geospatial Community about the Grass GIS 7 (Beta 4) release of a couple of days ago. My apologies if this has been copied to social media sites but worth mentioning non-the-less. As a huge fan of this workhorse of a product it has some major new enhancements and features in order to bring it more in line with the rest of the wxPython Geospatial Community. Have a look at the following link:

http://grass.osgeo.org/news/39/15/GRASS-GIS-7-0-0-beta4/

Below is a quick example (exported as an animated gif) of how easy it is to produce a series of raster map overlays onto some base lidar data (using the 'r.lake' module and the new animation module) in order to get an idea of the effects of rising river water levels over a thousand year period as a result of global warming at the current sea level rise of 3mm per year (for this demo no other environmental factors have been taken into account).


The new animation module 'g.gui.animation' is capable of including several animations in a single window and able to support 3D, Space/time Rasters, Voxel/Volume and Vector data. Just got to get that legend working properly.

Installation for Ubuntu 14.4? users via'terminal':

Ubuntu 14.4: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:grass/grass-stable; sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get install grass70-core; grass70-gui; To start: grass70

Monday, 12 May 2014

Is technology getting in the way of the main objective? That server is down again!

Have you noticed what has happened to GIS in the last five years? It has become a mammoth task to do (essentially) the same thing that we were doing fifteen years ago. That is to disseminate data for users to use and manipulate, only now the technology is so much more complex that potential new users have not only lost interest but the costs and workloads have escalated out of all proportion requiring an new intermediate breed of specialists and consultants each with their own idea of what the end user 'really' needs based on solutions which previously worked for financial, banking and payroll systems.

If I want data I don't care how I get it and in whatever format is available in so long as I can 'find' it, 'download' it and 'translate' it, tools that are present even in the most basic GIS package. Now I cannot 'find' it unless I know the correct search term and the correct 'Portal' I cannot 'download' it unless I register and the system accepts my sixth attempt at getting the password correct, I then have to answer a series of pointless questions to ascertain my status and 'accept' allowing the portal to send me more junk mail than i can delete from my google account in 30 minutes.

There seems to be a 'Portal' for just about everything and anything all requiring 'usernames' and 'passwords' the technology has become the problem instead of the objective adding layers of added complexity along the way. I now need an 'infrastructure' a 'service' a 'search engine' and associated server software and middle ware support from the I.T. department.

All I need is software and data that's current and accurate. I don't have time for all the other 'stuff' I'm a GIS user I input, manipulate and display data to answer my problem, I need to see the spatial correlations, the patterns, the visual maps and I need user control to carefully define my message. I've lost simplicity and gained more complexity but hey that's progress I'm sold.

The end result is usually (as always) a customised, printed map or a PDF the same thing we were doing fifteen years ago.

But... hang on there could be a saviour 'QGIS Cloud' publish a complete QGIS project with a couple of clicks and let the service provider worry about the rest.

maybe some things are better than they were fifteen years ago!