Posted on Leave a comment

Celebrate FOSS4G – 40% Off Sale

40% E-book Discount Code

FOSS4G Buenos Aires 2021 runs from Sept 27 to Oct 2 – you can still register to attend at as it is an online event.

To celebrate FOSS4G we are offering a 40% discount coupon for all open source geospatial e-books at Locate Press.

The sale will run from Sept 24 – Oct 4. Use the coupon code when adding an e-book to the shopping cart. This discount is only available through the Locate Press bookstore at

The coupon code is:

Our e-books are DRM-free downloadable PDFs that you own forever. They are written by enthusiastic supporters of open source and experts in their fields.

Thank you for buying from Locate Press – we look forward to creating even more books to help educate and inform today’s geospatial users.

Author Sessions at FOSS4G

Several Locate Press authors will be presenting at FOSS4G.  Check out one of these sessions to learn more about QGIS 3, PostGIS, Leaflet, and data science tooling.

Join our low volume newsletter to be the first to learn about our sales.

Posted on Leave a comment

VitalSource Online Books

Locate Press is excited to introduce a new way we are making our books available to readers. VitalSource provides an online digital book reading platform with several perks that make it more flexible than a simple PDF.

While we continue to depend on our PDF sales heavily, this is one option that institutions may appreciate. With bulk pricing options, schools can license a number of copies of textbooks and virtually distribute them to their students. This is available through their bulk ordering system here.

There are also many pricing options available for timed access to a title we are reviewing. Currently we are using a “lifetime” access mode but are looking at making it possible to have 30, 60, 90 day access for students taking a particular course who won’t need the book forever and, hopefully, give it to them at a discounted rate.

This is still new for us and we have only put two test books into their system and used our usual basic pricing… so far. (Their “Save 80% on textbooks” does not apply to us at this point!) We would love your feedback on this option, especially for classrooms.

QGIS for Hydrological Applications and Discover QGIS books in the VitalSource catalog
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image.png

Are you already using VitalSource? Would you like more fine-grained access to content as well, e.g., buy a chapter, part of a book, or a convenient bundle of books? Share your feedback directly with us here.

Posted on Leave a comment

Online Course QGIS for Hydrological Applications

QGIS Hydrological Applications Course

Learn GIS for catchment hydrology and water management supported by two experienced certified QGIS lecturers. After successful completion you’ll receive the official QGIS certificate. The course uses the Rur catchment as a case study. The recent floods in this catchment makes the course extra relevant.

Lecturers are also the authors of the QGIS for Hydrological Applications book by Locate Press – Hans van der Kwast and Kurt Menke. The course is through IHE Delft Institute for Water Education and delivered online from 4-8 October, 2021.

While the course is online, it is self-paced and online live support is given by the instructors. Ths cost is reduced from previous course at € 355.

The course is designed for professionals (engineers and scientists) that active in the water or environmental management sectors, especially those involved in using simulation models for water management and GIS analysts.

Topic covered include:

  • Georeference scanned maps
  • Digitize vectors
  • Import tabular data
  • Join attribute tables
  • Interpolate points to a raster
  • Apply map algebra
  • Delineate streams and catchments
  • Find and use Open Data
  • Calculate the percentage of land cover per subcatchment
  • Design beautiful catchment maps   

Apply here.
Read more details in this post.

Posted on Leave a comment

Geospatial/GIS Book Titles – Part 2

This post continues where we left off in our last post where we introduced the main QGIS books from Locate Press. The other two categories of books we have include specialized GIS titles and more general GIS titles.

Geospatial & GIS book categories

Specialized geospatial software titles cover web-based mapping, routing analysis, and general raster/vector data management.

General GIS titles covers a wide range of geospatial desktop technology as well as teaching the principles of GIS and data management for new geospatial users.

Web Mapping

Book cover for Leaflet Cookbook Recipes for Creating Dynamic Web Maps by Numa Gremling

Leaftlet Cookbook

Recipes for Creating Dynamic Web Maps

by Numa Gremling

Numa’s covers all the needed pieces for starting your own web mapping project – including an understanding of raster and vector data layers.

No advanced HTML/CSS knowledge is needed as each topic is gently introduced. GEOJson mapping, layout, feature styling, and even geoprocessing with Turf.js is covered.

Databases and other more advanced topics are also included.

Routing in a Spatial Database

pgRouting: A Practical Guide for PostgreSQL by Regina Obe and Leo Hsu

pgRouting: A Practical Guide

by Regina Obe and Leo Hsu

pgRouting is a complement to PostGIS – the open source spatial database, taking the basics of data maangement and queries to the next level.

This book introduces all the data types, functions, queries, and even QGIS integration you need for applying network navigation/routing on top of PostGIS.

Use it as a database add-on, QGIS desktop tool, or publish capabilities through web mapping clients – learn how in this book.

General GIS & Data Management Books

The Geospatial Desktop - Open Source GIS and Mapping by Gary Sherman

The Geospatial Desktop

Open Source GIS and Mapping

by Gary Sherman

Gary’s second geospatial book, and the first for Locate Press, covers a wide range of mapping and GIS software.

It is also a general introduction to open source GIS applications and concepts including raster data, vector data, spatial databases, coordinate systems, etc.

It covers command line tools, desktop GIS tools, scripting examples, and more. Software covered includes GDAL/OGR, QGIS, GRASS GIS, PostGIS, GMT, and more.

Geospatial Power Tools - Open Source GDAL / OGR Command Line Utilities by Tyler Mitchell

Geospatial Power Tools

Open Source GDAL/OGR Command Line Utiltiies

By Tyler Mitchell and GDAL Developers

In Tyler’s second geo-related book, he introduces the basics of using open source command line tools to manage your data.

Topics include converting, transforming, geoprocessing, and analyzing vector/raster datasets.

GDAL raster and OGR vector utilities are introduced along with their comprehensive command line manuals written by developers and formatted for readability.

Posted on 1 Comment

Overview of our Geospatial Book Titles

locate press logo for geospatial books and e-books

It can be hard to know what book to buy when you are just starting to learn open source geospatial technology. This post outlines each GIS & geospatial book in our catalog to help give you the top takeaways to consider.

Geospatial & GIS book categories

Locate Press books cover a wide range of topics but they all fit into a few simple categories which we review, in-depth, after the following summaries.

QGIS book titles cover comprehensively learning the software, designing good maps with it, applying to the domain of hydrology, and writing custom applications with Python.

Specialized geospatial software titles cover web-based mapping, routing analysis, and general raster/vector data management.

General GIS titles covers a wide range of geospatial desktop technology as well as teaching the principles of GIS in a classroom-friendly way for younger students.

QGIS books

Introduction to QGIS - Open Source Geographic Information System by Scott Madry

Introduction to QGIS

Open Source Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

by Scott Madry Ph.D.

Scott’s book applies to QGIS 3.16 LTR edition, covering the latest stable version of QGIS.

This books introduces how QGIS works, with the user interface, handling different kinds of files, import and export.

Learn the processing toolbox, modeler, and the Python console in particular. Fundamental GIS topics such as raster/vector analysis, 3D map viewing, and map production in QGIS are covered.

QGIS for Hydrological Applications - Recipes for Catchment Hydrology and Water Management by Hans van der Kwast and Kurt Menke

QGIS for Hydrological Applications

Recipes for Catchment Hydrology and Water Management

by Hans van der Kwast and Kurt Menke

Hans and Kurt’s popular domain-focused text contains core knowledge for handling data in the hydrology field, including lab exercises and links to more teaching resources.

It includes map algebra, delineating streams, and land cover calculations for catchments. And QGIS basics: digitizing, importing tabular data, interpolating data into rasters, and georeferencing scanned maps.

Discover QGIS 3.x - A Workbook for Classroom or Independent Study by Kurt Menke

Discover QGIS 3.x – A Workbook for Classroom or Independent study

by Kurt Menke

This updated QGIS training workbook uses structured study of core geospatial concepts and GIS functions from the latest QGIS 3.x Long Term Release version.

New sections are included in this 2019 update covering advanced data visualization with layer effects, 3D maps, blending modes, and more.

A complete training course — exercises, questions, and solutions are provided.

QGIS Map Design - Second Edition by Anita Graser and Gretchen N. Peterson

QGIS Map Design – Second Edition

by Anita Graser & Gretchen N. Peterson

Have you ever wanted to improve your cartography output from QGIS 3? Learn step-by-step instructions to create compelling visuals and new workflows in this second edition.

Basic QGIS knowledge is presumed as the focus is on building maps with the newest and latest functionality of QGIS – including atlases, multitudinous color tools, map label generation, printable maps, and more.

The PyQGIS Programmer's Guide 3 - Extending QGIS 3 with Python 3 by Gary Sherman

The PyQGIS Programmer’s Guide – Extending QGIS 3 with Python 3

by Gary Sherman

Learn the QGIS 3 Python API for writing scripts and creating plugins.

A chapter is dedicated to helping you set up your development environment and to have a productive development workflow. Each chapter includes exercises for you to put your knowledge to work.

This is an update from the earlier QGIS 2 / Python 2 edition.

On the Way with GIS - Student and Teacher Edition by Toni Fisher

On the Way with QGIS – Student and Teacher Edition

by Toni Fisher

Written for teachers and students, those aged 10 to 15 years old continue learning GIS by building on the lessons and concepts from Fisher’s earlier work, Open the Door to GIS.

This edition introduces more advanced topics and encourages inquiry-based learning techniques and storytelling to inspire creativity, problem solving, and building confidence as they work through various scenarios.

Open the Door to GIS - Student and Teacher Edition by Toni Fisher

Open the Door to GIS – Student and Teacher Edition

By Toni Fisher

Introduce students (age 10 to 15 years) to analytical and graphical skill using open-source GIS technology.

Creative storytelling is used with QGIS to teach students skills for making treasure maps, creating a game, and more, alongside characters in the stories.

Creativity and reflection are encouraged as they grow throughout these weekly lessons covering a full semester.

Other categories

The above books cover all the current QGIS training books. In another post, we will introduce the specialized application books (pgRouting, Leaflet) and the more general GIS training books as well (Desktop GIS, GDAL).

Posted on 2 Comments

What is Geospatial Technology?

Geospatial technology started with photo interp and GIS

Geospatial technology brings tools and data together to describe, map, and analyze the world around us and worlds yet to be discovered.

The term geospatial is a relatively new invention at least in the parlance of mainstream developers. Geospatial can refer to types of data or to types of technology. The word itself is a combination of geographic and spatial – indicating an alignment between geography and the general idea of spatial/locational properties. Spatial concepts (think geometry and statistics) do not necessarily represent a place on a planet until they are combined with ideas of geography in general.

Built on the history of Geographic of Information Systems (GIS)

GIS is a technical domain, usually for geographers, that allows users to make digital maps and subject them to various types of analysis. Sources of GIS data may include satellite or aerial imagery (raster data) or line map data (vector data) delineating points, lines, or regions of interest – created by surveyors, engineers, photo interpreters, etc.

While many GIS projects output maps, their primary goal is to develop observations about a project area and overlapping properties and values. For example, land-use planning typically requires a GIS process to compare/contrast all the competing values – economic, social, environmental, etc. These are thought of as layers of spatial data that overlap one another and can be combined to show different management priorities or scenarios.

Where do deer live in the winter compared to a planned highway development in a popular tourist corridoor – many values in one location often need advanced tools to build a complete picture.

Geography made digital

While GIS helps bring geography into the digital domain, geospatial technology helps bring it to life for more people. Beyond specific GIS projects, there are many more data sources, cartographic products and ways to output maps for different consumers . Collectively, these fall into the region of geospatial data and technology.

Web-based mapping really helped propel the generalized use of geographic data into the mainstream. Before Google Maps was introduced in 2005, there were only a handful of common web-based mapping tools available for the public to use. Developers started to build their own open-source platforms to share information and collect input.

This required a whole stack of technology including geographic data, web servers, spatial databases, rendering libraries, web-interaction libraries (zoom/click/pan), and the internet itself. Geographers or GIS users may only be a small part of the overall project or not involved at all.

In the end, a handful of different technologies are needed to bring digital geospatial data to life.

Broader than just spatial analytics

Building new geospatial web-mapping tools was one part of the journey. Naturally, the more people use mapping tools, the more questions they want to answer. For example, consider how popular Google Maps became due to its driving directions. This level of spatial analytics was profoundly useful for those driving in a new location. But only a small set of built-in analytics was really ever possible with this platform – or so it seemed.

Data analysts and GIS users are used to running specific types of routines on data to get an answer. For example, calculate an optimal route from A to B. Or what is the expected water course derived from this elevation model?

However, with modern geospatial technology, the user may view and interact with the data in a more real-time approach to build understanding before they ever run an analytical routine.

They may never click a “analyze” button but can use a 3D map view to get a sense of where water will flow, or look at the streets around them to compute their own driving path in their head. In this sense, geospatial tools help them leverage geographic data in a context that is intensely personal.

Collection of mapping technology

So what tools and technology are considered geospatial in nature? As noted in the “stack” of technology above, it is a wide-ranging set of technology. It can be helpful to look at the two types of end-users that typically leverage geospatial technology: software developers and data analysts.

Geospatial developers take data of interest, depending on their domain, and create applications that allow their target audience to interact with the data in a meaningful way. This may mean taking data that is not always spatial in nature – like a list of addresses or stores running sales – and turn it into a component on a map for viewing and querying.

Location-based applications using GPS tracking on a device are also used by developers to give localized awareness of nearby data or attributes the developer wants to expose.

Geospatial analysts – often work more behind-the-scenes and provide types of data analysis outputs that get used by application developers, GIS users, or even in reports or web sites for general public consumption.

Geospatial analytics for all

Analysis with geospatial data components is not limited to one domain of analyst anymore. Data scientists or business analysts may combine data from many sources – spatial or not – to provide a common operating picture of a business or project.

Therefore, libraries and processes for analyzing geospatial data have become ubiquitous or are at least a common subset of analytical routines that many have access to. Both desktop and web-based approaches to sharing data along with analytical tools continues to grow in popularity.

Locate Press sells books for learning and applying geospatial technology, written by experts in their field:

Posted on Leave a comment

Inside: The Geospatial Desktop Book

The Geospatial Desktop - Open Source GIS and Mapping by Gary Sherman

In this post we introduce the first book published by Locate Press – QGIS founder Gary Sherman’s The Geospatial Desktop, covering all things open source geospatial for desktop GIS users.

The Geospatial Desktop

Open Source GIS and Mapping

Sherman’s earlier book, Desktop GIS (Pragmatic Press, 2008), quickly sold out and was more or less out of print. Our goal was to get similar content back in print to help reach the typical desktop GIS user. The scope of the book was to cover all the modern GIS issues including data management, data collection, application installation, and more.

Desktop Geographic Information System (GIS) software gives you the ability to make maps and analyze geographic information. This book provides a foundational level of knowledge for understanding GIS and the open source desktop mapping applications that are available for use, for free, today.

Learn about vector and raster data, how to convert data, interacting with spatial databases, creating new map data, geoprocessing, scripting, and more. Special sections include focused learning on the Quantum GIS and GRASS GIS software platforms but other packages are also introduced. The Geospatial Desktop is written by the founder of Quantum GIS, so you can rest assured that you will be led by one of the most knowledgeable authors on the subject.

From the book’s information page.

As you can, the content of the book covers many topics, including data formats, mapping, digitizing, web mapping, and more. While it is due for an update the key concepts and lessons still apply. Some of the software has changed, a couple went extinct but most continue to grow, especially the spatial databases, command line tools, and QGIS content.

For further reference, here is a summary of each chapter. Sample chapter contents will be shared in future posts.


Setting the stage for the book with a preview of what’s coming in the following chapters. A sample mapping problem is presented—through the eyes of an avid bird watcher.

Getting Started

What type of user are you —beginner, intermediate, or advanced? This assessment helps determine which software you will need. We also review operating systems, selecting the right tools, and how to get the software downloaded and installed.

Integration of tools and managing change is an important consideration, whether you are using open source or proprietary software. This chapter provides some guidance on these issues, as well has how to get support for OSGIS software.

Having mapping software without data isn’t much good. We take a brief look at where to find data to meet your needs.

Working with Vector Data

Now we get down to using some software. This chapter takes a look at working with vector data using OSGIS.

Viewing data is like the “Hello World” application that everyone writes when learning a new programming language. It’s the first thing you’re going to want to do with any GIS application. In this chapter we take a look at not only viewing, but also how you can use rendering techniques to convey information about the relationships and characteristics of your data.

Before leaving this topic, we explore using OSGIS to view and work with the attributes associated with your data, including some interesting techniques to make it work for you.

This chapter makes use of uDig and Quantum GIS, as well as ogrinfo.

Working with Raster Data

Raster data is everywhere in the GIS world. You can use it as a background layer for your vector data or do full-blown analysis with it. In this chapter our goal is to get you up and running with raster data.

We start with simple viewing of rasters and also examine how to improve the rendering performance through the use of pyramids or overviews.

Rasters are more than just pretty pictures and to prove it we take a look at some additional types that can be used for analysis, including Digital Elevation Models (DEM) and grids.

In this chapter we use of some of the fine GDAL utilities as well as Quantum GIS.

Digitizing and Editing Vector Data

Creating data by digitizing is a common requirement, even for a casual user of GIS. In this chapter we take a look at simple digitizing, as well as editing the attributes associated with your points, lines, and polygons.

Data Formats

One of the challenges in working with GIS software, whether it be proprietary or open source, is making sense of the many data formats you encounter. This chapter takes a look at some of the common formats you will encounter so you can get an idea of what’s out there. We’ll also look at where these data formats come from, some of the conversion options, and lastly how to choose a standard data format for your mapping projects.

Spatial Databases

In this chapter we take a look at spatial databases. A spatial database allows us to store features, display them, or perform geoprocessing and analysis through a rich set of spatial functions.

We’ll compare the major spatial database offerings (PostgreSQL/PostGIS and MySQL) to get an idea of which is for you.

From there we’ll look at getting started with PostGIS and how to use it with both uDig and Quantum GIS.

Creating Data

Using existing data is fine and provides a lot of capability—until we want to display data specific to our area of interest. Sometimes we luck out and find the data; other times we have to create or convert it. At some point in your OSGIS career, you are going to need to do some creation or conversion of data to get what you need. This is where you move on from the hunter-gatherer stage in your GIS data usage.

In this chapter we’ll explore some of the ways in which we can torture data (whether raw or cooked) into submission and make it usable. Some of the methods include digitizing, importing from text files or other sources, converting data, importing GPS data, and georeferencing an image.

Projections and Coordinate Systems

If the world were flat it would be a lot easier —at least on map makers. Unfortunately, that’s not the case so we’re faced with the age-old problem of depicting features on a spheroid (that’s the earth) on a flat piece of paper (or screen).

There are plenty of books and online resources that delve into the details of projections and datums. Our goal in this chapter is to give you a brief yet practical introduction to provide what you need to know to work with your data. At the end of the chapter, you’ll find some additional resources you can use to learn more about the sometimes complex world of projections and coordinate systems.


It’s often not enough to have data and look at it. We almost always want to do some sort of manipulation or processing. This is where geoprocessing comes in. We’ll take a broad definition of geoprocessing to include any kind of data manipulation and analysis. To some extent, you could consider importing data as a geoprocessing operation.

In this chapter, we’ll look at some geoprocessing operations, including projection of data, line of sight analysis, watershed modeling, hillshading, clipping features, and grid algebra.

If you are wondering what tools are available in the OSGIS stack to accomplish these tasks, for the most part, you’ll find the answer is GRASS. While some of the other desktop tools provide various levels of support for a few types of operations, GRASS provides the most complete and powerful toolset. The goal in this chapter is not to instruct you in the use of all the GRASS geoprocessing tools, but rather introduce you by way of example to the possibilities.

Using Command Line Tools

Command line tools provide a powerful way to manipulate data, especially when you want to process in batch using a script. This chapter describes some of the more common and useful command line tools and illustrates how to use them to perform common data manipulation, conversion, and map generation tasks.

We start with a look at Generic Mapping Tools (GMT), which allow you to create cartographic quality maps from the command line. This sounds simple but in fact, it has quite sophisticated features including base map creation, plotting x-y values, lines, and polygons, coordinate transformations, gridding, contouring, and 3D illuminated surfaces.

For exploring, transforming, and converting raster and vector data we’ll take a look at the GDAL/OGR suite of utilities.

Lastly, we look at PostGIS and the shp2pgsql and pgsql2shp utilities for importing and exporting shapefiles.

Getting the Most out of QGIS and GRASS Integration

In this chapter, you will see how QGIS can serve as a front-end for viewing and editing GRASS data, as well as performing analysis and data conversion.

QGIS supports GRASS through the use of a plugin. The plugin provides access to GRASS data and functions and is distributed with all official QGIS packages.

Examples included in this chapter include loading and viewing GRASS data, editing GRASS data with QGIS, and using the QGIS-GRASS toolbox, a powerful set of analysis and conversion tools.

GIS Scripting

Most GIS users that I know end up doing a bit of programming, regardless of the software they are using. There is always some little task that is easier done with a script or a bit of code. In this chapter, we’ll take a look at some methods for automating tasks in OSGIS software. You don’t have to be a programmer to do a bit of script writing, especially when you can get jump-started by downloading examples and snippets. The script languages available to you depend on the application you are using. Applications and tools with a command line interface (CLI) can be scripted with almost any language available. Others have bindings for specific languages. Some non-exhaustive examples include:

  • GRASS – shell, Tcl/Tk, Perl, Ruby, Python
  • QGIS – Python
  • GDAL/OGR – shell, Perl, Ruby, Python
  • PostGIS – any language that works with PostgreSQL, including Perl, Python, PHP, and Ruby

Some OSGIS applications even provide bindings that allow you to write a custom application using a language such as Python. This chapter explores some of the techniques used with these applications.

Writing Your Own GIS Applications

Most GIS users have ventured into the realm of programming—whether it be writing scripts or full-blown applications. Scripting is quite useful for automating GIS tasks.

Sometimes you find yourself in a position where you need a customized application. The full version of your favorite OSGIS application is overkill or doesn’t provide the features you need. Often trying to twist the application into the form you need results in a system that is user-unfriendly and difficult to use. Many disciplines can benefit from a lightweight custom application that serves a specific need. These are the reasons for writing such an application. This chapter looks at the options for writing an application using open source components such as QGIS.

Survey Of Desktop Mapping Software

There are a lot of applications in the OSGIS desktop world. In this chapter we’ll explore some of the major choices available. In our survey we’ll classify applications based on both capability and the underlying language. The programming language behind an application is important because it affects how the application is distributed, installed, and how easy it is for us to customize.

For most people, the words “Desktop GIS” generally conjure up visions of a GUI interface. While that’s largely true, it’s clear there are command line applications that deserve a place in our toolkit. In the survey, we’ll divide the applications into two primary groups—those with a GUI and those that are command line only.

The survey includes:

  • GMT
  • gvSIG
  • Jump/OpenJump
  • OpenEV
  • QuantumGIS
  • Thuban
  • uDig

Installing Software

In this appendix you will find brief information on installing most of
the applications discussed in the book. As always, it helps to read the
installation instructions provided with the software. This information
is of the quick-start variety and will help you get up and running.
We provide information for each platform, assuming of course that the
application is supported on each:

  • OpenJump
  • Quantum GIS
  • uDig
  • GMT
  • FWTools

GRASS Basics

Once you have GRASS installed, setting up GRASS and creating your locations is key to getting off the ground. This appendix will guide you through creating a location using both QGIS and the GRASS shell. From there you’ll get a basic introduction to working with GRASS GIS to view and edit data as well as an introduction to the GUI.

Quantum GIS Basics

Quantum GIS has a lot of functionality and many areas to explore. This appendix provides an introduction to the basics of using QGIS, including map navigation and other essential features.

Posted on Leave a comment

The Need for Open Source Geo Books

Camper looking at paper map planning next day's journey

Why we started the company in the first place – to expand the global knowledge base for our favorite tools and encourage new users to join in the fun.

In 2006 I was proud to help launch the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo). My dream was to have every geospatial user around the world know about the same tools I had grown to love and use in my daily work. At the time I was primarily using MapServer, PostGIS, and GDAL. Others were using GeoServer, GRASS GIS, QGIS, and more.

But the products struggled to grow because the community, for many of them, was just getting started and there was little to no funding available to promote them. There was oftentimes not even enough funding for proper infrastructure, so spending it on marketing was not a high priority.

So I spent five years at OSGeo driving the marketing, outreach, and fundraising side of these projects and while doing so I heard many power users, academics, trainers, and professionals complain about the lack of structured training material.

In particular, professors had trouble breaking out of the proprietary toolsets because they had easier access to training materials. I wanted to see if we could fix that.

Bridging the geospatial knowledge gap

Enter Locate Press.

There is so much great information that stays locked up in the heads of developers, power users, and project managers. My plan was to work with existing experts in the field and help them share their knowledge in a useful form. Then trainers, educators, and professionals would have their knowledge more easily at hand. We used financial incentives to help them get their title into the hands of their fanbase and beyond (50% royalties is well beyond industry standard).

And there are great writers out there who also happen to be open source geospatial advocates, but these people are hard to find because they may not be so vocal in the project communities.

Finding and inviting these writers, and connecting better with broader communities, requires a different approach than we’ve had so far.

As part of a renewed strategy, I view the next 5 years of book development in two buckets: domains and technology. Every professional, every writer, and every product user fits into one of these.

Domains: building the profession

Some geospatial experts just see themselves as geographers or teachers and may never think that their knowledge or training approach is worth sharing. Others work in areas of business like forestry or cartography and consider themselves a sort of industrial niche area that only a few people care about.

These are domain professionals and warrant their own series. It’s not always about technology, but how you apply it to solve problems — in your business or on the ground. It’s not just about making maps or analyzing data, the spectrum of knowledge that is useful to share is much wider.

For example, the more entrepreneurial-minded bunch that already lead workshops, write blog series, or run podcasts already have the kinds of knowledge that others enjoy or they would have no audience. They know how to tap into the needs of a diverse set of communities and bring interesting information to light.

We need similar vigor in our professional and volunteer activities. How can the project you are working on today get into more hands? In what ways can it help others produce a product or solution faster or better?

A domain-focused book series is needed to help bridge the gap and help coalesce communities of interest around us all.

Tech: advocating for solutions

There are still many powerful, useful projects that are going unnoticed today. So marketing in general is going to help get the word out and bring in new contributors. There is an amazing amount of value in contributors who can’t code and may not even be “pros” at using a particular software product. They can still be powerful advocates for other users to learn from.

If this is you, then your advocacy and passion can still help products that you depend on to develop further. By bringing more attention to it through a book, it helps developers know their market is strong and helps professionals know the project is a serious endeavor (because it even has a book).

The end game

Ignoring for a moment that books do eventually get out of date, our work here will be done when everyone can get the training they need from a book, in-person training, or professional outreach at a conference. When they can then pull together a custom bundle of the particular products they need and have accompanying training material at a professional level, things will be amazing.

At Locate Press we’ve focused on technology titles and will continue to do so. However, as we move more and more into the different professional areas, a secondary focus domain-related topics will eventually emerge. At the end of the day there can be some very interesting outcomes.

Imagine with me if you will:

  • a box set of all the OSGeo project books
  • re-usable workshop guide books for the top 10 most popular platforms
  • how-to guides for new professionals in all major industries
  • pre-packaged training materials to support those delivering in-person training

These are all possible given the right focus and timing. I hope you’ll consider joining us in this quest.

If you have a book idea or know someone who would be a great author for us, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Even if it turns out to be mismatch, I’d love to hear from you.

In the meantime, check out our book catalog and let us know what is missing for you.

Posted on Leave a comment

Changing of the Guard

locate press logo for geospatial books and e-books

After eight years under Gary Sherman, founder of the QGIS project, Locate Press today returns to its founder, Tyler Mitchell.

Tyler has big plans so keep your eye on our website as things develop. You can contact him at

Remember, our books are authored by leading experts in the field of open source GIS.

Subscribe to our newsletter here.

New Book: Introduction to QGIS

Get started with QGIS with this introduction covering everything needed to get you going. This entry-level tutorial, based on the 3.16 LTR version, introduces you to major concepts and techniques to get you started with viewing data, analysis, and creating maps and reports.

With this book you’ll learn about:

  • The QGIS interface
  • Creating, editing, and analyzing vector data
  • Working with raster (image) dataUsing plugins
  • The QGIS Processing Toolbox
  • Georeferencing
  • Creating map and reports
  • Resources for further help and study

The book includes a link to all the data you’ll need to follow along with each chapter.

Learn more at

Subscribe to our newsletter here.

QGIS Birthday Sale! 

Nineteen years ago this week, the first lines of QGIS code were written. The project has come a long way through the efforts of a vast cadre of contributors.

To celebrate the last year of QGIS as a teenager, we’ve discounted all ebooks by 40% for at least a week; maybe longer. [Sale ended June 24th]

Get your books now before the sale ends by using the coupon code qgis-birthday at

Subscribe to our newsletter here.