QGIS for Hydro – Second Edition

We are excited to announce our first updated work for 2022!

QGIS for Hydrological Applications – Second Edition is now available as an e-book. Built on the latest improvements from QGIS 3.22+ it also has 10% more pages and various improved workflows and recipes.

Save $10 (28%) this month by using e-book coupon code: WATERISLIFE when adding it to your cart.
Print versions of the updated book are coming later this month. Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to hear of new books and projects.

Read more on the book’s store page, including a comprehensive table of contents and overview of new features.

Joining as a QGIS Sustaining Member

Locate Press has helped support the QGIS project, in spirit, for many years with most of our book titles dedicated to learning it. Our former publisher, Gary Sherman, started QGIS twenty years ago, and several of our authors serve as trainers or board members for different QGIS chapters.

Today we take one step further with direct financial support of QGIS as a Sustaining Member (small level).

Rather than just take donations and gives commercial benefits, the project has an interesting goal of recurring supporters through this membership program to help create ongoing contributions – it’s a good idea and thinking outside of the box is needed for long term sustainability.

If you are using QGIS in your work or business, please also become a member (see this link) and join us in furthering the cause of equal access to GIS technology by using open source development. Can’t afford a membership? An annual donation of any amount is also available. Below, I’ve copied some of the description of how the funds will be used.

From QGIS.org sustaining membership page:

“With your financial contributions we are able to:

  • keep the QGIS.ORG IT infrastructure up and running. This includes aspects, such as
    • the QGIS.ORG website
    • our issue (bug and feature reporting) system
    • the continuous integration system that tests each change or pull request against a series of automated unit tests
    • our documentation and API documentation system
  • packaging QGIS for the various operating systems
  • fixing bugs and other issues
  • managing pull requests and do code reviewing
  • mentoring new contributors
  • translating QGIS
  • running our QGIS grant system that allows contributors to work on behind the scenes improvements to the QGIS code base, our infrastructure, documentation or other aspects of our community. Work that otherwise would be hard to do by volunteers only or hard to sell to customers of QGIS development companies
  • organize and support our contributor meetings and QGIS conferences

QGIS.ORG wants to be transparent with the funds we receive and how we spend them. Please have a look at the financial reports and budgets in our Finance section.”

Year End Sale – 20% off geospatial e-books

Save on our final sale of the year

Use this coupon code until Jan 2nd to get 20% off e-books.

Pick any Locate Press e-book and enter the coupon code: XMAS21
The 20% discount will be applied when you add it to your cart.

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Educators save with 5 or more books

Need books for an event or course? Normally we limit bulk discounts to larger orders, but anyone can place an order with us directly – for at least 5 books and we will give a 20% retail discount. That’s like buying four and getting one for free.

What you do with them after is up to you – resell, giveaway, or get them autographed at an event – your call!  

Larger orders may enjoy even steeper discounts. We ship globally and print in USA, UK, and Australia.

Email tyler@locatepress.com with your order. 

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QGIS Map Design – Free Christmas DLC

It’s that time of the year again. When it’s dark and cold on the northern hemisphere, let’s grab a warm beverage of your choice and get mapping.

Inspired by the latest QGIS Open Day Freestyle Mapping Challenge, I set out to explore the Quantarctica project dataset. Today, I want to share with you the resulting map series. Like all recipes in QGIS Map Design, this blog post walks you through the process of creating these maps and provides all the resources to reproduce them yourself.

The historic Antarctic expedition of Roald Amundsen is one of five expedition routes mapped by the Quantarctica project which provides the data for our Christmas DLC maps.

This recipe assumes familiarity with QGIS styling, labeling, and layout creating basics, so we can focus on exciting new tips and tricks.

Base Map

Our map uses six layers of the Quantarctica dataset. The geographic context is provided by the ADD Simple basemap and Overview place name layers together with the South pole and Antarctic circle layers.

The two fonts used on this map are Arial and Steelfish.

The historic context is provided by the Five historic expedition routes and Historic stations layers. To show the travel direction of the expedition routes, we can create a trail of small arrow symbols by combining a simple line with custom dash pattern and a marker line:

So far, the map is pretty crowded because we see all five expeditions at once.

Let’s set up the Atlas map series, so we can create a dedicated map for each expedition.

Atlas Map Series

The historic expeditions have been digitized as ten line features in order to be able to distinguish between sections of the routes traveled by sea, land, and even air:

Counting the distinct leader values, there are actually six expeditions in this layer, however only five of them include sea routes.

Focusing on the five earliest expeditions, all of them contain sea routes. We can therefore set up the Atlas by filtering the route features to get only the five sea routes:

This setup will ensure that our Atlas will generate a map series with one map per expedition leader.

Make sure to activate the Altas preview mode now.

Filtering Routes & Stations

Back in the main QGIS window, we now can access the @atlas_feature to filter the routes layer accordingly. We want to show the sea route feature, as well as any other route feature that belongs to the same expedition leader:

Fun With Labels

So far, our map only shows basic labels for geographic features. In the following steps, we will add labels to the expedition routes and historical stations. Finally, we’ll use a rule-based labeling hack to put the finishing touches on our map.

Smooth Route Labels

Many of the expedition routes are anything but straight. They twist and turn and so do the letters of any labels we try to put on them. This effect becomes particularly prominent, when using large label fonts.

To create smoother looking labels, we can use the Geometry Generator (in the Label Placement tab) to create a smoother base line for labeling using an expression like:

smooth(simplify($geometry, 100000), 2)
The map in the background shows the generated simplified line geometry for illustration purposes.

Multi-color Labels

To show the station names and operating years in different colors, we can use HTML label formatting. To do so, we need to enable “Allow HTML formatting” (in the Label Text tab). Then we can build our label expression.

For this label, we combine three column (name, year_start, and year_end). Since year_end is empty (NULL) for some stations, it is important that we use the concat function (instead of the || operator). Otherwise, stations with a NULL value would not be labeled at all:

concat("name",
       '? <span style="color:#307f7f">(',
          "year_start", '-', "year_end",
       ')</span>' )

The ? character is used to insert a line break using the “Wrap on character” setting (in the Label Formatting tab).

Snowflakes *❆❅*

Last, but not least, for some (completely optional) Christmas spirit: let’s make it snow!

The snowflake styling trick used in this map is based solely on Unicode snowflake symbols and rule-based labeling.

As shown in this screenshot, the preview label color is red but it is over-ruled by the project variable flake_color.

By creating multiple rules that all apply to the same (land) polygons in our base map, we can create a random snowflake pattern. Randomness is introduced on different levels:

  • The label font size is randomized, e.g. rand(15, 60).
  • The label rotation is randomized by using the “free (angled)” placement mode.

Different rules have different priorities, with higher priority values assigned to label rules with larger font sizes.

The snowflake color can be adjusted by changing the project variable flake_color (in Project Properties | Variables). This way, we can change the color of all snow flakes at once, without having to edit every individual rule.

So Much More

There’s much more to discover in this project. For example, the label substitutions used to shorten the island labels or the decorations added in the layout:

So go grab the project and happy mapping!

Please ensure that you acknowledge or cite Quantarctica and the Norwegian Polar Institute if you use their dataset in your work.

GIS Week Sale – 35% off geospatial e-books

11-day sale to Celebrate November and GIS Week

Enjoy a 35% discount on all Locate Press e-books from Nov 8-19th:

  • Find an e-book here
  • Select Buy PDF
  • Enter Coupon Code: GISDAY2021
  • Add to Cart, Checkout, and save big!

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Beat Amazon! Save on your print orders by ordering direct and getting 20% off 5 or more books of any titles (can be 5 different titles).

Contact us below with your order and mailing address – we’ll supply a quote and a link to process credit card payments.

We print in USA, UK, and Australia where we offer the best shipping rates.

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