Here I post my thoughts, QGIS tips and tricks, updates on my QGIS-related work, etc.


02.02.2010 17:56 ·  GIS  ·  qgis, plugins, photo2shape

Yesterday my patch adding import/export of connection settings to geodatabases and WMS servers was accepted.

When the user clicks on the import/export button, the following simple window appears

Manage connections dialog
Manage connections dialog

The file to which the data will be written (or from which it will be imported) is selected at the top, and the connections from that file are displayed below. Multiple selection can be made using the Ctrl and Shift keys, also list items can be selected by dragging the mouse.

Once you have saved the file, you can transfer it to another machine and add the necessary connections in a few clicks.

I also forked Tim’s ImagesToShape plugin, rewrote it to use the module and added some improvements. This is how Photo2Shape was born. It is already released, but there is not much feedback yet, or rather none at all :-).

GDAL 1.7.0

31.01.2010 12:10 ·  GIS  ·  gdal, release

Announced GDAL 1.7.0, a new version of an open source library for working with raster and vector data. Here you go… I just recently upgraded to 1.6.3.

A short list of changes:

The full changelog can be found here.

Geotagging tools

27.01.2010 17:22 ·  GIS  ·  qgis, plugins

Recently Tim Sutton published a blog post about geotagging with free software and released his QGIS plugin for it. The plugin uses the exiv2 library and requires the python-exiv2 package, which is not available on Windows/OSGeo4W. Therefore ImagesToShape is not available from the plugins repository.

As I’m interested in geotagging myself, I contacted Tim and offered to rewrite the plugin, abandoning exiv2 in favour of a pure Python module.

Approval granted, so I start work on the plugin.

QGIS 1.4 "Enceladus"

12.01.2010 10:01 ·  GIS  ·  qgis, release

QGIS 1.4 “Enceladus” has been released, the announcement can be found on the official blog. This release contains over 200 bug fixes and about 30 new features. It is notable for a new symbology system, a more advanced PAL-based feature labelling engine and other improvements.

Meanwhile, the developers are working on the trunk: it is already possible to reload Python plugins without restarting QGIS, the Python console has been practically rewritten, support for GPS devices has been added, diagrams and plots now use Qwt…

And there is another hackfest planned for the end of March in Italy, details here. I’d love to go, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to.

About rasterlang and GDAL

06.01.2010 15:15 ·  GIS  ·  qgis, gdal, python

The rasterlang QGIS plugin refused to work, complaining about a self-compiled GDAL with almost everything enabled. Investigation showed that in addition to all GDAL dependencies, the NumPy package must also be installed. Otherwise you some things will not work.

NumPy is needed to build gdal_array: a small but essential module used to represent images as arrays and then do all sorts of naughty things with them.

After installing NumPy, rebuilding and updating the GDAL package, everything worked.

2009 Recap

31.12.2009 10:02 ·  Notes  ·  recap

Last post of the year. It’s a good time to look back and summarise what happened.

At the end of April, I started my more or less active participation in the GIS community, which over time has become more than just a thematic resource and community for me. I found new friends here, and now most of my activities are directly or indirectly related to it.

Changing jobs… seems like a pretty big change. But after six months, I don’t see any improvements or advantages compared to my previous job. Promises are still promises, and everything I wanted to get away from is still there.

2009 will be remembered as the last year of the “senior” group of the pop dance team “Bravo”. For the last two years, the senior group has only been getting smaller and smaller, and here we are… In September, there were only five people left from the whole collective - 4 girls and 1 guy. But a bunch of newcomers arrived without any choreographic training. Our place was taken by the “middle” group, which continues to gain momentum, winning first places and all sorts of prizes at all sorts of festivals and competitions. All thanks to our artistic director and choreographer. Well done, Ira!

My first (and hopefully not the last) trip to the QGIS developer meeting took place this year. A week of working on QGIS, new friends, discussions, and a lot of impressions. Now I know for sure that QGIS is going to conquer the world :-).

After returning from Austria, I switched to using Linux. On the desktop, Windows has moved to the last line in the bootloader menu, and on the laptop, it is not there at all. Despite the lack of a few small things, Linux is an amazingly convenient and powerful system. There is no desire to go back to Win. I keep the “other system” for testing and a few very specific programs.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Improving GdalTools

23.12.2009 16:28 ·  GIS  ·  qgis, plugins, gdaltools

I’ve already submitted some patches for fTools, now it’s time to look at GdalTools. I have already added an “Info” tool to display information about the raster, implemented internationalisation support, added several new options to the “Merge” and “Warp” tools, and now I am working on a batch mode. There are also plans to add more tools.

Hopefully I will be able to get most of the work done before the New Year, and then I will start improving Statist and developing another plugin.

Switching to Linux

10.12.2009 16:36 ·  Notes  ·  linux

I’m gradually moving from a desktop to a laptop, and spending more and more time on Linux.

By and large, the transition to Linux is almost complete. There are still a few projects that were originally developed for Win (they are very specific tools), some of which I plan to port and those that cannot be ported at all - will run in VirtualBox.

From time to time, I find myself missing some programs and tools that I am used to as a user of another system. But this is more due to ignorance.

P.S.: vim, of course, is very powerful, but to get used to it… its tutorial is very short and covers only a few topics.

QGIS hackfest 2009 (Vienna)

24.11.2009 08:05 ·  Notes  ·  qgis, travels, meetings

It’s been almost a month since I returned from Vienna and I still haven’t written anything about Hackfest. I’m not a good writer.



02.11.2009 08:24 ·  Notes  ·  laptop

An idiot’s dream :-). Finally it came true - I got a laptop.

Actually, I’ve been thinking about getting a laptop for a long time, but the fact that I have a desktop computer at my disposal has stopped me. There was no real need for a laptop. Cold calculation and expediency have always prevailed over childish “I want it!” impulses. But now the situation has changed in favour of this purchase. I’m going to the QGIS hackfest, and there will probably be more travelling after that.

I opted for a Lenovo ThinkPad SL500. It is not the most powerful machine at the moment, but it was not bought for games. As one article said, “The best laptop is YOUR laptop”, and mine suits my needs quite well :-). The only thing that is a bit annoying is the glossy top lid. It seems to be a problem for all manufacturers: everywhere I’ve been - all laptops are glossy, and many not only on the outside, but also on the inside. So I didn’t have much of a choice here. The newer SL510 is matte (thanks to Patrick, they came to their senses!), but it is impossible to get it now, especially in our province.

For those who are interested, here are the brief specifications: 15.4" WXGA TFT display, Celeron DualCore T3000 1.8GHz/800MHz, GL40 Express chip, integrated video GMA 4500M, RAM 2048 Mb DDR2 667 MHz (PC2-5300), HDD 250 Gb, DVD-RW, modem, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LAN 1 Gb/s, 7-in-1 card reader, webcam 2 Mpx, 4 USB ports, there are also headphone and microphone outputs, HDMI, FireWire and VGA. A detailed review can be found on, where the same model is described, but with a slightly different configuration.

I have already installed DeepStyle 3.1, updated some packages and am now setting up a build environment for QGIS. I also need to read a lot of mans and do some fine-tuning (suspend, power management, CPU frequencies, etc.). But all this will probably be done after the hackfest, as there is not much time left.