... Practical QGIS

Practical Introduction to QGIS (Open Source Desktop GIS)


Terra GIS is offering a two day introductory class in Seattle on Monday January 23rd and Tuesday January 24th, 2017 with focus on hands on exercises. Participants can choose to attend the full two day class or optionally attend only one of the two days. The class will enable ArcGIS users to easily transition to using QGIS and its comprehensive tool kit (or to use it in addition to their existing GIS software). QGIS is a powerful desktop GIS system that is known for having a user-friendly interface, being able to access the most common data formats, both vector and raster ones. It features a wide range of tools for working with geographic information ( layout creation, analysis tools, geoprocessing, model builder, etc.) and provides excellent cartography, spatial analysis tools, and a wide range of spatial database connectivity. Via the QGIS community a wide range of plug-ins that are extending the core functionality are available ( to the point that nearly everything you ever wished to use a GIS for seems to be possible). It is an open source project that is published under the GNU General Public License (GPL), which allows its free use, distribution, study and improvement.

The topics of the class are as follows (time indications for individual class sections below are not exact but approximate time estimates to give an idea of the focus of the class):

Day 1 - Monday January 23rd
Overview and Foundations of QGIS
~30 minutes
The QGIS project and it’s community
Technical Foundations of QGIS (Libraries GDAL, OGR, PROJ4 )
Practical Introduction to QGIS and Basic Functionalities
Installation (OSGeo4W vs. stand alone)
~30 minutes
QGIS Basics and Interface Overview ~1 hour
Supported Data Formats
Exploring and using vector and raster data
Layer + map properties
Best practices, using map templates
Customization and settings (user interface)
Exercises - Creating Maps ~3 hours
Symbology / Cartography
Using layouts for cartography and printing maps
Working with tables and layers
(editing features and attribute data, digitizing)
Joining layers and tables
Exercises - Managing Raster Data ~2 hours
Overviews, Virtual Raster Tables (VRT)
Raster calculator
Hill shade, slope, aspect (from DEM)
Day 2 - Tuesday January 24th
(a working knowledge of the content covered on day one is a prerequisite
to ‘feel at home’ on this day)

Extended functionalities with QGIS - Overview and Exercises
Map Layout and Atlas Creation ~1.5 hours
Geospatial Processing Tools ~2 hours
Spatial Analysis
Using the geoprocessing tools and graphical model builder
QGIS Plug-ins ~1.5 hours
Google/ Bing / Open Street map
Open Geo Explorer (interface with GeoServer)
Semi Automatic Classification Plug-in (Remote sensing)
Integration with external programs
(Grass, R Statistical Software, SAGA GIS, Lidar tools etc.)
QGIS and Spatial Databases ~1 hour
Connecting to PostGIS, Spatialite
Exporting/Importing data to/from spatial databases
Python Scripts and Interface ~30 minutes
QGIS User Resources ~30 minutes

The class will be presented by Karsten Vennemann who has several years of experience with FOSS4G software and has lead numerous workshops in GIS throughout his 18 year career in GIS.

To get an idea about QGIS you can also consult the following link QGIS project information

First Day - Monday January 23rd (
9:00 am - 5:00 pm, one hour lunch break)
Second Day - Tuesday January 24th (9:00 am -
5:00 pm, one hour lunch break)

Participants can choose to attend the full two day class or optionally attend only one of the two days. Day two builds on the topics covered on day one. Please inquire about other dates if you are interested in the class but cant make the dates.

Class size

  • minimum of 4, maximum of 12 participants


  • single day (day one) US $325/per person
  • single day (day two) US $325/per person
  • both days US $595/per person

Location: Impact HUB, 220 Second Ave South, Seattle WA 98104, USA

For this class you will need to bring your own laptop to use (and to take home with a running QGIS installation and the work you created in QGIS !). Here are some guidelines: please bring a Windows laptop running on Win XP, Vista, Win 7, 8 or 10. You will need administrative rights on the machine in order to install the QGIS software and plug-ins. Make sure to have a minimum of 5GB of disk space to copy the class materials onto your system. The file system of your laptop has to be NTFS (not FAT32). If you are planning to bring a machine that doesn’t comply with these requirements please contact us and we can talk about whether your specific case will work out just fine for the class.

Target Audience/Prerequisites: GIS Specialists/Analysts/Programmers - at least intermediate level as no GIS basics will be covered. This course is designed for GIS users who want to learn about effectively using QGIS as a desktop tool. ArcGIS users will feel at home as differences between ArcGIS and QGIS will be illustrated for those who are interested.

Registration: Please contact us via email or call 206 905 1711 if you like to register or have additional questions. Please remember that you will need to bring your own windows laptop.