When Simon first floated the idea of setting up the UK user group I wasn’t really sure how it would pan out. Just how many people would be interested? A lot it turns out. In fact we had nearly 30 people attend the first meet last Friday (27th September) and if they were there to find out a bit more about how QGIS is being used in the UK they wouldn’t have left disappointed.
Below is a list of those who kindly volunteered a brief summary of what they talked about and a link to their presentation.
Jo Cook – Portable GIS
For those of you who don’t know portable GIS does exactly what it says on the tin. It gives you a full portable open source (of course) GIS stack that you can carry round on a USB stick. The stack itself consists of QGIS, PostGIS and Mapserver, and Astun Technologies’ GML Loader. Jo told us how PGIS had started off as a pet project of her’s in 2007 to make it easy to use open source GIS.
Chris Page – Super Broadband
Chris Page from the CSW superbroadand rollout program, showed the group how by using QGIS to generate images, he was able to create fast image maps using Tableau and Seadragon. Using a bit of crowd-sourcing (using Crowdmap) Chris was also able to create a database of BT boxes within the study area, unfortunately BT couldn’t help they didn’t really know where they all were!
Mark Percival – Time Manager Plugin
A really interested talk my Mark about the Time Manager created a bit of a buzz. Many of the group had heard of it but had little or no experience of using it. Mark demonstrated how to set up vector layers and run the Time-Manager plugin (Created by Anita Graser) and generously gave his pearls of wisdom on using it. Marks blog goes into detail of his experiences.
Andreas Neumann – Swiss user QGIS group + QGIS server/web client
Travelling all the way from Switzerland, especially to talk about the Swiss QGIS user group and the QGIS server/web client, Andreas received a couple of generous rounds of applause for his efforts. It was interesting to hear how the Swiss group was structured and organised, giving the group food for thought on how it could move forward in the future. There were keen ears listening to how QGIS server/web client was set up and worked, which again prompted bit of a buzz of excitement.
Steve Campbell – QGIS & SQL
Steve from Poole Borough Council gave a talk all about his experiences of using SQL-server to manage Ordnance Survey Mastermap, so that he could get in into QGIS. His talk outlined the hurdles that he has to overcome to get this data into SQL, demonstrating the range of sql statements that he had to use. The group had a lot to say on the subject of SQL which was interesting to hear, even for the non-sql users point of view.
Nicholas Duggan – QGIS in Energy Sector
At the top of his presentation, Nick apologised for the talk he was going to be giving, even before anyone really knew what it was going to be about. How wrong he was for apologising. Talking about how his business was now taking up QGIS in favour of using ESRI products to deliver GI data to clients via various cloud means, it was really well received and once again stimulated a lot of conversation.
All in all the event was a success and the crowd agreed that they wanted to see more UK QGIS meetings in the future.
by Matt Travis