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Using QGIS to display positions

logoTo check some specific points relating to JoggOdo, I need to display positions (longitude, latitude) on a map. After having looked through available open source Geographical Information Systems (GIS), I select QGIS. It fulfills most of my requirements, two of them being multiplatform and programmability.

Installation on OS X

I install it on a Mac running OS X 10.9.1 (Mavericks):

  • download and install following software from this page:
    • GDAL 1.10 complete
    • FreeType
    • Matplotlib 
  • install QGIS 2.0.1-7

Installation on Linux Mint 14

As described on QGIS web site:

  • add deb http://qgis.org/debian quantal main to the list of repositories
  • get public key and add it to apt keyring. Beware: the correct, unexpired public key must be downloaded from here
  • reload repositories data
  • install qgis package (this will install several dependencies)

Maps

User guide examples are based on a sample dataset, qgis_sample_data.zip. Download it, and extract its contents, to be able to follow user guide instructions.

To get data extract for a given part of the world, CloudMade can be used. Choose shape file format. I'll spend more time on how to access OpenStreetMap data later...

Displaying positions from a CSV file

In QGIS 2.0 version, displaying positions listed in a CSV file is really easy: Layer / Add Delimited Text Layer...