It’s arrived….

24 MP of pure CFA free joy…… How good do I need to be for santa?!

QQIS Help Forums

At some point using QGIS you’ll have a question about how something works or wondering how to solve a spatial problem. Help forums (for any software) are invaluable for this, allowing you to interact with other users. And QGIS…. doesn’t have forums! However it does have plenty of people that are active users and interact…. further information on their support page. Instead of forums, that use mailing lists instead. These are far more efficient to maintain, so head on over and subscribe to the Qgis-user mailing list allowing you to receive each email or daily digests (I usually go for the latter). Mailing lists are often thought of as quite ephemeral, but not if you use nabble. Here you can get an archive of all Qgis-user emails (and indeed for all the QGIS mailing lists) which are fully searchable and presented as a forum. Indeed, if you are subscribed to the mailing list, you can actually post through nabble. A great way to find (and give) help.

The other main port of call is Stackexchange. Here they have an active GIS Group which operates as a QGIS Forum if you tag your posting with “qgis”. Another very helpful location.

USGS Earth Explorer Bulk Downloader

When wanting to download data from the USGS I’ve found that EarthExplorer is one of the easiest to use products and rapidly pulls together datasets that you might be interested in. At some point you’re likely to find yourself wanting to download multiple tiles of data - I was expecting this to be a straightforward task of just ticking the scenes you want and then download in one hit. This isn’t the case though… you either need to download scenes one at a time or opt to use the Bulk Download Application. If you do the latter you simply “tag” each scene you are interested in by clicking the “Add to Bulk Download” button and then, when you are done, click on “Item Basket” (top left). At this point you can change file format options before proceeding to the “checkout” (and you need to be logged in for all of this).

With that complete, you then start the Bulk Download Application on your PC, login and then any active downloads are listed which you can download. It all works quite efficiently, but seems quite convoluted. I also wish the results screen would allow you to load more than just 10 results at a time but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

QGIS: great features 2

I’ve been working with some colleagues in Argentina for which open source data is sparse. To this end, I wanted to collate some SRTM data (from EarthExplorer) and OSM data. Downloading the latest 1 arcsecond SRTM data proved a little more fiddly than I was expecting - more on this in the next blog.

However it was OSM data for Tierra del Fuego that I wanted to grab and so find an easy way to download just what I wanted. Enter the rather excellent OSMDownloader plugin (OK, its a plugin, rather than native to QGIS, but hey many features started life that way!). Simply install and click Vector->OpenStreetMap->Download Data. By default it chooses the extent of the current map canvas and then can dynamically download the data. Fantastically simple and useful.

VOTE NOW !! OS Photofit

The Ordnance Survey is currently mid-way through their competition to source (cheaply?!) new photographs for the covers of the iconic series of maps - the competition is called Photofit with the first two rounds now having closed (the next covers the iconic 1:50k Landranger series). If you have some good photos of iconic landmarks and locations, as well as people “active” in the outdoors then submit your photos. They are particularly short on the remoter parts of Scotland. Initial selection is through public voting, followed by a panel that selects the final photos.

And…. I’ve submitted a range of photos which I’ve (helpfully!) shown below with click through links to the OS page where you can vote for them. So, if you like, please click through and vote!!!




































Landsat 9 takes shape…..

A helpful press released over at NASA concerning Landsat 9…. things seem a-go with initial funding to kick things off, with gradual evolutionary development to the platform.

Phase One iXU 180

DPReview reports on the latest Phase One Industrial medium format aerial camera, the iXU180. This is a 10,328 x 7760 sensor at an optical size of 53.7 x 40.4. Using a bigger sensor means….more light collecting capabilities but at a cost. The pixel size is actually almost exactly the same as the Ricoh GR, what I consider to be a great KAP camera, however you get ALOT more pixels - in fact you get 64MP MORE with its 80MP sensor. Given the newer sensor in it you would also expect it to have marginally better sensitivity meaning it should perform slightly better in low light. Being an “as designed” aerial camera its also more robust. It supports a range of interchangeable lenses, but at 1kg for the body and 500g for the lens its not a light option.

Clearly a great product to fly with!