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QGIS: Getting Started

Why use QGIS?

QGIS is an open source option for GIS software.  There are many benefits to using QGIS including: 

  • ‚Äčthe software is free
  • QGIS is easy to learn if users are familiar with ArcGIS
  • QGIS can be used on a Mac OS X because the software is multiplatform...QGIS can also be used on Linux, Windows, Berkely Software Distribution (BSD), and Android.

The latest version of QGIS is 2.14 (March 2016) and the software is updated often.



Up and Running with QGIS - A 2 hour video introducing users to QGIS (Duke users only).  

QGIS Resources

QGIS Training Manual - The most recent version of the training manual (version 2.8)

Basics of GIS - Introduces users to GIS terminology (version 2.8)


Install QGIS on Windows

  1. Go to the Windows QGIS webpage.
  2. Download and install the QGIS Standalone Installer Version 2.14.

Install QGIS on a Mac

  1. Go to the Mac OS X QGIS website.
  2. QGIS must be downloaded in the following order:
    1. Click GDAL Complete 1.11 framework package on the main page.  Download and install GDAL 1.11 Complete.    
    2. Click Matplotlib Python Module on the main page and scroll down and select matplotlib 1.3.1-2.  Download and install Matplotlib Python Module.
    3. Download and install QGIS 2.10.1-1 from the kynchoas webpage.
  3. Go to the Application tab and open QGIS.

Mark Thomas

Sample Data

View upcoming Data and Visualization workshops at Perkins Library and then provide us with feedback following the workshop.