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QGIS Introduction: 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.
  • There are versions available for several platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, BSD, Android).
  • QGIS is easy to learn if users are familiar with ArcGIS or with GIS concepts.

Help and Training

LinkedIn Learning: Learning QGIS
A 3-hour video tutorial introducing users to QGIS (Duke users only). Uses version 3.8.3 from October, 2019. Sign in using a email address and it will route you to Shibboleth for authentication as a Duke user.

QGIS Documentation
User Guides (online documentation), Training Manuals (tutorials), and A Gentle Introduction to GIS (overview of GIS principles and terminology). Should be updated to the most recent stable version of QGIS. Learning Paths
Links to learning resources such as tutorials, online courses, and videos. Uses QGIS version 3.x

How Do I Create Maps with QGIS
Downloadable tutorial from Harvard's Center for Geographic Analysis (CGA), including sample data and instructions. Dates from July 2020 and is based approximately on version 3.8.

MMQGIS plugin package
Documentation on the useful plugins that come in this package. The package can be installed from the Plugins ... Manage and Install Plugins... menu in QGIS. Turning it on will add an MMQGIS menu to the interface.


Install QGIS

  1. Go to the QGIS Downloads webpage.
  2. Download and install the QGIS Installer for either the latest version or the latest long-term (most stable) release, either 64-bit or 32-bit.  Versions for several platforms are available.

QGIS Downloads

Mark Thomas

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Mark Thomas
233C Perkins Library

Sample Data

Intro to QGIS (Zip archive)

View upcoming Data and Visualization workshops at Perkins Library.

Please provide us with feedback on the form provided following the workshop.