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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.

QGIS Documentation
User Guides (online documentation), Training Manuals (tutorials), and A Gentle Introduction to GIS (overview of GIS principles and terminology)

QGIS Workshop
Tutorial from Harvard's Center for Geographic Analysis (CGA).  Pretty thorough, with lots of screenshots available through the dropdowns in the upper right, as well as many short videos (click the Intro Video Series button).

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.