Digital Geography

Python in QGIS and ArcGIS: A Small Example

Often the usage of GIS never touches the world of programming and I think a lot of GIS users today feel fine with using simple tools and try to avoid tools like Python for their daily work. Despite any prejudices regarding programming, Python can be a big help in your basic tasks and is a very easy scripting language to learn. So let us check out Python in ArcGIS and QGIS with a buffer analysis as an easy example. Nevertheless I recommend to take some coding lessons in Python using CodeAcademy.

Create custom markers with R for your webmap

When it comes to webmapping there are thousands of possible markers you can choose from but when it comes to markers depending on the data, which is inside the shapefile, possibilities are more limited. In leaflet you can define different icons according to the attributes of your data by defining the icon url in an attribute. Let me show you, how to use the data in each feature to create a custom icon like a piechart marker using R.

short announcement: ESRI MOOC – the outline

As we already informed here about the new ESRI MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) we also stated, that it is a pitty that there is no schedule available. Due to this there might be a mismatch between people’s expectations and the content of the MOOC. We also got the information that this MOOC is not for the GIS beginners.

Create your own StoryMap

Have you seen “the story maps” created on the ESRI website ( or for that matter from or They are all frameworks for you to create “a story” with geographic connections, and they achieve this more or less successfully. Common for all of the above are that they are services, depending on the on-line framework. This makes it possible to present a more user friendly experience when you create the story, but at the same time you loose some flexibility and you need to be on-line. Here I’ll show how you can build a storymap yourself based on…

How to build your own QGIS plugin

Since I’ve created the QGIS plugin qgis2leaf I was surprised how easy it is to create a plugin for QGIS. In this post I would like to show you how to build a basic buffer-plugin and give some tips for debugging and developing. the plugin template QGIS plugins are competely build in Python: the UI can be designed with QT designer using PyQT. The whole logic of the plugin needs to be written in Python as well. But lets be honest: It would be great if you would have  a starting point. In QGIS there is a plugin for this called…

QGIS 2.2 on Ubuntu Trusty Tahr 14.04

QGIS on Ubuntu Trusty Tahr I’ve have started working nearly 100%, outside of work, in Ubuntu.  I was running Ubuntu 13.10 so naturally I decided to upgrade to 14.04.  My experience has been positive for the most part, but after the upgrade I was having issues with my install of QGIS 2.2.  Python – QGIS was not installing so I was not able to install any Plugins So after some digging I finally discovered that my “Software & Updates” repository for QGIS was still pointing to the Saucy Salamander (Ubuntu 13.10) package. So I changed my repository to the Trusty Tahr (Ubuntu 14.04), and…

ILWIS GIS – Tutorial I [Introduction]

Today I’ll start with a new series of tutorials for an open Source GIS called “ILWIS GIS“. ILWIS is the short term for “Integrated Land and Water Information System” developed at the ITC Enschede and distributed under the GNU General public license as open Source GIS since 2007. It’s purposes is designed for geoecological questions. It can handle both, vector- and rasterdata.     If you’re interessted in ILWIS you can download the newest version here: The software package is available for the following operation systems: Windows and with the use of additional software on Linux and Mac OS X. The language…

short announcement: new R learning material

Coursera, hail to Coursera. Despite the uprising criticism on MOOCs and their footprint in the educational landscape at universities Coursera created an interesting R learning course. It is divided and scheduled for 4 weeks and has video-tutorials as well as written material. The guys over at RevolutionAnalytics packed it all together: Content: Setting working directory and getting help How to get help Data Types Subsetting Vectorized Operations Reading/Writing Data Control Structures in R Writing Functions Avoiding loops using xapply Plotting Regular expressions Regular expressions in R Classes and methods in R It is a free course and is very userfriendly. The…