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Reports from the winning grant proposals 2020

With the QGIS Grant Programme 2020, we were able to support ten proposals that were aimed to improve the QGIS project, including software, infrastructure, and documentation. The following reports summarize the work performed in the proposals. We’ll update this blog post as more reports come in:

  1. Quality Assurance methodology and infrastructure (Alexandre Neto, Alexander Bruy, Giovanni Manghi)

    The Tester plugin has been updated to run on QGIS 3.x. It allows to run automated and semi-automated tests and helps to conduct testing by providing step-by-step instructions to perform manual or verification tasks. An initial small set of tests for QGIS core functionality has been implemented as a separate QGIS Core Tests plugin. Furthermore, a test management system and test plan based on KIWI TCMS has been set up and documentation for testers has been created and published.

  2. Smarter map redraws + tile download manager (Martin Dobias)

    Smarter Map Redraws avoid the annoying flicker when map in the map canvas is zoomed or moved. It is especially noticeable with background maps. The work has reduced the problem especially for raster layers. See the videos of comparison before/after.
    Tile Download Manager is not going to be very visible to the users, but it should make QGIS behave nicely with remote servers – until now it would be common that QGIS would request raster/vector tiles, then abort the requests while they were in progress when map got moved/zoomed, only to start those requests again – this should be avoided now.

  3. DB Manager Table Management Functionalities to Browser Port – part 2 (Alessandro Pasotti)

    QGIS browser now exposes a new “Fields” item for vector layers that can be expanded to show the underlying fields, an icon identifies the base field type. New context menu items allow user to create and delete fields. At the connection level, a new context menu item allows you to create a new table for all DB connections that support the Connections API (PG, Spatialite, GPKG, MSSQL). All the new functions are implemented using the new connections API and exposed to Python for plugins/scripts. There have been many other small improvements in the API and in the browser, such as homogenization of the error/warning/success reporting .

  4. QGIS Server, OGC tests and Continuous Integration (Paul Blottiere)
    A Python tool named pyogctest has been implemented to run OGC tests in command line for the WMS 1.3.0 testsuite and has been integrated with GitHub Action in QGIS continuous integration mechanism to avoid regressions. The documentation chapter about OGC and conformance tests is now up-to-date with an explanation of how pyogctest can be used locally for server developers. Moreover, pyogctest is now also integrated with QGIS-Server-CertifSuite for the nightly tests. This way we have an homogeneous testing environment with CI. 
  5. QGIS Server performance monitoring (Paul Blottiere)
    The whole QGIS-Server-PerfSuite has been upgraded to use 3.10 and 3.14 releases side by side with 2.18 and master branch. Performances may be now monitored daily with the latest releases. Moreover, a simple anomalies detection mechanism has been implemented and a mail is sent if a regression is detected. Several scenarios have been added to compare performance with the same data but relying on different providers (PostGIS, Spatialite, Geopackage and Shapefile). Finally, a simple mechanism based on multiprocessing has been implemented to simulate multi-clients situation. 
  6. FileGeodatabase spatial index in OpenFileGDB driver (Even Rouault)
    This work has been successfully completed in GDAL master (for GDAL 3.2) and automatically benefits QGIS when it uses the OpenFileGDB driver. Performance-wise, for example, counting the number of features intersecting a spatial filter which returns 81 046 polygons, now runs in 400 ms with GDAL 3.2dev and the OpenFileGDB driver, versus 6.7 s before (full scan), vs 890 ms with the FileGDB driver (with FileGDB SDK 1.5). Interactive display in QGIS with the OpenFileGDB driver is as fluid as with the FileGDB one. Comparing behaviour of OpenFileGDB and FileGDB drivers with strace shows that they read a similar amount of data in the .spx file, which confirms it is uses correctly. The filegdb reverse engineered specification was also updated.
  7. MacOS packages (Peter Petrik)
    All tasks from the proposal except the notarization process have been addressed since the work necessary to address critical bugs in projection, grass, saga, gdal, python and other parts of the MacOS packages exceeded expectations. (A note about the workaround for notarization has been added to the QGIS.org webpage for now.) Key improvements for QGIS 3.16 MacOS Packages are: QGIS-Mac-Packager without homebrew dependencies, updated GDAL3, PROJ6 & GRASS 7.8.2, fixed Grass, Saga &, GDAL provider loading, and many more. 
  8. To be continued 

Thank you to everyone who participated and made this round of grants a great success and thank you to all our sponsor and donors who make this initiative possible!

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QGIS Open Day – 26 March 2021

Dear QGIS Users

On Friday, 26 March 2021 we will be holding our monthly QGIS Open Day! What is a QGIS Open Day you may be wondering to yourself? It is an initiative to replace the wonderful community meetups we used to hold every six months when times were different. Like our in-person meetings, the event is organised on the principle of self-organisation and community participation.

Programme

  • QGIS INTEGRATED (The open day that shows QGIS working as part of an ecosystem with other software and programs to create dynamic and shareable spatial data, maps, and systems)

Where to watch

Please see the event wiki page at QHF-March-2021 Wiki for all the details of times and links for participation.

All of the YouTube live-streamed events will be recorded and made available to users who couldn’t make the live events. YouTube live streams sometimes take 24 hours to be available for catch-up viewing. Be sure to check back here for updates!

Participants are kindly reminded to please read and observe our QGIS Code of Conduct and Diversity Statement to make these events a great experience for everyone!

Please contact me, Zinziswa Xakayi by email [email protected] or via the Telegram Channel username @zinzixakayi if you have any queries or need help setting up events.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Regards

The QGIS Open Day Organising Team!

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QGIS 3.18 Zürich is released!

We are pleased to announce the release of QGIS 3.18 ‘Zürich’!

Installers for all supported operating systems are already out. QGIS 3.18 comes with tons of new features, as you can see in our visual changelog. Additionally, QGIS 3.16 ‘Hannover’ has now replaced 3.10 as LTR.

If you are using the OSGeo4W installer, please read the corresponding announcement by our release manager Jürgen Fischer.

We would like to thank the developers, documenters, testers and all the many folks out there who volunteer their time and effort (or fund people to do so). From the QGIS community we hope you enjoy this release! If you wish to donate time, money or otherwise get involved in making QGIS more awesome, please wander along to qgis.org and lend a hand!

QGIS is supported by donors and sustaining members. A current list of donors who have made financial contributions large and small to the project can be seen on our donors list. If you would like to become a sustaining member, please visit our page for sustaining members for details. Your support helps us fund our six monthly developer meetings, maintain project infrastructure and fund bug fixing efforts.

QGIS is Free software and you are under no obligation to pay anything to use it – in fact we want to encourage people far and wide to use it regardless of what your financial or social status is – we believe empowering people with spatial decision making tools will result in a better society for all of humanity.

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QGIS Grants #6: Call for Grant Proposals 2021

Dear QGIS Community,

We are very pleased to announce that this year’s round of grants is now available. The call is open to anybody who wants to make a funded contribution to QGIS, subject to the call conditions outlined in the application form.

The deadline for this round is 21st March 2021.

For more details, please read the introduction provided in the application form.

We look forward to seeing all your great ideas for improving QGIS!

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QGIS Open Day – 26 Feb 2021

On Friday, 26 February 2021 we will be holding our monthly QGIS Open Day! What is a QGIS Open Day you may be wondering to yourself? It is an initiative to replace the wonderful community meetups we used to hold every six months when times were different. Like our in-person meetings, the event is organised on a principle of self-organisation and community participation.

This open day will have the theme of “QGIS Plugged In!” and will be hosted, organised, focussed on and presented by young GIS practitioners from around the world!

Where to watch

Please see the event wiki page for all the details of times and links for participation.

Many of the events may be recorded and made available to users who couldn’t make the live events. YouTube live streams should be automatically available for catchup viewing. Be sure to check back on the wiki page (link above) for updates!

Being a good open source citizen

Participants are kindly reminded to please read and observe our QGIS Code of Conduct and Diversity Statement to make these events a great experience for everyone!

Contact

Please contact Zinziswa Xakayi by email ([email protected]) or via the QGIS Open Day Telegram User Group (https://t.me/joinchat/Aq2V5RPoxYYhXqUPoxRWPQ user @zinzixakayi) if you have any queries or need help setting up events.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Regards the QGIS Open Day Organising Team!

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Scheduled maintenance for plugins repository

We are running out of space on our server running https://plugins.qgis.org – a sign of success, given the large number of plugins and plugin versions hosted on the platform. On Thursday 28 January at 9am West European Time, we will bring the server offline for a scheduled upgrade to the storage space on the server. We anticipate that the work will be completed within an hour. We thank you for your patience whilst we undertake this critical maintenance.

The maintenance of QGIS infrastructure is undertaken largely by volunteers and the cost of servers and hosting related costs are funded by your donations and sustaining memberships. If you would like to help support this (and the many other excellent initiatives carried out by QGIS.org), please consider heading over to https://qgis.org/en/site/getinvolved/governance/sustaining_members/sustaining_members.html#how-can-you-support-the-qgis-development to find out how you can help!

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QGIS 3.16 Hannover is released!

We are pleased to announce the release of QGIS 3.16 ‘Hannover’!

Installers for all supported operating systems are already out. QGIS 3.16 comes with tons of new features, as you can see in our visual changelog.

We would like to thank the developers, documenters, testers and all the many folks out there who volunteer their time and effort (or fund people to do so). From the QGIS community we hope you enjoy this release! If you wish to donate time, money or otherwise get involved in making QGIS more awesome, please wander along to qgis.org and lend a hand!

QGIS is supported by donors and sustaining members. A current list of donors who have made financial contributions large and small to the project can be seen on our donors list. If you would like to become a sustaining member, please visit our page for sustaining members for details. Your support helps us fund our six monthly developer meetings, maintain project infrastructure and fund bug fixing efforts.

QGIS is Free software and you are under no obligation to pay anything to use it – in fact we want to encourage people far and wide to use it regardless of what your financial or social status is – we believe empowering people with spatial decision making tools will result in a better society for all of humanity.

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Phasing out 32-bit support in QGIS

tl;dr QGIS will drop 32-bit support on Windows after the QGIS 3.16 release when we update our Qt dependencies to Qt 5.15. 

The Plan

QGIS will drop 32-bit Windows support in the next few months. QGIS 3.16 LTR will still be available for 32-bit systems. 32-bit support will be dropped during the process of updating Qt to version 5.15. Due to the complexity of the involved tasks, there is no fixed date for when this update will happen.

Reasoning

Over the last years, pretty much all new computers (including low-end machines) have been built with 64-bit processors. Our latest QGIS user survey (http://blog.qgis.org/2020/04/02/ltr-usage-survey/) confirmed that this move to 64-bit has been almost completed on the hardware side and only 7% of survey respondents indicated that they are still using 32-bit. Therefore, we have decided to phase out 32-bit support in QGIS since we have many libraries to update in the next months and we have only limited resources.

Further roadmap

The update to Qt 5.15 is an important step towards staying in sync with Qt developments. Qt 5.15 is the minimum version that will provide forward compatibility with Qt 6. By updating to 5.15, we, therefore, ensure that QGIS is future proof.  

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Vi flyttar till lantmateriet.se

Den 2 november flyttar webbplatsen geodata.se till lantmateriet.se. Geodataportalen berörs inte av förändringen.

Inom kort måste alla webbplatser, e-tjänster och digitalt publicerade dokument ha anpassats till de nya tillgänglighetskraven i EU:s webbtillgänglighetsdirektiv (nytt fönster). Utifrån direktivet så bedömer Lantmäteriet att det mesta på webbplatsen geodata.se inte uppfyller de uppställda kraven. Att uppfylla dessa krav innebär omfattande arbete med anpassning för webbplatsen och de dokument som finns publicerade där. Mot den bakgrunden kommer det mesta av innehållet på geodata.se därför att arbetas om och inrymmas inom lantmateriet.se. 

Geodataportalen berörs inte av förändringarna

Geodataportalen, det vill säga den tekniska plattformen med metadata och centrala tjänster som stöttar infrastrukturen för geodata, berörs inte av förändringarna. Den kommer även fortsättningsvis att kunna nås via adressen geodata.se/geodataportalen (nytt fönster).

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Anita Graser receives the 2020 Sol Katz Award

It is with great pleasure that on behalf of the whole PSC and the whole QGIS community I’d like to extend the most heartfelt congratulations to Anita for receiving the Sol Kats Award. 

Anita has been a pillar of the QGIS community since she joined her first hackfest in Vienna in 2009. Since then she has been pushing QGIS’ boundaries and has helped thousands of people to do so through all her publications, ideas and answers on her blog, stackexchange, on the QGIS documentation and in the 7(!) books she co-authored on QGIS. Anita is also the author of the hugely popular TimeManager QGIS plugin that was the precursor of the temporal manager added in QGIS 3.14.

Since 2013 Anita has been an irreplaceable member of the PSC. Dedicated, precise, and foremost always ready to lend a helping hand, Anita is a unique example of passionate Open Source advocate.

Thanks for all you do Anita and congratulations, nobody deserved the Sol Katz award more than you!

The Sol Katz Award for Geospatial Free and Open Source Software (GFOSS) is awarded annually by OSGeo to individuals who have demonstrated leadership in the GFOSS community. Recipients of the award will have contributed significantly through their activities to advance open source ideals in the geospatial realm. The hope is that the award will both acknowledge the work of community members, and pay tribute to one of its founders, for years to come.

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