QGIS North America 2020

July 17th, 24th, and 31st


The QGIS US User Group and partners in North America are proud to announce the QGIS North America 2020 virtual conference to be held on three consecutive Fridays in July (17, 24, and 31).

We offer this meeting as a way to share our ideas and skills when so many in-person meetings cannot safely happen. We recognize that while we are all separated, we have the opportunity to include people in a greater diversity in locations and economic situations since travel and registration costs are not necessary. We invite participation from all over the globe, but presentation times will focus on the North American audience. All sessions will be livestreamed, and links will available in the schedule below on the day of the event.

This is a free event run by volunteers. We invite attendees to make a donation directly to the QGIS project.

Workshops

Workshop registration is now closed. In order to provide a quality experience, we limited the number of active participants in the workshops, but we will also livestream and record the workshop presentations on YouTube.

Locate Press book raffle and discount

Enter to win an ebook about QGIS from Locate Press! We will randomly select three winners who will be given a digital copy of one of these:

  • QGIS Map Design (2nd edition) by Anita Graser and Gretchen Peterson.
  • Discover QGIS 3.x by Kurt Menke
  • QGIS for Hydrological Applications by Hans van der Kwast and Kurt Menke

You can also get a 35% discount on all ebooks from Locate Press through July 31st using coupon code: QGISNA2020

Conference Schedule

Friday July 17, 2020

Time Zone: EDT/Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Workshops

10:00-2:00 EDT
14:00-18:00 UTC
Un taller introductorio de QGIS para principiantes
(Spanish language workshop)

Alaina Mallette, New York State Tug Hill Commission

Este taller cubrirá los conceptos básicos de los sistemas de información geográfica, los cuales incluyen los cinco componentes principales: el hardware, el software, los datos, los procesos y metodologias, y las personas involucradas. Habrá una presentación de un resumen del hardware y los software más comunes. La sesión utilizará datos públicos como fuentes de información y explicará los procesos comunes para la recolección de datos, incluyendo recolección móvil de datos y hojas de trabajo de campo. Habrá modulos para poner los conceptos en practica y crecer sus capacidades en los siguientes temas:

  • Visualización de datos
  • Propiedades de la capa
  • Herramientas básicas
  • Tablas de atributos
  • Selecciones espaciales y no espaciales
  • Herramientas de geoprocesos y la caja de herramientas de procesamiento
  • Los plugins
  • Diseño geográfico y "layout manager"

La sesión terminará con un diálogo sobre la movilización de sus redes individuales e institucionales para crecer un programa eficiente y productivo de sistemas de información geográfica, utilizando ejemplos de Mexico, Ucrania, y Nueva York.

Materiales de taller: https://github.com/amallette21/QGIS_AmericadelNorte_TallerIntro


10:00-2:00 EDT
14:00-18:00 UTC
An Introductory QGIS Workshop for Beginners
(English language workshop)

Michele Tobias, University of California, Davis

This introductory-level workshop will focus upon the fundamental concepts and skills needed to explore and analyze begin using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software for the exploration and analysis of spatial data using the QGIS platform.

No prior experience with QGIS or other GIS software is needed, though attendees should be comfortable learning new computer applications, working with the basics of spreadsheets, and managing/organizing computer files.

By the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Define GIS and geospatial concepts and terminology.
  • Know the difference between vector and raster data types
  • Properly connect and add data to a QGIS project
  • Know where to find the attributes of your data in QGIS
  • Perform basic selections and queries in QGIS
  • Symbolize data by attributes
  • Assemble a basic map for export

Workshop materials: https://github.com/MicheleTobias/Intro-to-Desktop-GIS-with-QGIS


2:00 EDT
18:00 UTC
Break

Take some time to have a snack, look out the window, take a nap, or go for a run.


Presentations

3:00 EDT
19:00 UTC
SLYR - A bridge between ESRI and QGIS

Brett Edmond Carlock

In this session, I would like to cover an introduction to SLYR, North Road, Nyall Dawson, and background on the tool. I would also like to provide examples of conversions from proprietary ESRI projects and styles to QGIS projects and styles. In addition, I would like to talk about how this tool can benefit those in mixed GIS environments, those who wish to transition to FOSS, or those consuming many government-provided data often found in these formats. Other tips, tricks, and future developments will likely be covered as well. I will be working with Nyall Dawson on the content and scope, so this is my best projection as of now. I will provide updates if it changes.


3:30 EDT
19:30 UTC
QGIS 101: Examples Galore

Gretchen Peterson, PetersonGIS

We'll go through the steps to create several example maps from my upcoming book. From arrow symbols for streaklets to river line tapering and from blending modes to 3D visualization, this isn't a comprehensive how-to but a ""how I made these."" There will also be some cartographic principles thrown in as a matter of course!


4:00 EDT
20:00 UTC
Transitional Design and Lessons Learned

Mickey Dietrich, New York State Tug Hill Commission

The NYS Tug Hill Commission provides technical assistance to communities within the Tug Hill Region. We started the transition to QGIS a few years ago as our primary desktop GIS platform from other mapping products. Through that transition we looked at other applications that would work well with QGIS and meet the needs of our organization. We ended up hosting a centralized PostGIS database on Amazon Web Services, and having GIS Cloud be our online map viewing and mobile data collecting platform. During this presentation you will be taken through our design thought process and the lessons we learned. This presentation could help you in your transition to QGIS and what things you may need to think about for your organization. It will also provide you with the information that took us several years to obtain, but you can get it in this one presentation.


4:30 EDT
20:30 UTC
Using QGIS at a 911

Randal Hale, North River Geographic Systems, Inc

In 2018 Henry County TN decided to move away from their Proprietary GIS solution and move to QGIS and PostGIS. We built a database and used QGIS to help maintain address records which were then exported to the State of TN and to the county's 911 system.


5:00 EDT
21:00 UTC
Break

The session previously scheduled at this time has been cancelled.


5:30 EDT
21:30 UTC
QGIS and the Data to Policy Project: Bringing a Geospatial Perspective to Student Research in Social Justice

Diane Fritz, University of Colorado Denver

The Data to Policy (D2P) Project in Denver, Colorado was formed to empower students as researchers and advocates through the use of data to create more equitable communities. The Auraria Library, where I work as the Geospatial Services Specialist, has been hosting D2P for the University of Colorado Denver and Metropolitan State University Denver as spring and fall symposiums since 2017. The D2P project was inspired by the desire to create an avenue for the voices of students frustrated with police violence, but has now extended its theme to Public Data for Public Good. As the D2P student and faculty liaison, I am often introducing geospatial data, such as census data, to the participating students through QGIS. Many of these students have never heard of GIS.

Striking a balance between empowering some students with research tools and not overwhelming them with tech is a challenge. I will give some insight on how these students approach and use QGIS, for simple to more complex problems. I’ll also propose the idea of creating a bare bones GUI version of the QGIS software for making geospatial technologies accessible to non-STEM students in a way that leaves an easy path to grow into the software.


6:00 EDT
22:00 UTC
QGIS and democracy: Redistricting and reapportionment with QGIS

John Holden, Statto Consulting
Dr. Megan Gall
Blake Esselstyn

Until earlier this year, there hasn't been a robust free and open source option for doing redistricting on the desktop. With redistricting such an important election-related undertaking (especially with the significant upcoming post-census redraw of districts in the US in 2021), the new redistricting package for QGIS fills a significant void. Taking advantage of the capacities of QGIS 3, the new plugin offers a collection of features that simplify what would otherwise be burdensome parts of the process. The talk will not only present the software itself, but examples ways that the software can be (and has been!) used in multiple countries. This session will feature talks by John Holden, the plugin developer and political consultant who works internationally; Blake Esselstyn, a geographer and redistricting blogger active in drawing maps for North Carolina and other states; and Dr. Megan Gall, the national data director of the All Voting is Local campaign of the Leadership Conference Education Fund.

Friday July 24, 2020

Time Zone: EDT/Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Workshop

10:00-1:00 EDT
14:00-17:00 UTC
Visualizing 2D Geology with QGIS

Diane Fritz, University of Colorado Denver

Have you ever been curious about how the rock formations you see when you’re hiking through a varying landscape look underground? This workshop will give you an introduction to satisfying that curiosity with QGIS! We’ll discuss some basic geologic principles, play with a symbol library made specifically for geologic maps and learn how to make estimated geologic cross sections with the qProf plugin. At the end, we’ll touch on finishing off our cross section in the vector graphics software Inkscape.

We’ll step through a sample location together with provided data, but I’ll give you some resources to find your own data to build a geologic representations of your area of interest.

Workshop materials: https://github.com/frizatch/2DGeology_in_QGIS


Presentations

1:00 EDT
17:00 UTC
Closed campus, open source: Teaching GIS during the Covid-19 crisis

David Abernathy, Warren Wilson College

As college campuses across the US closed their doors in response to the Covid-19 crisis, students and instructors were told to shift immediately to online learning. This abrupt transition created a multitude of pedagogical challenges for classroom and laboratory learning for campuses of all types. For a small liberal arts college with an emphasis on hands-on experiential learning, the challenges were especially apparent.

This presentation will focus on the transition from lab-based instruction to remote online learning in an introductory course on GIS. From the technical issues of getting up and running remotely with QGIS to the pedagogical issues of asynchronous versus synchronous learning, the challenges and successes of the course will be addressed. In addition, plans for a “HyFlex” GIS course in the coming academic year as the pandemic continues to shape the way colleges do business will be discussed. Input from those with experience teaching GIS primarily online is most welcome!


1:30 EDT
17:30 UTC
Birds of a Feather: Best practices for teaching QGIS remotely

Ujaval Gandhi, Spatial Thoughts

As our work lives have moved online, so have learning and teaching. This session is for educators and trainers who teach QGIS and are interested in connecting with others to share and learn best practices and tips for effectively conduct online training.


2:30 EDT
18:30 UTC
Break

3:30 EDT
19:30 UTC
Consume your Field Collected Data Directly in QGIS Using a Plugin for Map Publishing

Marta Klarić Ravnić, GIS Cloud Ltd.
Igor Farkaš, GIS Cloud Ltd.

In this session, we will present a GIS Cloud Publisher for QGIS plugin which allows QGIS users to easily publish their maps online preserving symbology, share them, and even consume online data stored in GIS Cloud directly in QGIS. The plugin also allows users to update changes made to QGIS maps and sync them to the published online map. Online maps in GIS Cloud can then be easily shared privately or publicly via an URL link, and it is also possible to grant different access to the map to different team members. This keeps everyone involved in sync about the progress of the project and facilitates collaboration. We will also show how you can use a Mobile Data Collection app to collect any kind of information related to location into GIS Cloud by filling in a simple (custom) form, and consume collected data directly in QGIS, continue working on your data and perform analysis.


4:00 EDT
20:00 UTC
Old Train Maps: The Many Routes of California’s Central Pacific Railroad

Michele Tobias, UC Davis DataLab

The Central Pacific Railroad, a section of the Transcontinental Railroad, runs from Sacramento, CA, to the California-Nevada border just north of Lake Tahoe, but its current location was not the original plan. How did the route of the Central Pacific Railroad evolve from a plausible engineering concept, to the busy, as-built track it is today? In this talk, I will describe the how a team comprised of a geographer, hydrologist, and chemist found and georeferenced 21 historical maps of varying size, scale, and coverage from three time periods in the mid to late 1860s, then digitized the planned and built routes of the railroad to investigate just why the Central Pacific Railroad ended up where it did. I will discuss the workflow which relied heavily on QGIS and the specific issues our team encountered working with historic railroad engineering maps.


4:30 EDT
20:30 UTC
QGIS and GIMP for Enhancing Historic Maps

Adam Cox, Louisiana State University

To use a scan of a historic map as an overlay or basemap you must first georeference it, but often that is only the first step. In many cases you’ll also need to perform some image editing—to create a proper collage from a map series, or to remove the background color. In this talk I’ll share the workflow that I use to achieve these visualizations in a flexible, reusable, and fully open source way.


5:00 EDT
21:00 UTC
Bringing Local History to Life: HistoryForge meets QGIS

Robert Kibbee, The History Center in Tompkins County (Tompkins County, NY)
Jesse Larson

This presentation will explore the potential for using QGIS to create dynamic, engaging representations of communities in their historical setting. We will introduce the QGIS world to HistoryForge, a unique source for spatially-defined historical data, and will show and talk through how we create maps in QGIS to enhance HistoryForge’s core mission, which is to encourage every community to explore its history, encourage new historical narratives and build a sense of place. HistoryForge has used QGIS-developed maps in a variety of presentations and hopes to build a substantial gallery of cartographic interpretations of its data as part of its web environment. We will present six to eight maps developed for this session by the presenters and, we hope, some guest cartographers. We’re looking forward to discussing potential and future plans with fellow QGIS users. This presentation will also demonstrate the HistoryForge application, review the data sources and the data capture and validation procedures and discuss data download strategies for import into QGIS. HistoryForge is an open-source web environment for exploring local history. The development model uses US Census records for Ithaca, NY, from 1900-1940, but the application is being developed and documented for any community to adopt. Volunteer transcribers capture all available attributes from the records on the manuscript census sheets, creating a rich dataset with four distinct timeposts (the date of each decennial census). The spatially-informed data provides a strong base for working in QGIS. Every personal record is geo-addressed. In addition to records for individuals, HF also creates geo-addressed records for every building in Ithaca, documented from the census (residential buildings) and from historical maps (commercial buildings) and city directories. HistoryForge allows users to filter the datasets by multiple attributes and display the filtered results on layers of contemporary historical maps (City Engineering Maps, Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps). Most map layers are geo-rectified and constructed in Tim Waters’ MapWarper, running locally, but city ward and census enumeration district map layers are constructed in QGIS. We hope that QGIS users, particularly those involved in or supporting digital humanities programs, will come away with a new appreciation for historical data sets and the potential for bringing these to life with QGIS.


5:30 EDT
21:30 UTC
Break

The session previously scheduled at this time has been cancelled.


6:00 EDT
22:00 UTC
Applying FOSS4G in Mapping Shelter Centers for People with Disabilities in Disaster Scenarios

Adelcides Varela

Cabo Verde as a small African archipelago is under threat from Climate Changes, and people with disabilities are in a higher level of risk among the general population. Due to the need of assessing the existence and conditions of Shelter Centers, a survey was conducted between FECAD (Federation of People with Disabilities' Associations from Cabo Verde) and University of Cabo Verde. For that a team of different experts were put in place, and due to the freedom and low cost nature of FOSS4G, they were selected over proprietary software in both conducting the survey and mapping the results for further analysis.

Friday July 31, 2020

Time Zone: EDT/Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Workshop

10:00-12:00 EDT
14:00-16:00 UTC
Collecting data using Input and QGIS

Lutra Consulting

Using QGIS and Input, users will set up and configure their project to collect data in the field. Users will need a PC/laptop with QGIS (3.14) and a mobile/tablet device.

The following topics will be covered during the workshop:

  • Preparing QGIS project for survey:
    • Setting up background layers for online/offline (XYZ tile, vector tiles, etc)
    • Configuring forms
  • Sharing project and inviting collaborators to the survey project
  • Using Input
  • Syncing data, track changes, history logs, etc.

Workshop materials: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1343Mdu2pap13tmrv5mIFcRGKCja-02E1irmc2pEa1HE/edit?usp=sharing


Presentations

12:00 EDT
16:00 UTC
A Tour of Processing Toolbox Algorithms

Ujaval Gandhi, Spatial Thoughts

Processing Toolbox in QGIS has grown to have hundreds of tools that range from geoprocessing to network analysis. Did you know that there is a tool to create a vector layer from an excel file, change the structure of your attribute table, or even color your map? This talk will be a demo of 20 lesser known processing algorithms that will change the way you use QGIS.

Presentation slides: https://bit.ly/processing-tour-qgisna


12:30 EDT
16:30 UTC
GUI Plugin for Neural Network based LULC Classification

Atishay Jain, North Eastern Space Application Center - Govt of India

Artificial Intelligence has great potential in the field of Earth observation systems, monitoring Land-use and other subdomains. With recent developments in technology, deep learning based methodologies have shown promising results in Land use Land cover classification problem. QAi Toolbox is a plugin-based extension to QGIS which is capable of implementing machine learning algorithms such as Random Forest, SVM and CNN algorithms such as UNET through a simple GUI framework. This talk will explain the implementation and workflow of the plugin.

Contributors: Atishay Jain, Chaarvi Bansal, Raghav Mishra, Smitesh Patil, Nilay Nishant (Mentor).


1:00 EDT
17:00 UTC
Advanced QGIS Expressions

Ujaval Gandhi, Spatial Thoughts

The QGIS Expression Engine is very powerful that allows you to apply your custom logic to geometries, attributes, labels and much more. This talk will cover advanced expression techniques that allow you to do complex geoprocessing and automate manual data entry tasks without custom coding or plugins. The talk will show how you can setup your project to automatically fill attributes based on relationship with other layers, do fuzzy table joins, calculate shared border lengths between polygons and automate data QA.

Presentation slides: https://bit.ly/advanced-expressions-qgisnap

Blog posts with more details:
https://spatialthoughts.com/2020/04/08/calculating-shared-border-lengths/
https://spatialthoughts.com/2019/09/26/fuzzy-table-joins-in-qgis/
https://spatialthoughts.com/2019/04/19/advanced-aggregate-expressions/
https://spatialthoughts.com/2019/04/12/summary-aggregation-qgis/


1:30 EDT
17:30 UTC
Break

The session previously scheduled at this time has been cancelled.


2:00 EDT
18:00 UTC
Because data is outside - QField, the future of QGIS on mobile devices

Marco Bernasocchi, opengis.ch

Data collection often begins on the field. Whether in shiver or sunshine, working outdoors requires a solution that is optimized for mobile devices. QField [1] is the perfect companion of QGIS. The off-the-shelf application allows intuitive viewing and editing of data. With a slick user interface, QField allows using QGIS projects on tablets and mobiles. QField’s map display is powered by the QGIS rendering engine, so the results are identical and come with the full range of styling possibilities available on the desktop. Editing forms on QField respect the QGIS configuration and are optimised for touch interaction. For situations where network access is unavailable, a QGIS plugin downloads all the data to the device and allows integrating the changes back when returning to the office. The soon to be released QFieldCloud will make this, along with team management even simpler.

[1] http://www.qfield.org
[2] https://qfield.cloud/


2:30 EDT
18:30 UTC
Break
3:00 EDT
19:00 UTC
Yes QGIS Server rocks! ...but why?

Paul Blottiere, QCooperative
Alessandro Pasotti, QCooperative

QGIS Server is a pretty young project compared to others and obviously not the most famous map server in the free world. However, it's recklessly meaningful thanks to numerous inherent qualities, especially due to its tight integration with QGIS Desktop: ease of configuration, vendor requests and parameters or even Python plugins. Moreover, the underlying implementation is more and more robust and evidenced by the OGC certification recently renewed for the LTR.

During this presentation, we're going to explore QGIS Server from a global perspective by focusing on its main features, but also talk about its drawbacks. We'll also take a quick look on the CI infrastructure, true gate-keeper of the necessary quality for an industrial application worthy of the name. And you never know, maybe it will give you the taste to try ;).


3:30 EDT
19:30 UTC
Advancements in Geocoding: Integrating the MMQGIS plugin with New York State’s Authoritative Address Data

Scott Geis, NYS GIS Program Office
Michael Minn, University of Illinois

Authoritative GIS data should be discoverable, understandable and easy to use by all. Furthermore, the ground floor for entry into GIS should be free and easy to access. For more than 15 years the NYS GIS Program Office (GPO) has worked to make these two objectives a reality for all New Yorkers. However, at times, a desire to support open-source solutions can conflict with the dependence of state agencies on proprietary software. This prevented the GPO from providing a statewide, authoritative street and address point database for the open-source GIS community, until the fall of 2019 when the MMQGIS toolkit was upgraded to be able to use the ArcGIS geocoding API. This new capability, including modifications made in collaboration with GPO, made GPO's extensive address point dataset, consisting of over 6 million rooftop address points available to the open-source community through QGIS desktop software. This presentation will cover the evolution of these capabilities and the advantages these capabilities offer to New Yorkers and the open-source GIS community in general.


4:00 EDT
20:00 UTC
QGIS in the sky with Diamonds (OpenDroneMap)

Jeramy Davis, Optic Unity

The presentation will cover GIS in the construction industry, and the many applications of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). Additionally, I will also cover how QGIS + ODM (OpenDroneMap) + UAV + Photogrammetry can be used to create useful data throughout multiple industries.


4:30 EDT
20:30 UTC
QGIS and PostgreSQL/PostGIS as an enterprise solution: 5 features everyone should use

Clifford Patterson, PSD - Research, Consulting, Software

QGIS, a feature-rich desktop GIS, and PostgreSQL/PostGIS, a robust spatially-enabled RDBMS, are the fundamental components of an open source enterprise GIS. Combined, these two solutions offer countless functions and capabilities. This presentation will highlight 5 essential features that everyone should use in an enterprise environment, namely (1) user management, (2) trigger functions, (3) default styling, (4) form data input, and (5) saving maps in the database.


5:00 EDT
21:00 UTC
Dynamic GIS Layers with QGIS and Spatial Databases

Karsten Vennemann, Terra GIS LTD

The combination of QGIS with spatial data bases such as Spatialite, Geopackage and PostGIS allows for creating dynamic GIS layers. A simple example for this is adding to QGIS a layer based on a database view in PostGIS (or Spatialite). Such database views can include any of the geospatial functions available in the database via their data definition (SQL) query. Adding to the complexity and flexibility of this usage such a database view can not only include references to multiple layers and include geospatial functions (such as buffers or geometry intersects) but can also include joins to custom functions allowing for very flexible use cases. In the talk I will give a short overview about the general concept and show multiple live examples of dynamic content of layers based on (the editing of) a regular database layer.

Presentation slides: https://github.com/karstenv/dynamic_layers_qgis


5:30 EDT
21:30 UTC
The Best New Features of QGIS 3.x

Kurt Menke, Bird's Eye View & the QCooperative

This presentation will cover the latest new features added over the last year up to and including QGIS 3.14. Use cases and examples will be shown.


6:00 EDT
22:00 UTC
From the Field to the Web

Bernie Drahola, DRAHOLA Technologies, Inc.

Real live example creating and working with public works inventory from collecting data with QField, working with QGIS and deploying to the web using SLD styles in an Openlayers environment.