QGIS can use a lot of different vector and raster data formats.

Vector Data:

  • Points, Lines, and Polygons.
  • Approximately 56 Vector Data Formats as of 3.4
  • Including: Shapefile, DWG, ESRI File Based Geodatabases, CSV, and Geopackage
  • Geopackage is the Default data format for QGIS 3.0

Raster Data:

  • 70+ File Formats
  • Including: JPG, TIFF, GeoPackage Raster, WMTS, WMS PNG
  • Cloud Optimized GeoTIFF

If you look back at the last previous link    you will see you can add data using the Data Source Manager or add data using the browser.

Adding Data to QGIS

You’ve no doubt worked with shapefiles and File Based Geodatabases. QGIS uses Geopackage as it’s default data container. What is a Geopackage? It’s a file database than can hold vector data and raster data. It’s readable by a lot of software but most importantly you can read it in ESRI Software as well as a lot of other Open Source GIS Software.

How do you make one? Back to the Data Source Manager Toolbar – you can create a geopackage there.

You can also make a shapefile or a spatialite file. The good news – any of those formats: geopackge, shapefile, and spatialite are readable by a lot of different GIS software.

ESRI’s File Based Geodatabases are easily read into QGIS also. You can use the QGIS Browser and navigate to your File Based Geodatabase and drag and drop your data layers into the Map Canvas.  In the screenshot below I’m bringing a National Hydro Dataset into QGIS.

Hopefully from this page you’ll see that adding data to QGIS is easy and you can share it with other software packages.