Somehow you’ve ended up here and hopefully you have questions on QGIS. You may have questions on GIS (Geographic Information Systems) but I’m not going to cover much of that information. I’m assuming you have a basic understanding of GIS or can dig around the internet to find more information on that subject.
QGIS was started by Gary Sherman back in 2002. Version 1 was released in 2009 so you can see it hasn’t been out long with relation to other Open Source GIS Software. QGIS is now at version 3.x.
A brief history of Free and Open Source Software for Geoinformatics
- 1978 MOSS
- 1982 GRASS
- 1983 PROJ4 Library
- 1995 UMN Mapserver
- 1998 GDAL/OGR
- 2001 PostGIS
- 2001 Geoserver
- 2002 QGIS (version 1 in 2009)
- 2002 GEOS
- 2003 GVSIG
- 2004 uDIG
- 2004 OpenStreetMap
- 2005 MapGuide
- 2005 GeoMoose
- 2019 PROJ6
With QGIS being “open Source” – you may be wondering what that ultimately means to you? Well since it is Free and Open Source you have “freedom” to:
- The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose.
- The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
- The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.
- The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others. By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
Is it safe? It’s open source software and you may be thinking “My commercial software is safe!”.
- To become a developer on QGIS you have to be vetted into the community.
- A lot of commercial GIS software uses bits and pieces of open source software so you’ve been using some of it already and didn’t know it.
- The software is used by a lot of agencies, businesses, and groups you may be familiar with:
It’s great software! It’s a great community! So let’s keep moving along and install it!