QGIS 1.2

A new version of QGIS was released this week and features a whole stack of new features.

The editing functionality has had a big update and a number of new tools have been added, a lot of these tools are standard issue in the proprietary GIS system so it’s good to see them added to QGIS.

An OpenStreetMap plugin has been added, this allows for OpenStreetMap data to be pulled directly into QGIS based on the area of the map window, edited and then uploaded back to OpenStreetMap.  This is a really cool idea for two reasons, firstly it gives easy access to free base data, but also it simplifies and encourages users to get involved with OpenStreetMap which is always a good thing in my book.

There were also a feature that was released in the previous version that I hadn’t noticed, QGIS now supports spatialite databases. Spatialite is an ultra lightweight spatial database format based on SQLite that is designed to be extremely portable, almost to the point where you could consider it to be a ‘file’ rather than a database in the traditional sense. What is interesting is that spatialite was suggested in the excellent blog ‘The shapefile 2.0 manifesto’  as one possibility to replace the humble shapefile as the next industry default vector format standard, but that it was still immature and lacked client side support. Maybe now that QGIS is supporting it other open source developers will get on board and boast the profile of spatialite at a grassroots level.


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