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Get Started with QGIS

Eric Busboom edited this page Sep 14, 2018 · 6 revisions
  1. Install QGIS
  2. In QGIS, install the CKAN Plugin.
  3. Using the CKAN Plugin, load datasets for the Planning Project.

1. Install QGIS

Visit the download page and install QGIS 2.18. If you are installing on a mac, follow the instruction carefully, because you actually have to install several parts separately. Do not use QGIS 3, since the plugin we need is only available for QGIS 2.18.

2. Install and Configure the CKAN Plugin

Start QGIS. In the Plugins menu click on Manage and Install Plugins .... Search for "CKAN" and you should find the "CKAN-Browser" plugin. Click on the name, then click on the "install " button.

After installing the plugin, close the plugin browser, then click on the Plugins menu item again, and select the new option, Open Data (CKAN) Browser select the Settings sub-menu, which will open the settings window, shown below.

In the first text box in the upper left, under the heading "Current OpenData (CKAN) Server" enter this URL:

Text the connection, and if it works, click 'Save' to close the window.

Load Datasets From CKAN

In the Plugins menu, open the Open Data (CKAN) Browser menu again, but now select the Open Data (CKAN) Browser sub-menu. ( Both sub menu levels have the same name. )

You can also get to the CKAN BRowser with the CKAN browser panel, which will have icons that look like this:

In the 'Limit Search By Category' list, click on 'planning-project'. Then click the Search button. The Search Results will list all of the the datasets in the project. These will be the same datasets you will see in the project group in our data repository..

All of these datasets are CSV files, even the ones with geographic information. Some of the datasets you see will be metadata files, which you can ignore. These files will have longer names -- the same as the formal name of the dataset -- with a number at then end. They are also usually the first two files in the list. For instance:


The remaining files are either data or geography. Loading the 'California Healthy Places Index' HPI dataset looks like this:

Click on the "Load Data" button to load the file. The HPI file is a datafile, not a geography file, so note that the "Point Coordinates" radio button is pre-selected, but there is no field names in "X Field" and "Y Field", because QGIS could not guess what those fields would be. ( It would have guessed "lat" and "lon" if they were columns in the dataset ). Tell QGIS that this is not a geographic file by clicking the "No Geometry" radio button, then click "OK".

Now go back to the Open Data browser window and load the "tracts" dataset from the "Community and City and Tract Boundaries in San Diego County". The "tracts" dataset does have geometry, so when you load it, the window to create the layer should have the "Well Known Text (WKT)" radio button selected.

After you've loaded the tracts and the HPI file, your main QGIS screen should have a map of San Diego and two layers in the left side layer browser, one for "hpi" and one for "tracts".

In the next step we will join the two layers and create a thematic map.