QGIS Server began as a simple software which allowed the user to view geodata. Today, it is one of the more well known open source, geospatial software available. It still serves that important initial function, but has the added capability of editing, data analysis, and the ability to create great looking maps. Quantum GIS (commonly abbreviated to QGIS) is a user-friendly, community-driven software. It has a thriving community of passionate users and developers which provide support to each other through forums and plug-in developments.
In 2002, a developer named Gary Sherman first began to create this innovative GIS software. In 2007, it was submitted as an incubator project to the Open Source Geospatial Foundation and officially released in its 1.0 version in early 2009. Since then, many different versions of the software have been regularly updated and released. The Quantum GIS developer and community team is a core, international group which meets regularly to ensure that Quantum GIS is running efficiently.
QGIS Server is a cross-platform GIS software compatible on MAC OS, UNIX, LINUX and Windows. The 1.0 version release allowed for a greater level of customization of the software, allowing community developments to flourish. Developers can use either Python or C++ to further optimize the programming to meet their needs. When coupled integrated with GRASS, PostGIS or MapServer the GIS functionality increase extensively and it becomes one of the more powerful and effective open source GIS tools. The QGIS community of developers has also created an extensive library of plug-ins for the software which have increased its core capabilities.
This software has one of the largest active communities, because of this the breadth of work that is being created is quite large. Essentially, much of the work that can be done with commercial software can be duplicated using Quantum GIS as well. Functions that the core components cannot accomplish are often accomplished by plug-ins created by the community of developers.
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QGIS Server has an active community of users across all fields and at varying levels of geospatial experience. The software has quickly become a viable alternative to other, more expensive commercial software. One of the reasons it has gained traction is its’ free cost, its’ intuitive design and abundance of support options. The community of users are active in updating forums, organizing face-to-face user meetings, creating video tutorials, and developing user manuals.
This software is a popular choice among both beginning and more advance GIS users because there is so much access to educational resources. Beginners can quickly begin to learn the program, and developers trained in Python and C++ can contribute to the vast community.
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