Here are weblinks to provide additional resources so that you can complete the below exercises:
Click on the following links, which will open in a new window.
QGIS is a free and open source GIS software package that has become popular in recent years. It is available on multiple desktop operating systems and is both powerful and user-friendly. It also has a large and growing user base, a wide collection of documentation and tutorials, and a dedicated team of volunteers who continue to revise and update the software on a regular basis. For these reasons, it is a good choice for those wanting to learn the basics of GIS.
Exercise 1: Download, view and query vector data
The US Census Bureau provides several boundary files for different geographic regions in the country.
Exercise 2: Join tabular data to an existing shapefile
We can obtain some population data for California from the California Statistical Abstract by going to http://www.dof.ca.gov/Forecasting/Demographics/Estimates/e-1/documents/E-1_2016_InternetVersion.xls. The population data can be found on the second tab.
Exercise 3: Displaying coordinate data
Exercise 4: Introduction to vector geoprocessing
For documentation on vector geoprocessing and other analysis tools in QGIS, go to http://www.qgis.org/en/docs/index.html
Exercise 5: Download, view and query raster data
See the Chapter 11 dataset resources at https://study.sagepub.com/abernathy for a digital elevation model (DEM) of an individual county in North Carolina from the NC Department of Transportation’s elevation data page with a cell size of 20 feet by 20 feet. This is a high-resolution DEM created as part of a statewide flood mapping program using a technology called “light detection and ranging” (LIDAR).
Exercise 6: Creating raster data with heatmapping and spatial interpolation
US National Centers for Environmental Information offers free online climate data
Exercise 7: Creating a map layout with the QGIS Print Composer
For further documentation on using the QGIS Print Composer, go to http://docs.qgis.org/2.0/en/docs/user_manual/print_composer/print_composer.html