QGIS is a freely available open-source Geographic Information System (GIS) that matches the functionality and usability of commercial products like MapInfo and ArcGIS. It has been adopted by governments, businesses and NGOs around the world.

The course is suitable for beginners to GIS, those looking to refresh their skills or those looking to migrate to QGIS software. It will help ecological consultants, wildlife organisations, biological recorders and recent graduates visualise, explore and analyse spatial data.

The course will take a holistic approach to ensure participants have the skills needed to confidently implement GIS projects in the workplace. General topics will include GIS fundamentals, data licencing, map design, spatial data management and work-flow design.

A series of practical exercises will give participants hands-on experience and build confidence working with raster and vector data. Participants will learn how to:

  • Navigate the QGIS user-interface
  • Obtain, integrate and capture (base) map data
  • Classify and stylise vector data
  • Perform basic GIS analysis
  • Use the FSC Tom.bio Productivity Tools plugin to map biological records from spreadsheets
  • Produce professional habitat maps for reports
  • Automate the production of maps for species Atlases

Tutor: Matt Davies

Matt Davies is a professional ecologist and geographer with 20 years’ experience in the UK environment sector. He began his career at JNCC, providing GIS and database support on marine and coastal projects. He then worked at the capital’s Environmental Record Centre, GiGL, where he managed a multi-disciplinary team that supported volunteer, community and wildlife recording groups and integrated their data into government decision making and the operational delivery of transport companies and emergency services. In 2015, he founded the geo-spatial consultancy Maplango to help people collect, analyse and visualise spatial data so they can make better informed decisions.

No prior knowledge of GIS is required but participants should be comfortable working with computers, managing files and installing software.

Example Timetable

Day 1
Evening: Introduction to QGIS software and GIS fundamentals

Day 2
Morning: Obtaining and displaying data, creating vector map layers
Afternoon: Styling vector data, creating a PDF map
Evening: Map design

Day 3
Morning: Using the Tom Bio plug-in to map biological records
Afternoon: Spatial Queries and Exploring topics of interest

Both days: Lunch break and breaks as required.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Full Board Accommodation
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • In Course Transport
  • Personal and Travel Insurance

Before You Attend

Start and finish times

This course officially starts at 6.00pm on the Friday with dinner and registration. Please aim to arrive between 4:00-5:00, there will be coffee and cake available from 4pm onwards. Breakfast will be at 8am; Lunch will be a packed lunch. The course will end on Sunday at 4:00pm.

What to bring

  • Note-taking equipment (pen and paper is fine!).
  • A WiFi enabled laptop, with mouse and charger, pre-installed with QGIS long-term release for Windows version 2.18 or above
  • Full joining instructions will be provided ahead of the course
Pay a deposit of £100.00 per item