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Python for Everyone – Free Python Training

Python for Everyone – Free Python Training

Python was introduced by Esri in ArcGIS platform version 9, and since then, it has been widely accepted as the scripting language of choice for ArcGIS users everywhere and continues to grow in popularity as more geospatial users start to understand the benefits of python scripting.

Python is an easy to learn, powerful language… (with) high-level data structures and a simple but effective approach to          object oriented programming. Python’s elegant syntax and dynamic typing…make it an ideal language for scripting…in many areas and on most platforms.” –python.org

Python for EveryonePython for Everyone is a free online self paced training course provided by Esri designed to help GIS analysts, GIS technicians, GIS specialists, data processors, and anyone else who is new to python and wants to learn how to write python scripts to automate their ArcGIS tasks.

It introduces users to the fundamental of python concepts while exploring the python scripting environment found in ArcGIS. It provides tips and techniques to help users master proper python syntax, script flow, and error handling.

Python for Everyone Will Teach You How to:

  • Choose the Python scripting environment that meets your needs
  • Choose appropriate data types and apply Python syntax rules when writing a script
  • Quickly create a script to automate a geoprocessing task using a Python snippet
  • Label map features using a Python expression
  • Understand common types of errors that can occur in a script and how to correct them

The courses assumes that you have either completed the ArcGIS Introduction to GIS course (also online and free) or have equivalent GIS & ArcGIS knowledge. To complete the course exercises, you also need to have ArcGIS for Desktop and PythonWin 2.7.  PythonWin is available as a free download and Esri offers a free 60 day ArcGIS trial if you do not already have acces to it.

Click here for more details and to register: http://training.esri.com/gateway/index.cfm?fa=catalog.webCourseDetail&courseid=2520

Here are some other python resources you may be interested in:

QGIS – Open Source GIS Software

One of the more popular desktop geographic information system (GIS) software packages available these days happens to be a free open source software, known as QGIS.

QGISEarlier known as Quantum GIS, QGIS is a cross platform open source GIS software package used for creating new and editing existing maps. It can be installed and used with many different operating systems including Windows, UNIX and Linux etc and supports a wide format of data formats such as raster and vector layers.

Quantum GIS started out as public licensed project in 2002 by Gary Sherman, whom wanted to use GIS tools with Linux to view and analyze maps, and also had a keen interest in programming.  The software is written in C++ programming language with various integrated plug-ins are developed using Python and C++. The first fully functional version of the software was released in January 2009 and is continuously being updated from time to time.

QGIS – Open Source GIS Software

Since QGIS is open source, community driven project, the full software code with a bug tracker is maintained from the QGIS website, that is managed and operated by a steering committee that includes people from all around the world. Anyone interested in contributing to the development of the software can get information from the development section in the official website. Getting into the functional specifications of QGIS, the application lets the user to browse and view maps and edit them. Users can also create plug-ins using either Python or C++. Also, the application lets printing maps using print composer.

QGIS & OpenStreetMap free user guidesQGIS is an open source software which means all the code that is used for the development of the application is available free of cost for download. This allows any user to download the code and modify the same based on their interests and needs. You also need not pay for using the application and hence no licensing issues come into picture.

There are certain drawbacks of using open source software. The GUI of such applications sometimes lack user friendly features but QGIS overcomes this drawback by having highly user friendly GUI. Even though there are many other open source GIS applications online, QGIS has evolved to be the number one open source desktop GIS application. The reasons for the same are discussed below along with a short user guide on how to install the application and use it to the maximum benefit.

Features of QGIS and why it is ranked on top of Open Source Application:

There are various features of QGIS which makes it a popular desktop GIS application, available freely online. Some of the important features include seamless viewing of spatial data using advanced symbology. Apart from the desktop application, there is also QGIS browser which lets user access data in a faster time.

The application supports various formats such as vector, database and raster formats. One major advantage of QGIS is that it allows users to import open street map files that are also gaining popularity every day. Apart from viewing and exploring spatial data, the application allows users to edit the data by working between nodes and polygons. Users can also convert one file to another without complexity. QGIS also allow users to download and upload maps using GPS unit.

Apart from using the application for viewing maps, it also helps analyze spatial elements such as polygon centroids and matrix intersections. If you are also experts in creating maps or editing them for your personal needs, you can publish them in the internet.

With OpenStreetMaps (OSM) grabbing the attention of all start ups, essential for any GIS application to provide support for importing and exporting OSM. QGIS considers importing OSM as its core functionality and the entire process is very simple and faster. Users can easily import OSM data from the server and download to local database.

The application also supports integration with various open source packages, thereby extending the functionality. QGIS also provides an easy way of importing tiles from OSM using plug-ins. The major reason for most people opting QGIS is the availability of many easy reference guides available online for novice as well as advanced users.

Installing and using QGIS:

QGIS is a free software application, thus anyone can download and install the application on their desktop computer. They are also free to edit any data present in the application and can use both desktop and browser version for rendering data. Installing the application is very simple on a Windows operating system as you need to download and install only the installer (Mac users need to download a couple of other packages before installing the installer). These can be downloaded from the QGIS site.

Once installed, the full application is available for analyzing spatial data. There are various help tools available online in various forum sites where you can get all possible answers. But if you still find it difficult to find answers, post your questions in the various mailing lists where many experienced users give their answers. It is almost clear that most users downloading QGIS would want to create some sort of maps customized to their business needs. Hence, users will need to keep their thematic data ready which can then be visualized using the application.

This is where OSM comes into picture. Since OSM is open source, all data information can be downloaded for free. This is in contrast with Google maps, Apple maps, or ArcGIS.com since they are not open source and the information cannot legally be used for customization. Hence download OSM data and use it for your own business needs.

So now that we have given you some basic understanding on what QGIS is and how to install it, now is your chance to go try it. Since it is open source, you do not have any restrictions in downloading and using it during your free time. As and when you use the application, you should be able learn some new techniques that can be used for better mapping experience. Happy mapping!


Python Scripting for ArcGIS

Python Scripting for ArcGIS

Python Scripting for ArcGIS, released by Esri Press, is a helpful guide created for experienced Esri users as a way to help them get started using python scripting without the need of any previous programming experience.

Python Scripting for ArcGISPython Scripting for ArcGIS assumes that readers will be familiar with ArcGIS and GIS geoprocessing concepts and concentrates more on the scripting languages side of ArcGIS. Instead it teaches you how to write python code to use with spatial data to create custom tools to automate geoprocessing tasks.

“Key topics in this book include Python language fundamentals, automating geoprocessing tasks, exploring and manipulating spatial data, working with geometries and rasters, map scripting, debugging and error handling, creating functions and classes, and creating and sharing script tools.” Esri Press

The detailed exercises in the book correspond with available online data available from the Esri Press book resource page.

You can check out the exercise chapters that pertain to the chapters in the book before purchasing the book as they provide the exercise chapters that you can download here and the online data can be downloaded here. Amazon also provides a “Look Inside” feature where you can preview random pages of the book before purchasing.

And if you do not have access to ArcGIS then you can get a full free 60 day trial from Esri .

Below are some some pages from Python Scripting for ArcGIS:

Python Scripting for ArcGIS - sample 3 Python Scripting for ArcGIS - sample 1Python Scripting for ArcGIS - sample 2

Dive Into Python

Dive into Python - Free download copy

Dive Into Python 3 – Free Books

Python is a widely used high-level programming language that has grown popularity in the Canadian geomatics industry over the years.

Python programming is designed to emphasize code readability, and its simpler syntax allows users to generate scripts that have usually have fewer lines of code than would be possible in other programming languages such as C++. Python can be used in ArcGIS, PCI Geomatica, QGIS and many other geospatial based software packages, therefore it is good to have some python exposure when working in Canadian geomatics.

Dive Into Python is a free book for more experienced programmers who want to branch out into python scripting. You can read the book online, or download a full copy in a variety of formats and various languages (thanks to Mark Pilgrim – diveintopython.net).

Unlike some other programming books that spend time building fundamentals and working towards building a complete script, you may find that this book skips all that and jumps right into programming. DIve into Python 3So if you are a bit of a programming novice looking for something a little easier then you may want to consider some other python books.

Just received an email asking to tell our viewers that there is now a new version of the book that has been revised and contains bout 80 percent new material. Download links to both versions are included below.

Download the full Dive Into Python PDF version here

Download the full Dive Into Python v3 PDF version here

Get GIS tutorial for Python Scripting here

The Canadian GIS & Geomatics Geo Books section has started to grow and now contains many other python resources such as Python Scripting for ArcGIS and PCI Geomatica python tutorials.

If you come across other books or resources that you think would be beneficial to our readers then let us know.

[page updated: March 2015]

QMap – A field data collection program using QGIS

QMap - A field data collection program using QGIS

QMap – A field data collection program using QGIS

QMap is a field data collection application built using QGIS and python plugins. It is very similar to QGIS but with an interface that makes it easier for most people to use for data collection in the field and was designed to work with windows based tablet devices. Custom forms are built using Qt Designer and follows a convention based approach in order to save configuration. The application also supports QGIS project files (.qgs) so that you can easily use it with  your QGIS  desktop mapping projects.

To download the application or get more info about QMap go to http://nathanw2.github.com/qmap/