I’ve had a few people ask about setting QGIS up on Android….I can barely read phone numbers on my phone, so why you would want to use a GIS is beyond me, though, that said, when I worked for Ordnance Survey, I had a tablet with ArcGIS on and it was heavenly!
Anyhow, the short answer is that I haven’t had the chance to play with an Android build, especially on a tablet BUT I came across this great blog from Underdiver which outlines how they did it, see below
Running QGIS on an android phone worked just fine – but running QGIS on an Android tablet is going to be a lot more useful, with a larger screen. I summarised the steps of installing QGIS on a Galaxy Advance (I9070) in a previous post, under Gingerbread (2.3.6); since then, there have been some issues with QGIS breaking due to Ministro (supporting library) updates, so I went through the installation steps again, this time on an Asus TF300T running Jelly Bean 4.1.1.
- Enable “Allow installation of apps from unknown sources” – Settings|Security.
- Download the installer .apk (this download should be fixed and up-to-date) and open it (on most Androids it will download to a “Downloads” directory, but may be elsewhere; you can just click to open the file from your file browser and it should start the installer).
- Run the installer and select ‘download and install’. 83 MB of data will get downloaded. Luckily, it is a resumable download – if it fails, you can start the process off again where you left off.
- Confirm that you want to install (standard Android dialogue) – takes about 2 minutes to finish this stage.
- Run QGIS: “Unpacking post-install data” … 10 seconds.
- QGIS requires a supporting service, available from the Play store “This application requires Ministro service. Would you like to install it?” Confirm and install Ministro II, only 523KB.
- Looks like it needs MORE libraries to run! “Qgis needs extra libraries to run. Do you want to download them now?” Confirm and install the QtCore libraries – a lot bigger at 31MB.
Does it work? Sort of …
Sure does … except for the Python plugins, which are not working, it does run and I’ve used it in the field a few times now. The version I’ve just installed, however, won’t let me select the panels to view, which means I can’t access the GPS connection panel to do live tracking. This really limits the utility, but one can pan, zoom and view maps.
Tips and Tricks
- Export a QGIS project from your desktop into a single folder + .qgs file using the QConsolidate plugin, then transfer that consolidated folder + project file to the MicroSD card. This will gather all the rasters and vector files into one place for easy transport.
- Don’t work with high-resolution rasters unless you’re very, very patient; turn these off or remove them altogether. In the example above, the red ‘slope’ layer was a 25%-scale version of my original (which we just had to show us places we couldn’t fly low-level safely in the Cessna).