You may have guessed, I’m a little OCD. Things needs to be ordered and structured, yes, I wash my hands twice to make sure I get all the bateria. What has this got to do with QGIS? Well, since I’ve started using QGIS I’ve been frustrated, I create all these really cool layers then every time I create a new map for a client, I have to drag them all in one by one, of course I could save the map and open that map each time but what happens when I only need the environment data from it or the aviation data? Am I supposed to have maps set up for each data type that I use?
So, I had a chat with QGIS superstar Nathan Woodrow & he reminded me of his idea a while back called “QLR” – QGIS Layer Reference, whereby you can group data & then save the style of the GROUP. After a bit of a chat, he agreed to update the QLR for the QGIS Nightly Build (2.7 51bb803), making it available to everyone.
Using QLR files, for me, is a gift from above, it means that for my wind farm analysis I can prestyle all the environment data, archaeological data, aviation data etc as seperate groups which I can drag into maps as and when I need them, rather than bringing in seperate layer files for each data.
Here is a demonstration of the QLR in practice:
Add the environment data to QGIS (already styled)
Next group the data and in this case I will call it “biological environment”
Look closely, you will see a new option in the menu, “Save as Layer Definition File”
So now the “biological environment” style is saved, next time I use QGIS, I can just drag this group in and it will all be prestyled and ready to use. Add the QLR by either going to the “Layer” tab and selecting “Add Layer Definition File” or drag and drop.
Voila both groups load and style perfectly.
The new QLR feature is available in the QGIS nightly build. Give it a go.