First impressions QGIS 2.10 Drop Shadow Effects

Monday morning I went to update my QGIS install from OSGEO4W as I was running 2.8.1 on one of my machines and to my surprise the base install was QGIS 2.10.1…..

Monday morning I went to update my QGIS install from OSGEO4W as I was running 2.8.1 on one of my machines and to my surprise the base install was QGIS 2.10.1…..

QGIS 2.10 Pisa

As all inquisitive geospatial innovators do, I though I’d download and give it a go….and I wasn’t dissappointed! What has really blown me away though is the addition of drop shadows to the feature menus. For years we have lived in a cartographic ignorance that the world with be saved by halos even though they are evil (Gretchen Peterson 2012), QGIS has just raised the bar with a set of effects which will, in my opinion, change the way we present maps.

Here is some of the Ordnance Survey OpenData which I have drawn up in the style of the OS Explorer maps….

Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2015
Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2015

This is my standard base map which uses a combination of OS OpenMap & Strategi – colours are based on a mix of the OS Explorer and provided colours from the OS Style sheet(s).

So, lets add a drop shadow onto the buildings:

Piza Drop Shadow

You can see that by ticking the “Draw Effects” in the bottom left of the style properties you are given a new menu, this has options for inner glow, inner shadow, outer glow & drop shadow. The effects can be used in conjunction with the feature or you can render just the effect (without the feature).

A building is around 7.5m tall, so lets set the shadow for around 3m and this is what we get:

Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2015
Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2015

I think you’ll agree that at this scale it adds a nice little touch which brings the data to life a little.

Download QGIS 2.10 and have a go yourself….I think the next mission will be to put inner shadows on the water…….

Nick D

3 thoughts on “First impressions QGIS 2.10 Drop Shadow Effects

    1. Awesome!! Can I request an “emboss” & shadow related to field/z?……These are changing the way we think about cartography, I can’t thank you enough!

  1. Very cool result Nick, thanks for the nice demo 🙂 There’s something about introducing an illusion of depth into a map that makes it looks much more realistic.Plus, I like that you’ve used a perfect map and scale to demonstrate added readability. Nice!

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