It’s been a while since I posted a “GIS Tip” but this is a goody, especially if you spend HOURS scrolling through the ArcMap icons looking for that symbol which you thought was in one place but it seems to have moved…..
Select the point icon you want to replace with a new icon and go to “edit”
2. You should then be presented with the following screen:
3. Now for the fun part…..scroll your mouse wheel up and down. Nothing right?….
HOVER YOUR MOUSE OVER THE FONT SELECTION BOX AND SCROLL YOUR MOUSE
4. With your mouse hovered over the font box, you are able to scroll through the available fonts but ALSO it shows the relevant icons in the box below, enabling you to go through hundreds of icons quickly. Far better than individually going through each set of fonts in the search for the icon you are after.
There you go….you experts might already know it, but you new kids are going to love it!
Posted in xyht magazine 21st March 2016
This post almost didn’t happen, for over 7yrs I’ve been comparing GIS software in the hope that someone would be reading and take it upon themselves to fix a few of the issues which we all run into on a daily basis. With the new releases someone told me something and it almost stopped it all from happening…..
“ESRI is the Apple Inc and QGIS is the Google…”
As painful as it is to hear, it’s true. Even though I’ve been a hardcore user of QGIS for over 5yrs, I find myself falling back into using the ArcMap tools just to save myself rummaging through lists of plugins and I especially like that I can just drag and drop my data into the data frame and it just works.
As powerful as ArcMap/Arcscene/ArcGIS Pro/ArcGlobe/ArcGIS Explorer/ArcServer/Arc*add your own term here* is, it feels old and a little clunky, like using Windows XP. For a decade it has had the same comfy interface, the same basic functions and the same symbology. This is by no means a bad thing but the cartographic capabilities of QGIS are far superior and let’s not mention the true 64bit processing…
This year, there is a new contender from ESRI which I feel I need to discuss, ArcGIS Pro 1.2. Although it is in beta, it is already proving itself a worthy successor to ArcMap. Unfortunately, until it is out of beta, I won’t be testing it as I feel it is unfair to compare an unfinished software/
Before we get to the crux of things, I’d just like to add that there have been no major interface changes to either software and I am GIS neutral. I just want a GIS that works and is reliable, I have no bias as to one or the other.
So what is new in QGIS 2.14?
The most talked about is the inclusion of a 2.5D renderer (covered in earlier blogs) but what you may not have noticed are the subtle changes, changes to the processing, caching, labelling and legend. Here is a full list which links to the QGIS changelog
There are quite a few new raster types available for the software, some of which I have to admit that I had never heard of but interesting to see that you can now export topology errors in the ArcMap Basic license. For those wondering why I haven’t listed all the changes, please remember that this is a comparison of the basic GIS software.
When the tool is run against a geodatabase in Oracle or PostgreSQL, it now creates shared log file tables for the user. With the log file tables already created, the database administrator can remove privileges to create tables from the user, if needed, without negatively affecting the user’s ability to create large selection sets, edit data, or reconcile versioned data.
When you run the tool on an Oracle 12c database, the sde user is granted privileges required to import data using Oracle Data Pump. This allows you to complete your Oracle Data Pump export and import workflows without having to separately grant these privileges.
ArcGIS 10.4 has been upgraded to include Python 2.7.10. Additional third-party libraries including SciPy, pandas, Sympy, and nose have been included, and existing third-party libraries including NumPy and matplotlib have been upgraded to more current releases.
The GetPackageInfo function has been added to return a dictionary about packages.
The topology edit tool now supports additional commands and keyboard shortcuts for selecting and moving nodes and edges.
Press the N key to select topology nodes.
Press the E key to select topology edges.
Move and Move To commands are now available on the topology edit tool context menu.
The parcel Merge dialog box now has additional options for managing parent parcels. Parent parcels can be deleted, flagged as historic, or remain as current, active parcels.
When dividing parcels into equal areas, the number of parts on the Parcel Division dialog box can be set to 1. Set the number of equal area parts to 1 when a deed calls for a specific area to be divided from the parcel, leaving a remainder parcel.
Performance improvements have been made to the Mean Points tool. Furthermore, the tool now always stays active and can be used repeatedly without the need to specify a tolerance.
Collinear line sequences in the same plan are straightened during adjustment postprocessing if they lie within the specifiedStraighten Collinear Line Sequences tolerances. These tolerances are available on the Adjust Coordinates dialog box.
Geodatabases and databases
A new advanced option—All records for Tables—has been added to the Create Replica wizard. Checking this option allows you to designate the inclusion of all data from all tables in your replica. In earlier releases, you had to set the option to include data for each table individually.
There are two new geoprocessing environment settings added: LERC compression and parallel processing server.
The Georeferencing toolbar now has three new first-order transformations available: Only rotation and shift, Only shift and scale, Only rotation and scale.
A lot has changed since I last ran this, I no longer have the 8 core 32GB RAM “beast” anymore for starters. I expect that times will be changed but by how much?
For those who want the spec of the machine I am using:
Although it is more home computer spec, I am reliably told that this is should be more than adequate for running ArcMap & QGIS.
1. Load Time
As this is a comparison of the 2 new updates, rather that witter on about my personal views, I thought it better to provide some test results. To make the test equal, the method I use was to start up the software being tested, leave it for 10 minutes (to ensure all elements have loaded) and the add ALL 2010 AIS from a folder in the root – C:GIS. If you wish to test the data yourself, it can be downloaded from here. The timer was started from the moment that the data is added to the data frame (through the add data button). The timer is stopped when all data has finished loaded, indicated in ArcGIS by the globe in the bottom right not spinning and in QGIS by watching the windows processes & seeing when the CPU demand dropped to zero again.
For those who wish to go further down the rabbit hole, I categorised the data for both QGIS and ArcGIS and saved the styles. The AIS was categorised using standard deviation (n0) with 8 categories. Data was loaded directly from the qml/lyr.
The time given is the average of the 5 runs which were made.
ArcGIS 10.2 = 27.27 seconds
ArcGIS 10.3 = 38.5 seconds
ArcGIS 10.4 = 24.04 seconds
QGIS 2.6 = 9.103 seconds
QGIS 2.8 = 8.201 seconds
QGIS 2.14 = 5.08 seconds
On average QGIS was 20 seconds faster to load the data, furthermore, there was a slight speed increase for QGIS from 2.8 to the newer 2.14
2. Testing – Analysis
What use is your software if you spend your days waiting for it to finish a process? The amount of time I must have lost due to running processes is immense, so what if I could save some time? Because of this, I run a a viewshed test. I put a single point down, Then, using standard settings (and OS Terrain50), I run a viewshed (ensuring the output raster resolutions are identical)
ArcGIS 10.2 = 42 minutes
ArcGIS 10.3 = 4 failed attempts & gave up*
ArcGIS 10.4 = 12m 55s
QGIS 2.6 = 58 minutes
QGIS 2.8 = 1hr 16min
QGIS 2.14 = 26.86s
It looks like either this machine is far superior to the old desktop OR both software has made significant improvements in its calculation algorithms. To confirm, both outputs were identical and can be obtained through the link at the end of the article.
*To eradicate any issues with the data input or user error, the ArcGIS 10.2 map was saved and then opened in 10.3, the exact same parameters were used with no success.
5. Testing – Map Export
I seem to lose days exporting PDF files from GIS, so for me, this test is one of the most relevant, so that I can compare the amount of time consumed by the simple “PDF Export”.
For this test, the same EFH shapefiles used previously were loaded, no styles applied, then the bathymetric contours (also from the Marine Cadastre website) and the ESRI world countries shapefile. I then opened the layout/composer & set the orientation to landscape & the size to A3. Scale was set to 1:50000,000 then centered on the EFH data.
Once loaded and left to settle of 10mins, I set the PDF export to 500dpi and then made sure that both the QGIS & ArcGIS settings were the same* (no layers, no georeferencing etc). This is the average times for 5 runs.
The results were as follows:
ArcGIS 10.2 = 3mins 18s – File size 795MB
ArcGIS 10.3 = 3mins 30s – File size 903MB
ArcGIS 10.4 = 7.04s – File size 1.9MB
QGIS 2.6 = 37.4s – File size 72MB
QGIS 2.8 = 35.5s – File size 69MB
QGIS 2.14 = 10.3s – File size 18.16MB
*Just to be clear, ArcGIS and QGIS were run separately
This is a new category, as a few comments I have had asked how many crashes I have had whilst testing. I am please to say on this occasion NONE.
As I worked through, I must say that both software were pretty much as expected, nothing has really changed. The ONLY thing I would pick up on is that QGIS needs to add layers to their browser. When looking for data, QML & SLD are not visible in their relative folders.
As well as comparing the times above, I also run through both software by opening a list of tools which are used within the office on a regular basis to ensure that the software is safe to be used.
As stated previously, it would be unfair to compare the tools as some tools are unique or paid for plugins. Needless to say, I found no issues in my testing.
In this comparison, I think that, although ArcGIS 10.3 has released a HUGE number of new tools and updates, they are, in large for specialists. These tools are unlikely to get used on a regular basis like you & I.
QGIS has shown some muscle and has, in this testing, shown itsef much faster. Furthermore one of my “niggles” from the last article has been dealt with, the shadows for points and fonts. Although there are only a handful of updates & new features, the tools (for me) are more likely to be used.
Again, as before, there is no clear winner as they are both great systems and suited to different professionals in different way. For basic use or an introduction to the world of GIS, you wouldn’t go wrong whichever you choose.
You can now export your QGIS 2.5D maps straight to a web map thanks to the genius(es) Tom Chadwin & Luca Casagrande who developed the QGIS2Web plugin. Before I run away with myself and start talking 2.5D and cool effects, I think it’s best I clarify a few things.
No, you didn’t misread that, you can now export your QGIS 2.5D maps straight to a web map thanks to the genius(es) Tom Chadwin & Luca Casagrande who developed the QGIS2Web plugin. Before I run away with myself and start talking 2.5D and cool effects, I think it’s best I clarify a few things.
Firstly, I realise that I told a bit of a fib when I wrote the xyHt article on web mapping where I said that there wasn’t an easier way to build a web map. There is, it is QGIS2Web, the only thing you need is your own website and QGIS. You simply make your map and hit the plugin button….voila! Not only a preview of the web map but also options for measure, popups, scalebar and even basemaps – It is truly a thing of beauty. The only technical knowledge you need is how to copy and paste your folder onto your web host.
It sounds too good to be true, which is why I feel guilty for ignoring it for so long….Having been beaten by the geospatial industry for well over a decade, I naturally assumed it was some scam whereby I would have to buy into something or pay for a subscription but no, this is the real deal. This is what ArcGIS online should have been, you front the cost (or not – have another look at Github pages *ahem*) for your website and the rest is free. You can host as many maps as you want with whatever style and data….of course, with a little know how and you can even link them to other sources using hyperlinks in your fields.
So, let’s clarify what 2.5D is
2D is the everyday “flat” maps which you would generate in QGIS/ArcGIS/MapInfo/CadCorp (add your own here) although there is relation of how features lie in comparison to others, there is no depth. Buildings and trees appear as “top-down” flat objects.
In true Dragons8mycat style, the best way to describe this is using a 2D image of Super Mario Bros:
2.5D Adds depth, though it is not full 3D, it cannot be explored like Google Earth, rather it is an illusion of depth.
This can be seen in the image below of Mario in 2.5D
3D provides true depth and the ability to explore the depth, this would be the Google Earth buildings or the CityEngine webscenes. Unlike a fixed view of the 3D features, they allow full movement around the real-world feature. Here is Super Mario once again to show what 3D is:
Is this the right time to discuss 4D?….No?….Briefly then – 4D is the medium of time, if we were to add a timeslider to the 3D Super Mario above, and we could move around not only the features but also the time, then it would be 4D (temporal).
Out of interest I have had many discussions over what 3.5D is and so far the general consensus is that it would be a 2.5D map with temporal capability, so think of a 2.5D map which showed change over time….could this (below) be 3.5D?
Back to the future (qgis2web)
The QGIS2Web plugin provides the ability to create 2.5D features on a web map, there is the option to adjust & change colour and you can add functionality. What really surprised me was how easy it was.
Of course there are some minor things which I found as I worked through but I am sure that these will be fixed before this post goes live as the developers of this plugin are right on the ball.
Tip 1 – Use geojson files.
Although the Plugin uses any QGIS data (WYSIWYG) I found the plugin quicker and gave a more accurate representation with geojson files
Tip 2 – Forget your shadows
I was told that the plugin DOES honour the shadow effects but I found in my experience that the shapeburst fills and shadow effects didn’t work and in some cases caused the map to hang when switched on
Tip 3 – You need to remove the OSM maps in the code.
There are a plethora of basmaps available, I’m not going to knock it, BUT there is no option to turn them all off or to have them off by default. If you want to remove them, find the layers.js file and then remove the baselayers reference. var layersList = [baselayers,lyr_LandParcelsSedbergh,lyr_Trees]; should be changed to var layersList = [lyr_LandParcelsSedbergh,lyr_Trees];
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