Outdated version of the documentation. Find the latest one here.

1.1. Foreword

1.1.1. Background

In 2008 we launched the Gentle Introduction to GIS, a completely free, open content resource for people who want to learn about GIS without being overloaded with jargon and new terminology. It was sponsored by the South African government and has been a phenomenal success, with people all over the world writing to us to tell us how they are using the materials to run University Training Courses, teach themselves GIS and so on. The Gentle Introduction is not a software tutorial, but rather aims to be a generic text (although we used QGIS in all examples) for someone learning about GIS. There is also the QGIS manual which provides a detailed functional overview of the QGIS application. However, it is not structured as a tutorial, but rather as a reference guide. At Linfiniti Consulting CC. we frequently run training courses and have realised that a third resource is needed - one that leads the reader sequentially through learning the key aspects of QGIS in a trainer-trainee format - which prompted us to produce this work.

This training manual is intended to provide all the materials needed to run a 5 day course on QGIS, PostgreSQL and PostGIS. The course is structured with content to suit novice, intermediate and advanced users alike and has many exercises complete with annotated answers throughout the text.

1.1.2. Licence


The Free Quantum GIS Training Manual by Linfiniti Consulting CC. is based on an earlier version from Linfiniti and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at below.

We have published this QGIS training manual under a liberal license that allows you to freely copy, modify and redistribute this work. A complete copy of the license is available at the end of this document. In simple terms, the usage guidelines are as follows:

  • You may not represent this work as your own work, or remove any authorship text or credits from this work.
  • You may not redistribute this work under more restrictive permissions than those under which it was provided to you.
  • If you add a substantive portion to the work and contribute it back to the project (at least one complete module) you may add your name to the end of the authors list for this document (which will appear on the front page)
  • If you contribute minor changes and corrections you may add yourself to the contributors list below.
  • If you translate this document in its entirety, you may add your name to the authors list in the form “Translated by Joe Bloggs”.
  • If you sponsor a module or lesson, you may request the author to include an acknowledgement in the beginning of each lesson contributed, e.g.:


This lesson was sponsored by MegaCorp.

  • If you are unsure about what you may do under this license, please contact us at office@linfiniti.com and we will advise you if what you intend doing is acceptable.
  • If you publish this work under a self publishing site such as http://lulu.com we request that you donate the profits to the QGIS project.
  • You may not commercialise this work, except with the expressed permission of the authors. To be clear, by commercialisation we mean that you may not sell for profit, create commercial derivative works (e.g. selling content for use as articles in a magazine). The exception to this is if all the profits are given to the QGIS project. You may (and we encourage you to do so) use this work as a text book when conducting training courses, even if the course itself is commercial in nature. In other words, you are welcome to make money by running a training course that uses this work as a text book, but you may not profit off the sales of the book itself - all such profits should be contributed back to QGIS.

1.1.3. Sponsoring Chapters

This work is by no means a complete treatise on all the things you can do with QGIS and we encourage others to add new materials to fill any gaps. Linfiniti Consulting CC. can also create additional materials for you as a commercial service, with the understanding that all such works produced should become part of the core content and be published under the same license.

1.1.4. Authors

  • Rüdiger Thiede (rudi@linfiniti.com) - Rudi has written the QGIS instructional materials and parts of the PostGIS materials.
  • Tim Sutton (tim@linfiniti.com) - Tim has overseen and guided the project and co-authored the PostgreSQL and PostGIS parts. Tim also authored the custom sphinx theme used for this manual.
  • Horst Düster (horst.duester@kappasys.ch ) - Horst co-authored the PostgreSQL and PostGIS parts
  • Marcelle Sutton (marcelle@linfiniti.com) - Marcelle provided proof-reading and editorial advice during the creation of this work.

1.1.5. Individual Contributors

Your name here!

1.1.6. Sponsors

  • Cape Peninsula University of Technology

1.1.7. Data


The sample data used throughout the manual can be downloaded here: https://github.com/qgis/QGIS-Training-Data/archive/QGIS-Training-Data-v1.0.zip. You can save the files in a folder named exercise_data.

The sample data that accompanies this resource is freely available and comes from the following sources:

1.1.8. Source files and Issue reports

The source of this document is available at GitHub QGIS Documentation repository. Consult GitHub.com for instructions on how to use the git version control system.

Despite our efforts, you could find some errors or miss some information while following this training. Please report them at https://github.com/qgis/QGIS-Documentation/issues.

1.1.9. Latest Version

You can always obtain the latest version of this document by visiting the online version which is part of the QGIS documentation website (http://docs.qgis.org).


There are links to online and PDF versions of the Documentation and Training manuals.

Tim Sutton, May 2012