W2 From shapes to sequels: the value of integrating PostGIS with QGIS

Gisli Palsson

GIS usage has become ubiquitous both in archaeological fieldwork and research across the world. Yet many university programmes do not provide extensive GIS coverage. In particular, many departments do not follow recent developments in GIScience, geoinformatics and FOSS.

This workshop aims at providing a crash course in the integrated use of SQL and GIS interfaces. The workshop will include a short presentation about the dynamics between SQL servers and the two primary GIS interfaces – ArcGIS and QGIS, an introduction to the OSGeo consortium and an introduction to PostgreSQL/PostGIS, the leading open source spatially enabled SQL database platform.

The presentation will be followed by a lengthy workshop that teaches participants everything from setting up PostgreSQL instances, extending its spatial functionality, integrating with ArcGIS and QGIS, and finally a showcase of a number of features that PostGIS offers as a QGIS backend. This includes:

  • Standard SQL queries like JOINS and WHERE clauses as they compare to QGIS‘ internal SQL-like syntax.
  • Advanced SQL queries aimed at analysing and cleaning legacy datasets.
  • Advanced data pattern searching with REGEX.
  • PostGIS-specific spatial functions like geometry creation, routing, interactions between different geometries, and the transformation and preparation of spatial data for external interfaces like web maps.
  • The use of APIs to serve PostGIS data to web- and desktop- based applications.

The workshop assumes basic familiarity with QGIS. Those who want to follow the workshop tasks must bring their own computers, with QGIS already installed.

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