What is QGIS?
Quantum GIS or QGIS is an open-source Geographic Information System which allows viewing, editing, printing and analysis of geographical datasets. It is a software platform used for analyzing and editing spatial information, alongside composing and exporting geographical maps. It was developed by Gary Sherman in early 2002. It has emerged to be an alternative to proprietary GIS software such as ArcGIS, which may tend to be expensive. It has similar features and tools quite like that of the other proprietary software. Likewise, it allows users to create, edit, store, search, analyze and visualize maps and spatial data. QGIS is compatible with windows, Linux, Mac and UNIX operating systems. It has ample free online resources and maps for its users, which can be downloaded too. A wide range of plugins is available on QGIS, while new plugins are always being created. Using QGIS, we can easily create maps and perform spatial analysis from several data inputs.
How does it work?
QGIS supports Dfx, MapInfo, PostGIS, personal geodatabase, shapefiles and other industry-based formats. The plugins are usually written in Python and C++ programming languages. In addition, it can use Google Geocoding API, whose functions resemble the standard tools found in ArcGIS. The interface comes with PostgreSQL, SpatiaLite and Mysql databases. It can display multiple layers containing diverse depiction sources. Print layout is used to prepare maps in QGIS. It can also add multiple map views, legends, labels etc. Furthermore, we can pan, zoom and load features promptly in QGIS. It generally consumes less RAM and processing power than other GIS software, making it compatible with older hardware-supported computers and, thus, have much wider availability.