Currently a new version of QGIS is released every four months! To help users deal with this rapid development pace, the version put out each spring is designated as a long-term release (LTR). This means it will be supported for one calendar year. After that, new stable versions continue to be posted quarterly and any bug fixes associated with those quarterly versions are applied to the LTR. The LTR is recommended for production environments. It has a slower release cycle, and receives regular bug fixes throughout the year. Monday February 29th QGIS 2.14, the next LTR was released. It is nicknamed ‘Essen’ after the town in Germany where a recent developer meeting was held.
Essen has a lot of new features. You can visit the Visual Changelog to read about all the new features in detail. You can also see who developed and sponsored each new feature. Community Health Mappers might be especially interested in these new features:
- the new 2.5 D renderer which allows you to extrude features into space.
- improved labeling
- better control over map elements in the Print Composer
- an improved Processing Toolbox
- the new widget you get by right clicking on a layer in the Layers Panel and choosing Style. It allows you to change the color for a symbol without having to open a single dialog box!
If you are using QGIS you should visit the download page and install the latest version! Note that the Mac installer takes a little longer to assemble and may not be available for several more days.