The previous post covered a promising new tool named Input for data collection. As a reminder, this tool involves setting up a QGIS project and using the Mergin plugin to transfer the project and data to and from your computer and smartphone. It is also a free app. Another aspect of Input is that until now it has only been available for Android.
From there is can be used just as was described in the previous post where setting up a project, using Mergin and collected data with Input was described. Once I have had a chance to experiment with it I will follow up with a summary on that. In the meantime, if you are an Apple iOS user, download the app and follow the previous post to give it a trial run.
Yesterday Fulcrum posted a bloghighlighting the Community Health Maps program! Fulcrum has been a major part of teaching the CHM workflow for the last several years. The post gives a nice overview of some of the work that has been done in underserved and minority communities in the last several years.
Today Discover QGIS 3.xwas published by Locate Press. Authored by Community Health Mapper Kurt Menke, this is an update of the original title, using QGIS v3.6 and covering spatial analysis, data management, and cartography. It is designed to teach mapping and GIS using QGIS. As such it begins with basics. It is a comprehensive up-to-date workbook built for both the classroom and professionals looking to build their skills.
It is designed to take advantage of the latest QGIS features, and will guide you in improving your maps and analysis.
The book is a complete resource and includes:
All data, discussion questions, and solutions
What’s new in this edition:
Updated to QGIS 3.6
Fifteen new exercises
A new section, Advanced Data Visualization, covering:
Live layer effects
To see what’s included in the book, download the Table of Contents (PDF). Discover QGIS 3.x is available in color as an ebook or paper back.
This past weekend QGIS 3.6 Noosa was released as the next stable release. You can visit the QGIS download site to find installers for Windows, Mac and Linux.
At the same time QGIS 3.4 Madeira became the latest long-term release. This means that version 3.4 will be supported for a calendar year with bug fixes. This is now the version you should install and work with for the next year.
If you have not yet worked with the new 3.x line you can look at the visual changelogs here: Version 3.0 – Version 3.2 – Version 3.4. In general the QGIS 3.x line is a major upgrade from 2.x. I encourage you to install it and make a map!
2019 is off to a fast start with the Community Health Maps program!
The QGIS portion of the CHM labs found on the Resources page are being updated. Look for these in the next several weeks. These were last updated in 2017. In one month a new long-term release of QGIS will be released: QGIS 3.6. This will be the first long-term release of the 3.x line. If you have not yet switched over to QGIS 3.x, March will be the time to do so. At this time 2.x line will be officially retired. You can revisit last years blog about what’s new in QGIS 3 to see the sort of features now available. I will be posting an post next month about what you need to know about QGIS 3.6, as well as an announcement when the new training materials have been completed.
There are a series of QGIS workshops scheduled for the spring:
April 2 – University of Michigan Ann Arbor
April 3 – University of Michigan Flint
April 4 – University of Michigan Detroit Center
April 5 – University of Michigan Dearborn
May 14 – Rising Voices 7 – Converging Voices: Building relationships and practices for intercultural science. – Boulder Colorado
June 3-7 – ASTHO Climate and Health Summit
June 17-21 – ASTHO CHM and Vector Borne Disease Workshop
On November 2nd QGIS 3.4 ‘Madeira’ was released. It is the first long-term release in the new 3.x platform. To install it you can visit the QGIS Download page. Installers are ready for Windows, Max OSX and Linux.
QGIS VERSIONS Remember QGIS always has two main versions available. There is the long-term release, which is the most stable because it is supported for one calendar year. In addition there is always a latest release. QGIS 3.4 falls into this former category.
This is a great time to update your version of QGIS. Especially if you are still using the 2.x line. QGIS 3.x is fast, stable and feature rich. If you are still a 2.x user there is a huge list of new features and useful changes. At this point most of the popular plugins have been migrated over from 2.x to 3.x. The chart below shows the steady migration and growth of 3.x plugins. You can review the visual changelog for this version here. You can also find the changelogs for versions 3.0 and 3.2.
A Community Health Maps (CHM) online tutorial is now available. It is a free, self-paced online course from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), which provides guidance on using low cost mapping tools to collect, analyze, and visualize mapping data.
Community Health Maps seeks to empower communities and individuals by helping them collect and map health-related data. The CHM tutorial helps users build a plan to collect data, create forms to capture data points, and use mobile devices to collect data. The CHM tutorial can also aid in creating online and printable maps that can be customized to meet the needs of specific populations and stakeholders.
The tutorial covers how to create a basic workflow for collecting and mapping field data via step-by-step instructions on how to (1) develop a data collection form, (2) collect field data according to the data collection plan, (3) create online dynamic maps of the data collected, and (4) create static offline publishable maps of field data using desktop software.
If you are new to Community Health Maps, and are not sure how this mapping workflow can benefit you and your organization, you can search this blog for case studies. In particular you may want to look at the selected case studies linked to below. Read about how students and professionals have used Community Health Maps:
Carto,the platform for making online maps, recently abandoned it’s free license option. The reason they gave was that many users were creating accounts, sometimes several accounts, and simply not using them. This became expensive overhead for them to manage. As a result they now offer a Professional or Enterprise plan once your free trial expires. This new pricing scheme is shown below:
Note that non-profit organizations receive a 20% discount off this Professional license. This license also affords you many more benefits than the previous free license. For example, the free license gave you 50Mb of cloud storage space while the Professional plan gives you 500Mb. It also allows you to set permissions on your datasets to make them private. It also gives you email and online support.
If that price is beyond your organizations budget you will notice that directly below the pricing plan is a section covering FREE Plans for Students and Great Causes!
Carto has a grant program. You can read about this program here. All it takes to apply is filling out an application form!
On February 23rd QGIS 3 was formally released. Since then the developers have been working on completing installers for Windows, Mac and Linux. As of yesterday the software is ready to be installed on every operating system! To install it you can visit the QGIS Download page.
QGIS VERSIONS QGIS always has two main versions available. There is the long-term release, which is the most stable because it is supported for one calendar year. In addition there is always a latest release. QGIS 3 falls into this latter category, it is the latest release. At the moment the long-term release is version 2.18. The latest release is still considered stable, but a new one comes out every 4 months.
WHICH VERSION TO CHOOSE?
If you want to have one version of QGIS without having to worry about updates, use the long-term release (2.18). If you want to experience all the new features that come with version 3 you will want the latest release (3.0). As mentioned last month, version 3 is a major new release with a lot of changes and new features.
On Windows machines you can have both. You can easily install both versions of QGIS side by side with no conflicts by using the OSGeo4W Network Installer. On Mac and Linux machines you can only have one version, so you need to choose.
QGIS 3 is fast, stable and feature rich. The main issue for many users is that not all Plugins have yet to be ported to QGIS 3. This is because this responsibility falls onto the individual plugin authors. With that said, at last count there were already 117 plugins available for version 3.
Last year Fulcrum rolled out a new service named Community. They describe it as a, “no cost, short term crowdsourced data collection solution for qualified humanitarian projects.”
It works like Fulcrum, but you need to apply for a license. The application form is short and is right on the Community home page. In the application you need to describe your purpose and how long you will be collecting data. You also need to provide a project description. If approved you can invite any number of data collectors via email to share your App (data collection form). It is generally aimed at humanitarian agencies, non-profits, or government agencies. They restrict commercial use of this service.
We used this last fall during King Tide data collection in Miamiand it was a big success. In fact there are four main categories highlighted on the Fulcrum Community page: Hurricane, Tornado, Flood and Fire. If you click on Flood, the King Tide project is the first in the list. Clicking on it brings up a map with the data collected.
One caveat is that the data collected falls into the public domain and can be downloaded freely by anyone. This is possible because the data are anonymized, meaning any private information is scrubbed. The data remain available for viewing and download after the event ends.
It won’t be appropriate unless there is some sort of disaster relief or environmental issue that demands it, but it is another tool to keep in your Community Health Maps toolkit!