what's changed

in qgis?

Within the book the Geographic Information System (GIS) we use for handling remote sensing data is Quantum (QGIS).  QGIS is a piece of open-source software, which means it is freely available. QGIS is regularly updated, and this will mean that the version that you might download today is not the same version as we used in the book.

We based the exercises on QGIS version 2.8.1 (Wein), which was closest to the current long term release (LTR, version 2.8.3) that’s recommended for corporate users. Since then new releases have occurred the current LTR is 2.14 that can be downloaded from http://www.qgis.org/en/site/forusers/download.html.


If you want to have the newest functionality, then the latest stable release is version 2.14 (Essen). The differences you’ll notice with Essen are:

  • QGIS now supports GRASS GIS version 7.0.3. There is also an icon for Qt Designer, which is for those building their own QGIS plugins.
  • When you open QGIS Desktop the central panel shows Recent Projects, which will become populated as you save project files.
  • Linked to the practical exercises:
    • Chapter 9: Landscape Evolution – in this chapter we use the ‘Semi-Automatic Classification’ QGIS plugin that’s now at version 4.8.4 and imports Sentinel-2 as well as Landsat data
    • Chapter 10: Geoalgorithms > Raster > General tools > Merge raster layers is now just called Merge.


If there is anything in book that you cannot find in the latest version of QGIS, or anything that does not appear to work as we indicated, please log-in and let us know in the forum.

Using Earth Observation to answer questions about our planet’s resources and behaviour