7.1.1. QGIS Desktop

QGIS Desktop is the main interface for data collection, analysis, and presentation on the client-side and is similar to ArcMap (see section 6.1.1.). The language of the GUI is chosen automatically by the system defaults, but it can be changed within the menu Settings > Options > Locale. Most of the menus and symbols (Fig. 68) are self-evident and should be easy to use for anyone with basic knowledge in GIS techniques, but in particular the menu “Plugins” is different than other software and will be discussed more in detail (see 7.1.3.). Projects (equivalent to map documents within ArcGIS, see section 6.3.1.) saved within QGIS are stored using the XML-Standard (Extensible Markup Language, machine and human-readable) and with the extension *.qgs.

Fig. 68. The graphical user interface of QGIS Desktop (version 1.8.0. “Lisboa”, running on Windows). The legend corresponds to the terms used in the official QGIS user Guide: Menu Bar (1), Tool Bar (2), Map Legend (3), Map View (4), Status Bar (5). Reproduced with permission of Swisstopo (BA13016).