7.1.3. Plugins

In addition to its core functionalities, QGIS can be extended modularly with additional features and functionalities, downloadable from so-called repositories through the internet. By the end of 2012, about 175 plugins were listed on the project website provided by various authors (http://plugins.qgis.org/plugins). Because the application is open source, everyone is authorized to change or add features for special purposes by programming in the languages C++ or Python. Often, popular external plugins that have a big impact on the user community are implemented into the core functionalities of QGIS in the following release.

Plugins can be loaded and unloaded from the main menu Plugins > Fetch Python Plugins (Fig. 70) from various internet repositories directly into the QGIS Desktop. Some of the plugins might require additional software packages or libraries, or are still marked as “experimental”, indicating an early stage of development.

Within this tutorial the plugins listed in Table 4 will be used, so it is recommended to install them now:

  1. Open QGIS, go to the Start Menu.
  2. Go to All Programs.
  3. Open the Quantum GIS Lisboa folder.
  4. Select Quantum GIS Desktop 1.8.0.
  5. From the main menu go to Plugins.
  6. Select Fetch Python Plugins.
  7. Open the Repositories tab.
  8. Click Add… and type in the name and URL for the “Faunalia Repository” corresponding to Table 4.
  9. Click the checkbox to enable the repository.
  10. Click OK.
  11. Verify if the “Faunalia Repository” is listed and if the connection works correctly (indicated with a green icon).
  12. Repeat steps 8 to 11 also for the Repository called QGIS “Contributed Repository” (see Table 4).
  13. Switch to the tab Options.
  14. Activate the checkbox Check for updates on startup.
  15. Set the allowed plugins to Show all plugins, even those marked as experimental.
  16. Switch back to the tab Plugins within the QGIS Python Plugin Installer.
  17. Filter for a plugin name (e.g. “GdalTools”) and select it in the list.
  18. Click Install/upgrade plugin.
  19. Repeat the steps 17 and 18 for all these Plugin names: “GdalTools”, “qgSurf” and “Chart Maker”.
  20. Close the QGIS Python Plugin Installer.

To remain focused on the most important functionalities for your daily work, it is recommended to make use of the Plugin Manager (Fig. 71):

  1. Open Plugins.
  2. Select Manage Plugins.
  3. Click Select All.
  4. Click OK.

For more detailed information about managing and troubleshooting QGIS plugins on different platforms, see the QGIS user guide (QGIS Development Team, 2013).

Fig. 70. The QGIS Python Plugin Installer can be used to download and install additional program code from different repositories.

figure070

 

Fig. 71. The QGIS Plugin Manager can be used to enable (if they are already installed) or disable (without being uninstalled) plugins.

figure071

 

Table 4. QGIS Plugins and Repositories list used or mentioned in this tutorial.

Plugin name

Repository

Add Delimited Text Layer
(see section 7.3.3.1.)

Core plugin, automatically installed with QGIS
(can be enabled and disabled in the Plugin Manager)

fTools
(see section 7.6.)

Core plugin, automatically installed with QGIS
(can be enabled and disabled in the Plugin Manager)

Spatial Query
(see section 7.4.1.)

Core plugin, automatically installed with QGIS
(can be enabled and disabled in the Plugin Manager)

Raster Terrain Analysis Plugin
(see section 7.7.2.)

Core plugin, automatically installed with QGIS
(can be enabled and disabled in the Plugin Manager)

GDAL Tools
(see section 7.5. and 7.7.)

Faunalia Repository (http://www.faunalia.it/qgis/plugins.xml)

qgSurf
(see section 7.8.3.)

QGIS Official Repository (http://plugins.qgis.org/plugins/plugins.xml)

Chart Maker Plugin
(see section 7.9.)

QGIS Contributed Repository
(http://pyqgis.org/repo/contributed)

SEXTANTE
(se section 7.8.2.)

QGIS Official Repository (http://plugins.qgis.org/plugins/plugins.xml)

QGIS Cloud Plugin
(see section 7.9.5.)

QGIS Official Repository (http://plugins.qgis.org/plugins/plugins.xml)

XyTools
(see section 7.3.3.1.)

QGIS Official Repository (http://plugins.qgis.org/plugins/plugins.xml)