You cannot possibly go wrong with QGIS
November 05, 2020

You cannot possibly go wrong with QGIS

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with QGIS

We use QGIS to do spatial analysis of large property datasets, develop styling for thematic layers, convert the styling into SLD format to use in Geoserver, and build monthly reports for our clients of the results of their spatial analytics. QGIS is our go-to tool for working with spatial data. We also recommend it to local government/municipalities who are our clients, as a functional and cost-effective replacement for other proprietary GIS packages. By reducing licensing costs, organizations can spend the budget on appointing more spatial analysts or even developers to customize the application to suit their unique requirements.
  • Styling: the styling engine is fantastic with raster styling features that I recognize from apps like Photoshop.
  • Print layouts: I can set up custom print layouts, and even do automated multi-page atlas style reports that I use for cycling through detailed areas when providing my clients with pdf reports.
  • Extendable: the plugins are fantastic, and almost anything I need that isn't provided natively with QGIS is available as a plugin.
  • Community: the QGIS community is passionate about GIS, and are always ready to help. There are great training resources available online.
  • Support is tricky to find: because QGIS is open source, there isn't one single company responsible who I can call when things don't work. However, there are numerous companies that provide support on a consulting basis, often contributing actively to the code base as well (e.g. Kartoza).
  • Doesn't access graphics card: to the best of my knowledge, QGIS doesn't make use of hardware graphics acceleration. But this only becomes an issue when I work with massive datasets (500k+ polygon geometries with 30+ fields).
  • Less well known: ESRI is the default product that most students use when they study geomatics because it is free for academic institutions. So new hires often haven't worked with QGIS before, and find it intimidating. But the learning curve isn't too steep, so it's not a major issue. The biggest challenge is overcoming the natural resistance to change.
  • We can ingest data in any format, and convert it to industry-standard spatial files for hosting on our online GIS platform.
  • Many client projects require us to analyze and understand data before we can report on it.
  • Because QGIS is free, and the learning curve is negligible for bright GIS technicians, the ROI is practically infinite because the investment is basically zero.
We've used MapInfo, but it is expensive and lacks the wide support that QGIS has. It also doesn't slot in that well with the open-source stack that we use to develop our online GIS tools.

We've also evaluated Esri's Arc products. Fantastic tools, but a) exorbitantly expensive, and b) they lock their clients in by preferring the use of proprietary formats, and c) they can't ingest nearly as many data formats as QGIS can (which is critical for us since we work with various different data providers).
I wasn't a GIS user at all when I started using QGIS, nor did I have any background working with data in anything other than Excel, and as a result, I struggled quite a lot in the beginning (it's not quite Google Maps). But having said that, I haven't come across anything that I couldn't do with a little help from the online community. I've done complex spatial analyses on large datasets of metropolitan cities, designed custom multi-page pdf reports that automatically cycle through different areas of an area, etc.

And the GIS staff that I've appointed, after their initial resistance, took to the tool like a fish to water, and I haven't heard them complain after starting to use the tool for a week or two.

But if you're new to GIS, be patient and invest some time to learn how to use the tool. It is absolutely worth it.
There are numerous companies that provide support for QGIS, especially with regard to enterprise implementation. One is Kartoza (, which I can highly recommend. They can also assist with developing plugins and complex styling. North Road is also great ( There is also a vibrant online community of users who are passionate about the product, and provide online training resources and blog posts.

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QGIS should be the tool of choice for any taxpayer-funded institution, like a municipality of a governmental department. The GIS budget can be spent on employing developers and GIS analysts rather than just siphoning it out to multinational corporations. The staff can then work on improving the product for all users globally, and pretty soon we'll have an unbelievable product that does great good for management.

QGIS is perfect if you don't use GIS absolutely every day, because it is free software, and offers pretty much anything that you can do with proprietary software.

I don't think QGIS has such amazing 3D capabilities yet (although it does exist, and maybe I'm just not proficient enough in its use yet).