QGIS is a user friendly Open Source Geographic Information System (GIS) licensed under the GNU General Public License. QGIS is an official project of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo). It runs on Linux, Unix, Mac OSX, Windows and Android and supports numerous vector, raster, and database formats and functionalities.
QGIS provides a continously growing number of capabilities provided by core functions and plugins. You can visualize, manage, edit, analyse data, and compose printable maps. Get a first impression with a more detailed feature list.
QGIS is a volunteer driven project. We welcome contributions in the form of code contributions, bug fixes, bug reports, contributed documentation, advocacy and supporting other users on our mailing lists and gis.stackexchange.com. If you are interested in actively supporting the project, you can find more information under the development menu and on the QGIS Wiki. We also welcome financial contributions in the form of sponsoring and funding.
Using the QGIS Browser
QGIS comes with a standalone application called QGIS Browser. This is a useful companion tool to QGIS and helpful in managing GIS datasets. ArcGIS users may think of it as an application similar to ArcCatalog.
Locating the QGIS Browser
QGIS Browser Standalone Application
QGIS Browser is part of the standard install of QGIS.
Windows: If you installed QGIS via OSGEO4W installer, you will see
QGIS Browserin your start menu.
Mac: The application is located at
QGIS.app/Contents/MacOS/bin/QGIS Browser.app. You can create a symlink to this app. Navigate to the Application folder, right-click the QGIS icon and select Show Package Contents. Browse to MacOS ‣ bin ‣ QGIS Browser. Right-click the
QGIS Browsericon and select Make Alias. Drag the
QGIS Browser aliasto the Applications folder. Now you can access the
QGIS Browserlike any other application.
Linux: You can launch the QGIS browser by the command
qbrowser. It is located in the same directory as the qgis application.
Browser Panel in QGIS
A convenient way to access the QGIS Browser is from within the main QGIS Desktop application itself. The browser panel is located at the bottom of the left-hand panel in QGIS. Click on the Browser tab to open the QGIS Browser. If you do not see the Browser tab, enable it by doing to View ‣ Panels ‣ Browser (Windows and Mac) or Settings ‣ Panels ‣ Browser (Linux).
Now let us explore some features of the QGIS Browser. Switch to the standalone QGIS Browser application. Browse to a directory on your system where you have some GIS data. You will immediately notice the advantage of using the Browser. Instead of seeing all support files and non-spatial data, you see only the spatial layers that are supported by QGIS. Click on a layer to select it.