13 Best QGIS Books To Read in [2023] [UPDATED]

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QGIS is one of the premier open source Geographical Information Systems which is widely used by GIS professionals all over the world. It is the leading alternative to proprietary GIS software.

Although QGIS is described as intuitive, it is also, by default, complex, designing and executing a multi-tiered project from scratch on this complex ecosystem remains a significant challenge. Knowing which tools to use and how to apply them is essential to producing valuable deliverables on time.

We have researched and compiled a list of the 13 best QGIS books that can help you learn about every aspect of it.


Best QGIS Books You Should Read


1. Mastering Geospatial Development with QGIS 3.x

best QGIS books to readIf you are a GIS professional, a consultant, a student, or perhaps a fast learner who wants to go beyond the basics of QGIS, then this book is for you. It will prepare you to realize the full potential of QGIS.

Starting with a refresher on the QGIS basics and getting you acquainted with the latest QGIS 3.6 updates, this book will take you all the way through to teaching you how to create a spatial database and a GeoPackage.

You will learn how to style raster and vector data by choosing and managing different colors. The book will then focus on processing raster and vector data. You will be then taught advanced applications, such as creating and editing vector data.

Along with that, you will also learn about the newly updated Processing Toolbox, which will help you develop the advanced data visualizations. The book will then explain to you the graphic modeler, how to create QGIS plugins with PyQGIS, and how to integrate Python analysis scripts with QGIS.

What You Will Learn:

  • How to create and manage a spatial database
  • Get to know advanced techniques to style GIS data
  • Prepare both vector and raster data for processing
  • Add heat maps, live layer effects, and labels to your maps
  • Master LAStools and GRASS integration with the Processing Toolbox
  • Edit and repair topological data errors
  • Automate workflows with batch processing and the QGIS Graphical Modeler
  • How to develop your own QGIS plugins
  • Integrate Python scripting into your data processing workflows

By the end of the book, you will understand how to work with all aspects of QGIS and will be ready to use it for any type of GIS work.


2. Discover QGIS 3.x: A Workbook for Classroom or Independent Study

books to learn QGISQGIS is a user-friendly, cross-platform desktop geographic information system used to make maps and analyze spatial data. QGIS allows users to understand, question, interpret, and visualize spatial data in many ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps.

Explore the latest Long Term Release (LTR) of QGIS with Discover QGIS 3.x, a comprehensive up-to-date workbook built for both the classroom and professionals looking to build their skills.

Designed to take advantage of the latest QGIS features, this book will guide you in improving your maps and analysis.

Discover QGIS 3.x is an update of the original title, using QGIS 3.6, covering Spatial analysis, Data management, and Cartography.

What’s new in this edition:

  • Fifteen new exercises
  • A new section, Advanced Data Visualization, covering: Blending modes, Live layer effects, Geometry generators, Rendering Points, Time Manager, Native 3D, Mesh data,
  • Appendices covering: Keyboard shortcuts, Useful Plugins
  • The book is a complete resource and includes: Lab exercises, Challenge exercises, All data, discussion questions, and solutions.


3. QGIS Map Design

best books to learn QGIS Map designWritten by two of the leading experts in the realm of open source mapping, Anita and Gretchen are experienced authors who pour their wealth of knowledge into the book.

Learn how to use QGIS to take your cartographic products to the highest level.

The authors take you step-by-step through the process of using the latest map design tools and techniques in QGIS 3. With step-by-step instructions for creating the most modern print map designs seen in any instructional materials to-date, this book covers everything from basic styling and labelling to advanced techniques like illuminated contours and dynamic masking.

With numerous new map designs and completely overhauled workflows, this QGIS guide brings you up to speed with current cartographic technology and trends.

QGIS 3.4 opens up exciting new possibilities for creating beautiful and compelling maps! To get the most from the book, you’ll need a basic working knowledge of QGIS.


4. Learn QGIS: Your step-by-step guide to the fundamental of QGIS

best books to learn QGISIf you are a developer or consultant familiar with the basic functions and processes of GIS and want to learn how to use QGIS to analyze geospatial data and create rich mapping applications, this book is for you. You’ll also find this book useful if you’re new to QGIS and wish to grasp its fundamentals

QGIS 3.4 is the first LTR (long term release) of QGIS version 3. This is a giant leap forward for the project with tons of new features and impactful changes. Learn QGIS is fully updated for QGIS 3.4, covering its processing engine update, Python 3 de-facto coding environment, and the GeoPackage format.

Learn QGIS will help you get started on your QGIS journey, guiding you to develop your own processing pathway. You will explore the user interface, loading your data, editing, and then creating data.

QGIS often surprises new users with its mapping capabilities; you will discover how easily you can style and create your first map. But that’s not all! In the final part of the book, you’ll learn about spatial analysis and the powerful tools in QGIS, and conclude by looking at Python processing options.

What You Will Learn:

  • Explore various ways to load data into QGIS
  • Understand how to style data and present it in a map
  • Create maps and explore ways to expand them
  • Get acquainted with the new processing toolbox in QGIS 3.4
  • Manipulate your geospatial data and gain quality insights
  • Work with QGIS 3.4 in 3D
  • Understand how to customize QGIS 3.4

By the end of the book, you will have become proficient in geospatial analysis using QGIS and Python.


5. QGIS 2 Cookbook

best QGIS guideThis book is a collection of simple to advanced techniques that are needed in everyday geospatial work, and shows how to accomplish them with QGIS. You will begin by understanding the different types of data management techniques, as well as how data exploration works.

You will then learn how to perform classic vector and raster analysis with QGIS, apart from creating time-based visualizations. Finally, you will learn how to create interactive and visually appealing maps with custom cartography.

By the end of this book, you will have all the necessary knowledge to handle spatial data management, exploration, and visualization tasks in QGIS.

What You Will Learn:

  • Import and export common tricky spatial data formats
  • Perform classic vector and raster analysis with QGIS
  • Utilize spatial databases and data management tools
  • Use and create geographic web services and maps
  • Explore and create time-based visualizations
  • Perform network building and routing analysis
  • Extend QGIS capabilities with popular plugins and toolbox automation
  • Make beautiful and unique maps with customized cartography


6. QGIS Blueprints

Best QGIS BooksQGIS Blueprints encompasses relatively experienced GIS developers who have a strong grounding in the fundamentals of GIS development. They will have used QGIS before, but are looking to understand how to develop more complex, layered map applications that expose various data sets, utilize different visualizations, and are consumable (usable) by end users.

This book starts with a primer on QGIS and closely related data, software, and systems. Guide you through six use-case blueprints for geographic web applications. Each blueprint boils down a complex workflow into steps you can follow to reduce time lost to trial and error.

What You Will Learn:

  • Review geographic information principles and the application of these principles in the QGIS free/open source ecosystem
  • Perform advanced analysis with site selection, hydrologic, and topological networks
  • Build performant web applications by tile caching and generating static assets
  • Provide collaborative editing capabilities for your team or community
  • Develop custom and dynamic analysis and visualization capabilities
  • Select the best components from desktop and web, for your use case
  • Integrate it with social media and crowdsourcing

By the end of this book readers should be able to build complex layered applications that visualize multiple data sets, employing different types of visualization, and give end users the ability to interact with and manipulate this data for the purpose of analysis.


7. QGIS By Example

Best QGIS Books to learnIf you are a beginner or an intermediate GIS user, this book is for you. It is ideal for practitioners, data analysts, and application developers who have very little or no familiarity with geospatial data and software.

This book guides you from QGIS installation through data loading, and preparation to performing most common GIS analyses. You will perform different types of GIS analyses including density, visibility, and suitability analysis on practical, real-world data. Finally, you will learn how to become more productive and automate your everyday work with the help of the QGIS Processing framework and by developing your own Python plugins.

What You Will Learn:

  • Install QGIS and integrate your data into a spatial database to improve data management, speedup access, and processing
  • Design beautiful and informative print maps for a better representation of your data and analysis results
  • Publish your maps on the Internet with the QGIS Cloud hosting
  • Use the Heatmap plugin and hexagonal grids to find hot regions by density analysis
  • Visualize your data in 3D and check object visibility to find the most scenic views
  • Perform suitability analysis to find places that meet your requirements and learn how to use spatial operations
  • Become more productive with the Processing framework by using models and scripts to automate repetitive and complex tasks
  • Develop your own Python plugin to extend QGIS’s functionality

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8. Building Mapping Applications with QGIS

Best QGIS textbooksIf you are an experienced Python developer who wants to create your own geospatial applications with minimum fuss, this is the book for you. While some familiarity with mapping applications would be an advantage, no prior knowledge of geospatial concepts is required. Even if you’ve never used QGIS before, this book will quickly get you up to speed.

This book will teach you how to write Python code that makes use of the geospatial capabilities of QGIS. Building on this, you will ultimately learn how to create your own sophisticated standalone mapping applications built on top of QGIS.

You will learn how to use the Python Console as a window into the QGIS programming environment, and then use that environment to create your own Python scripts and plugins to customize QGIS. As your knowledge of the PyQGIS library grows, you will use it to perform a variety of real-world geospatial programming tasks, culminating in the creation of your own complex standalone applications to load, analyze, and display geospatial data.

What You Will Learn:

  • Use the Python Console to explore and control QGIS
  • Perform geospatial development tasks using the PyQGIS Python library
  • Create useful geospatial applications implemented as QGIS Python plugins
  • Use QGIS as a standalone geoprocessing library within your Python programs
  • Build complex interactive map-based GUIs within your own Python programs
  • Understand how Python scripting can be used to customize the QGIS system
  • Utilize the true potential of Python and QGIS to create your own complete mapping applications


9. The PyQGIS Programmer’s Guide: Extending QGIS 3 with Python 3

best books to learn python QGISThis book covers version 3.0 of the QGIS application programming interface (API), featuring Python 3. With PyQGIS you can write scripts and plugins to implement new features and perform automated tasks.

This book will guide you in getting started with PyQGIS. After a brief introduction to Python 3, you’ll learn how to understand the QGIS (API), write scripts, and build a plugin.

This book is designed to allow you to work through the examples as you go along. At the end of most chapters you will find a set of exercises you can do to enhance your learning experience. You’ll also find a wealth of examples and information for performing common tasks, developing a workflow, and debugging your code.


10. Hands-On Geospatial Analysis with R and QGIS

best books to learn QGIS with RThis book is great for geographers, environmental scientists, statisticians, and every professional who deals with spatial data. If you want to learn how to handle GIS and remote sensing data, then this book is for you. Basic knowledge of R and QGIS would be helpful but is not necessary.

Managing spatial data has always been challenging and it’s getting more complex as the size of data increases. Spatial data is actually big data and you need different tools and techniques to work your way around to model and create different workflows. R and QGIS have powerful features that can make this job easier.

This book is your companion for applying machine learning algorithms on GIS and remote sensing data. You’ll start by gaining an understanding of the nature of spatial data and installing R and QGIS. Then, you’ll learn how to use different R packages to import, export, and visualize data, before doing the same in QGIS. Screenshots are included to ease your understanding.

What You Will Learn:

  • Install R and QGIS
  • Get familiar with the basics of R programming and QGIS
  • Visualize quantitative and qualitative data to create maps
  • Find out the basics of raster data and how to use them in R and QGIS
  • Perform geoprocessing tasks and automate them using the graphical modeler of QGIS
  • Apply different machine learning algorithms on satellite data for landslide susceptibility mapping and prediction

By reading this book, you’ll transition from being a beginner to an intermediate user of GIS and remote sensing data in no time.


11. QGIS and Applications in Agriculture and Forest (QGIS in Remote Sensing Set)

QGIS and Applications in Agriculture and ForestThe QGIS in Remote Sensing Set aims to facilitate the appropriation and operational use of the Quantum Geographic Information System (QGIS) software in the field of remote sensing.

This second volume of the set presents different applications of QGIS and its libraries for agriculture and forestry. A thorough knowledge of agriculture and forest areas is fundamental from both an economic and an environmental point of view.

The book is targeted at students (Masters, engineering students, PhDs), engineers and researchers who have already adopted geographic information systems. In addition to the text, readers will have access to data and tools allowing the integral realization of the scientific procedures described in each chapter, as well as screenshots of all the windows which illustrate the manipulations necessary for the realization of each application.


12. QGIS and Applications in Territorial Planning (QGIS in Remote Sensing Set)

Best Books to learn QGIS and Applications in Territorial PlanningThese four volumes present innovative thematic applications implemented using the open source software QGIS. These are applications that use remote sensing over continental surfaces.

The volumes detail applications of remote sensing over continental surfaces, with a first one discussing applications for agriculture. A second one presents applications for forest, a third presents applications for the continental hydrology, and finally the last volume details applications for environment and risk issues.


13. QGIS and Applications in Water and Risks (QGIS in Remote Sensing Set)

QGIS and Applications in Water and RisksThis QGIS in Remote Sensing Set fourth volume of the set is dedicated to the presentation and the practice of QGIS and its libraries of applications dealing with water and risk management issues.

In the context of global changes (climatic and anthropogenic), understanding and quantifying water resource dynamics and the various aspects of risks is essential for managers in public authorities and local population. This work is carried out by scientists who are proficient to a high level of technicality.