Workshop materials

Introduction to GIS with QGIS and R


Software and materials for the workshop on Introduction to GIS with QGIS and R at ATCEN, Petaling Jaya, 17 - 23 March 2018.

Group Photo


Please bring a laptop computer for the workshop. Working with GIS images and raster files is computer-intensive, so it helps if you have a fast computer.

You can use a Mac with OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) or later. You will need the XQuartz utility installed. But note that the facilitators haven't used QGIS or R on a Mac.

Before the workshop

Before the workshop, please do the following:

  1. Download and install the necessary software (see below) on your LAPTOP, in particular the R and QGIS programs. This is especially important if you need help from the IT department to install software.
  2. Please prepare ONE slide to introduce yourself and email to stats.bcss@gmail.com. The slide should be nearly square for projection: the aspect ratio should be 4:3. We'll put these together to make a presentation for the first morning.


You will need the following software installed on your laptop:


  • We suggest that you choose the "long term release", version 2.18, as this is more reliable. The new version 3.0.0 is likely still full of bugs and some of the plugins we need are not yet available.
  • Go to the QGIS site here for information on installation and to download the installer: GQIS standalone Installer Version 2.18 (64bit).
  • When installing QGIS, you have the option to download example data sets: please check all three (North Carolina, South Dakota, and Alaska) and confirm that you want to download them. Alternatively, you can download them separately here.
  • After installation, open QGIS and go to Plugins > Manage and install plugins. Make sure you have the following plugins installed, clicking the "Install plugin" button if necessary:
    • 1. Affine transformation
      2. Gdal Tools
      3. Georeferencer GDAL
      4. GPS tools
      5. Heatmap plugin
      6. Interpolation plugin
      7. MMQGIS
      8. NNJoin
      9. OpenLayers plugin
      10. Oracle Spatial GeoRaster
      11. Processing
      12. Raster Terrain Analysis plugin
      13. Road graph
      14. Spatial Query plugin
      15. Table Manager
      16. XY tools
      17. Zonal statistics plugin
  • Download the PDF version of the QGIS manual here. You don't need to print it out, but it may be useful to refer to.

R statistical software

  • Download and install R statistical software. The latest version is 3.4.3; if you have a version prior to 3.4.1, please install the latest.
  • You can install most of the packages we will need by opening R and copy-pasting the following line into the R console:
    install.packages(c("wiqid", "GISTools", "raster", "maptools", "rgdal",
    "rgeos", "secr", "adehabitatHR", "BBMM"))
  • We will have good wifi connectivity at the venue, so can install other R packages when needed. Administrator passwords are not needed to install packages.

A spreadsheet program

  • You should have either LibreOffice Calc (which is free software) or Microsoft Excel.

A PDF reader

  • You need a PDF Reader which allows you to annotate PDFs, such as Adobe Reader.


The outline workshop schedule is here.

We will provide a hard-copy workshop guide which you can place next to your laptop while you work through the exercises.

The workshop guide and the data sets are very large files, so these will be distributed on USB sticks at the start of the workshop.


Page updated 11 March 2018 by Mike Meredith