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QGIS Projects into Interactive Online Maps

A Simple Guide to Turning Your QGIS Projects into Interactive Online Maps

Whether you’re a seasoned GIS professional or a newbie just dipping your toes into the world of spatial analysis, you’ve likely come across the challenge of turning your QGIS projects into interactive web maps. Enter the QGIS2Web plugin—a game-changer that bridges the gap between desktop GIS and web mapping. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of transforming your QGIS project into a shareable web map, answering common questions along the way.

Generating a web map from a QGIS project allows you to share your GIS data and visualizations with a wider audience online. Here’s a step-by-step guide to do this using the QGIS2Web plugin:

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Need help installing QGIS on Windows or Mac?

Step 1: Install QGIS2Web Plugin

  1. Open QGIS.
  2. Go to the Plugins menu and select Manage and Install Plugins....
  3. In the search bar, type “qgis2web” and select the qgis2web plugin from the list.
  4. Click Install Plugin. Once installed, it will appear in the QGIS toolbar.

Step 2: Prepare Your QGIS Project

  1. Ensure that your QGIS project contains all the layers and styles you want to display on the web map.
  2. Save your QGIS project.

Step 3: Generate the Web Map

  1. Click on the qgis2web icon in the QGIS toolbar.
  2. A new window will open with various options for exporting your map.
  3. Choose between Leaflet and OpenLayers as the web mapping framework. Leaflet is lightweight and suitable for simple maps, while OpenLayers is more robust and offers more features.
  4. Under the Layers tab, you can choose which layers to include in the web map and adjust their settings.
  5. Under the Appearance tab, you can set the map’s appearance, including its extent, background color, and more.
  6. Under the Export tab, choose where to save the exported files. You can also choose whether to export as a folder or a zip file.
  7. Click Export to generate the web map. This will create a set of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files.

Step 4: Host and Share Your Web Map

  1. To view your web map, open the generated index.html file in a web browser.
  2. To share your web map online, you’ll need to host the exported files on a web server. You can use services like GitHub Pages, Netlify, or any other web hosting provider.
  3. Once hosted, share the link to your web map with others.

Tips:

  • The QGIS2Web plugin tries to replicate your QGIS styles as closely as possible, but there might be some differences due to the limitations of web mapping libraries.
  • If you have a lot of data, consider simplifying your geometries or using a web service like WMS or WFS to serve your data.
  • Regularly update the QGIS2Web plugin to benefit from new features and bug fixes.

That’s it! With these steps, you can easily generate a web map from your QGIS project and share it with the world.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the QGIS2Web plugin?

The QGIS2Web plugin is a tool that allows users to create interactive web maps directly from QGIS without any coding.

Which web mapping libraries does QGIS2Web support?

QGIS2Web supports both Leaflet and OpenLayers as web mapping frameworks.

Why are some of my layer styles not appearing correctly in the web map?

    While QGIS2Web tries to replicate QGIS styles as closely as possible, there might be differences due to the limitations of web mapping libraries.

    Can I add a basemap to my web map using QGIS2Web?

    Yes, the plugin allows users to add various basemaps, including OpenStreetMap, Google Maps, and others.

    How can I host my web map online?

    You can use web hosting services like GitHub Pages, Netlify, or any other hosting provider to host the exported files and share the web map.

    Is there a limit to the number of layers I can include in my web map?

    While there’s no strict limit, performance might be affected if you include too many layers or very large datasets.

    Can I include raster layers in my web map?

    Yes, QGIS2Web supports both vector and raster layers, but keep in mind that large raster files might slow down the performance of your web map.

    Why is my web map loading slowly?

    This could be due to large datasets, many layers, or large raster files. Consider simplifying your data or using web services like WMS or WFS.

    Can I customize the look and feel of the generated web map?

    Yes, you can modify the exported HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files to further customize your web map.

    Do I need to know coding to use QGIS2Web?

    No, the plugin is designed to be user-friendly and doesn’t require any coding knowledge. However, if you want to customize the web map beyond the plugin’s capabilities, some knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript might be helpful.

    How do I update the QGIS2Web plugin?

    You can update the plugin through the QGIS Plugin Manager. Regular updates are recommended to benefit from new features and bug fixes.

    These are some of the common questions people have about the process. If you have any other questions or need further clarification on any of the points, feel free to ask!

    About the Author
    I'm Daniel O'Donohue, the voice and creator behind The MapScaping Podcast ( A podcast for the geospatial community ). With a professional background as a geospatial specialist, I've spent years harnessing the power of spatial to unravel the complexities of our world, one layer at a time.

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