QGIS uses the OGR library to read and write vector data formats, including ESRI shapefiles, MapInfo and MicroStation file formats, AutoCAD DXF, PostGIS, SpatiaLite, Oracle Spatial and MSSQL Spatial databases, and many more. GRASS vector and PostgreSQL support is supplied by native QGIS data provider plugins. Vector data can also be loaded in read mode from zip and gzip archives into QGIS.
Recent versions of GDAL and, therefore, GDAL-utilizing applications like QGIS are capable of efficiently reading and extracting information from file geodatabases.
GDAL now includes a very robust open source, read-only driver for the file geodatabase format: OpenFileGDB. The driver's specifications indicate that this driver is capable of efficiently reading the contents of databases with large numbers of fields, without depending in any way upon proprietary software.
QGIS 3 users can read file geodatabases by dragging the geodatabases, ending in the extension .gdb, directly into the Layers pane
Or Layer > Add Vector Layer
Select Directory as Source type, in Source choose Type = OpenFileGDB and navigate to the File Geodatabase you want to access and click Add.
Select All Layers and click OK.
The contents of the file geodatabase will appear in the Layers pane, and each layer can be exported to any other format with write support in GDAL, including the shapefile format.
An additional option for interacting with file geodatabases using GDAL is the FileGDB driver. FileGDB depends upon Esri's File Geodatabase SDK, but it provides both read and write access to file geodatabases. Go to Guidance section to find specific documentation on how to install the FileGDB driver.
QGIS 3 has chosen GeoPackage as its default format. This is an open format, unlike the Shapefile, which is proprietary. GeoPackage also supports rasters. It is built on a SpatiaLite database, has no file size limitations, and works as one file. The format was developed by the Open Geospatial Consortium, you can find an exerpt of their definition below or the complete defintion of a GeoPackage here :
A GeoPackage is an open, standards-based, platform-independent, portable, self-describing, compact format for transferring geospatial information. The GeoPackage standard describes a set of conventions for storing the following within a SQLite database:
tile matrix sets of imagery and raster maps at various scales
To put it clearly, a GeoPackage is the SQLite container and the encodingstandard, GeoPackage governs the rules and requirements of the content stored in a GeoPackage container. The GeoPackage standard defines the diagram of a GeoPackage including table definitions, assertions of integrity, format limitations and content constraints. Thecontent required and taken in charge of a GeoPackage is entirely defined in thestandard. These features are reframed on a common basis and the extension mechanism provides to the developers a way to include additional features in their GeoPackages.
Plugins are a unique feature of QGIS. QGIS has been designed with a plugin architecuture. This allows many new features and functions to be easily added to the application. Plugins are available to be installed as you need them to enable further analysis. If what you want to do is not available within your current QGIS setup, search in the plugins as someone may have developed a tool to help you reach your solution.
The Label Toolbar, Labels tab of the Layer Styling or Layer Properties panel will allow you to customize your labels. Customization options include: Text, Formatting, Buffer, Mask, Shadow, Callouts, Placement and Rendering.
QGIS has a separate view called a Print Layout where map layouts can be constructed for print or pdf.
One of the new features in QGIS 3 is the ability to prevent map labels from hiding behind titles and other map surround objects on the print layout.
For any Map element the Items Properties will have a label icon control option.
Click on this icon to set up the label blocking properties. Under Label settings you will be able to select layout elements to block labels from appearing below them or control the placement of labels within an adjustable distance from the map’s edges or from any label-blocking items. Tick Show unplaced labels, to see whichwere not placed.
QGIS to Adobe Illustrator
You can bring your print layout into Adobe Illustrator either as a SVG or PDF file. Each method
Export as SVG
The benefit of using the SVG format is that the text remains 'text' (vs. paths) so it can be updated in Illustrator. But you will have to go create a Clipping Mask.
Create a print layout
Select Export as SVG
Select where you want to store the SVG and give the SVG name.
Select the following options in the Export panel
In Adobe Illustrator:
The svg file does not have a clipping mask
Open the SVG file
You will most likely need to clean up the layers a bit, getting rid of empty layers etc.
Move the clipping path and the objects you want to mask into a layer or group.
In the Layers panel, make sure that the masking object is at the top of the group or layer, and then click the name of the layer or group.
Click the Make/Release Clipping Masks button at the bottom of the Layers panel or select Make Clipping Mask from the Layers panel menu.
Select path that will serve as a clipping mask
Clipping path at top of the layer, Click the Make/Release Clipping Masks button.
Map with Clipping Mask.
Export as PDF
Create a print layout
Select Export as PDF
Select where you want to store the PDF and give the PDF a name.
Check the Export options you want to apply , you can also enable "Create Geospatial PDF", and click Save.
ESRI vs QGIS
QGIS compatibility with ArcGIS: both can handle the most common spatial data formats however QGIS consumes almost all types of data formats. In terms of functions extensibility, both QGIS and ArcGIS functionality can be extended through plugins and extensions respectively. Each software has support system through user community and ArcGIS has technical support system for its products. Read more>>
Comparison of GIS functions and which software is best suited
For a more detailed comparison follow the links below:
QGIS Training Manual offered on the QGIS site. With 21 modules, this manual provides a comprehensive introduction to QGIS from the basics of loading and styling data to performing analyses with vector and raster data.
QGIS Tutorials and Tipsby Ujaval Gandhi, to teach you about how to work with GIS data, perform a range of basic to advanced GIS operations, python scripting, and web mapping.
OpenCourseWare offers a range of courses. Course materials are shared freely and under an open license suitable for self-study. The same courses are also offered as online instructor-led classes where materials are covered much more in-depth.