A new release of QGIS, the popular open source GIS software has officially been released. Each version receives a name and version 2.0 is called Dufour. QGIS can be downloaded and used for free from the QGIS project site.
The new 2.0 release of QGIS retires the name Quantum GIS. From the QGIS site: “The ‘Quantum’ in ‘Quantum GIS’ never had any particular significance and the duality of referring to our project as both Quantum GIS and QGIS caused some confusion. We are streamlining our project and as part of that process we are officially dropping the use of the word Quantum – henceforth we will be known only as QGIS (spelled with all letters in upper case). We will be updating all our code and publicity material to reflect this.”
The release has some new features. QGIS 2.0 has a new plugin manager which allows users to see all installed and available plugins. In versions 1.x there were two separate plugin managers; one for viewing installed plugins and the second for retrieving plugins from the repository. Now users have a unified view and can see which plugins are compatible with their QGIS version install.
There is a new Python console with auto complete support, syntax highlighting, and adjustable font settings. QGIS 2.0 also comes with Oracle Spatial support. There are many other upgrades and changes, for a complete list visit the “what’s new” page for QGIS 2.0.
Anita Graser, who has written about QGIS on GIS Lounge, has recently published a book about learning QGIS 2.0. Learning QGIS 2.0 contains step by step tutorials to teach users how to use the open source GIS program. The book covers installing QGIS, learning how to work with GIS data, and how to make maps.