Open Source, qgis

Accessing composer item properties via custom expressions in QGIS


So here is a neat trick. Lets say you wanted to access the scale of a composer map to make it part of a label. The scale bar can already be set to numeric to show the number value but what if it needs to be part of an existing label with other text. Not to fear, expression functions are here.

  • Create a new composer. Add the map frame and a label.
  • Set the item ID of the map frame to something you can remember, lets just use themap
  • Select the label and add some text
  • Click Insert Expression

Now for the cool part

  • Select Function Editor
  • Click New File. Give the file a new name and hit save. I called it composer functions.

In the code editor paste this code:

from qgis.utils import iface
from qgis.core import *
from qgis.gui import *

@qgsfunction(args="auto", group='Composer')
def composeritemattr(composername, mapname, attrname, feature, parent):
    composers = iface.activeComposers()
    # Find the composer with the given name
    comp = [composer.composition() for composer in composers 
                if composer.composerWindow().windowTitle() == composername][0]
    # Find the item
    item = comp.getComposerItemById(mapname)
    # Get the attr by name and call 
    return getattr(item, attrname)()
  • Click Run Script

run

Now in your label use this text:

Scale: [% composeritemattr('Composer 1', 'themap', 'scale')%]

Update the Composer 1 to match your composer name, and the themap to match your item ID.

and like magic here is the scale from the map item in a label:

2015-05-21 22_00_09-Composer 1

Check the expression error section if the label doesn’t render

error

pyqt, python, qgis

PSA: Please use new style Qt signals and slots not the old style


Don’t do this:

self.connect(self.widget, 
             SIGNAL("valueChanged(int)"), 
             self.valuechanged)

It’s the old way, the crappy way. It’s prone to error and typing mistakes. And who really wants to be typing strings as functions and arg names in it. Gross.

Do this:

self.widget.valueChanged.connect(self.valuechanged)
self.widget.valueChanged[str].connect(self.valuechanged)

Much nicer. Cleaner. Looks and feels like Python not some mash up between C++ and Python. The int argument is the default so it will use that. If you to pick the signal type you can use [type].

Don’t do this:

self.emit(SIGNAL("changed()", value1, value2))

Do this

class MyType(QObject):
   changed = pyqtSignal(str, int)

   def stuff(self):
       self.changed.emit(value1, value2)

pyqtSignal is a type you can use to define you signal. It will come with type checking, if you don’t want type checking just do pyqtSignal(object).

Please think of the poor kittens before using the old style in your code.

Open Source, python, qgis

A interactive command bar for QGIS


Something that has been on my mind for a long time is a interactive command interface for QGIS.  Something that you can easily open, run simple commands, and is interactive to ask for arguments when they are needed.

After using the command interface in Emacs for a little bit over the weekend – you can almost hear the Boos! from heavy Vim users :) – I thought this is something I must have in QGIS as well.  I’m sure it can’t be that hard to add.

So here it is.  A interactive command interface for QGIS.

commandbar

commandbar2

The command bar plugin (find it in the plugin installer) adds a simple interactive command bar to QGIS. Commands are defined as Python code and may take arguments.

Here is an example function:

@command.command("Name")
def load_project(name):
    """
    Load a project from the set project paths
    """
    _name = name
    name += ".qgs"
    for path in project_paths:
        for root, dirs, files in os.walk(path):
            if name in files:
                path = os.path.join(root, name)
                iface.addProject(path)
                return
    iface.addProject(_name)

All functions are interactive and if not all arguments are given when called it will prompt for each one.

Here is an example of calling the point-at function with no args. It will ask for the x and then the y

pointat

Here is calling point-at with all the args

pointatfunc

Functions can be called in the command bar like so:

my-function arg1 arg2 arg2

The command bar will split the line based on space and the first argument is always the function name, the rest are arguments passed to the function. You will also note that it will convert _ to - which is easier to type and looks nicer.

The command bar also has auto complete for defined functions – and tooltips once I get that to work correctly.

You can use CTRL + ; (CTRL + Semicolon), or CTRL + ,, to open and close the command bar.

What is a command interface without auto complete

autocomplete

Use Enter to select the item in the list.

How about a function to hide all the dock panels. Sure why not.

@command.command()
def hide_docks():
    docks = iface.mainWindow().findChildren(QDockWidget)
    for dock in docks:
        dock.setVisible(False)

alias command

You can also alias a function by calling the alias function in the command bar.

The alias command format is alias {name} {function} {args}

Here is an example of predefining the x for point-at as mypoint

-> alias mypoint point-at 100

point-at is a built in function that creates a point at x y however we can alias it so that it will be pre-called with the x argument set. Now when we call mypoint we only have to pass the y each time.

-> mypoint
(point-at) What is the Y?: 200

You can even alias the alias command – because why the heck not :)

-> alias a alias
a mypoint 100

a is now the shortcut hand for alias

WHY U NO USE PYTHON CONSOLE

The Python console is fine and dandy but we are not going for a full programming language here, that isn’t the point. The point is easy to use commands.

You could have a function called point_at in Python that would be

point_at(123,1331)

Handling incomplete functions is a lot harder because of the Python parser. In the end it’s easier and better IMO to just make a simple DSL for this and get all the power of a DSL then try and fit into Python.

It should also be noted that the commands defined in the plugin can still be called like normal Python functions because there is no magic there. The command bar is just a DSL wrapper around them.

Notes

This is still a bit of an experiment for me so things might change or things might not work as full expected just yet.

Check out the projects readme for more info on things that need to be done, open to suggestions and pull requests.

Also see the docs page for more in depth information

qgis

Serving live tiles from a QGIS project via TileStache


I’m more then likly way behind the 8 ball here, aren’t all the cool kids doing tiles these days, but regardless I thought it was pretty cool to share. The other day I found TileStache a neat little Python app that can generate, cache, and serve tiles from a list of providers. The normal way is via Mapnik (and others) to render a image, there is also a vector provider which can render vector tiles. Nifty.

A while ago I wrote qgis2img which can generate an image for project, or layers, and export it for you. It serves two roles, one is to benchmark a project and layer render times, the other as a simple export tool. I thought it would be pretty cool to be able to export tiles from it but was I never really up for working on the math and all the logic so I left it. Then I found TileStache.

The best part about TileStache, apart from that it’s Python, is that you can make your own providers for it, and the API is dead easy

class Provider:
    def __init__(self, layer):
        self.layer = layer

    def renderArea(self, width, height, srs, xmin, ymin, xmax, ymax, zoom):
        pass

How easy is that! Just implement one method and you are good to go. So that’s what I did. I created a custom provider that will load a QGIS project and render out images. Thanks to the work done by Martin from Lutra Consulting for the multithreaded rendering in QGIS 2.4 this is a hell of a lot easier then it used to be.

Ignoring some of the setup code to create and load the session the whole export logic is in these few lines

   extents = QgsRectangle(xmin, ymin, xmax, ymax)
   settings.setExtent(extents)
   settings.setOutputSize(QSize(width, height))
   layers = [layer.id() for layer in project.visiblelayers()]
   image, rendertime = qgis2img.render.render_layers(settings, layers, RenderType=QgsMapRendererSequentialJob)

with render_layers defined as

def render_layers(settings, layers, RenderType):
    settings.setLayers(layers)
    job = RenderType(settings)
    job.start()
    job.waitForFinished()
    image = job.renderedImage()
    return image, job.renderingTime()

As this is build on top of my qgis2img tool you can see the full code here

Running it is as simple as installing TileStache, cloneing qgis2img, updating tilestache.cfg, and running the server.

$ pip install TileStache
$ git clone https://github.com/DMS-Aus/qgis2img.git
$ cd qgis2img

In tilestache.cfg you can just change the path to the project to render:

{
  "cache": {
    "name": "Test",
    "path": "/tmp/stache"
    },
  "layers": {
    "qgis":
    {
      "provider": {"class": "qgis2img.tilestache:Provider",
                   "kwargs": {"projectfile": "data/test.qgs"}
                  }
    }
  }
}

Then run the server

$ tilestache-server /path/to/tilestache.cfg

Note: The path to the .cfg file seems to have to be the full path. I had issues with relative paths working.

To view the tiles you can load the preview URL that TileStache provides or you can use it in something like LeafLet

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
    <title>QGIS Tiles WOOT!</title>
    <meta charset="utf-8" />
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="http://cdn.leafletjs.com/leaflet-0.7.3/leaflet.css" />
</head>
<body>
    <div id="map" style="position: absolute; top: 0; right: 0; bottom: 0; left: 0;"></div>
    <script src="http://cdn.leafletjs.com/leaflet-0.7.3/leaflet.js"></script>
    <script>

        var map = L.map('map').setView([51.505, -0.09], 5);

        L.tileLayer('http://10.0.0.11:8080/{id}/{z}/{x}/{y}.png', {
            maxZoom: 18,
            id: 'qgis'
        }).addTo(map);

    </script>
</body>
</html>

And the result is live tiles from a QGIS project.

tiles

Winning!

Some Caveats

  • The provider currently doesn’t use metatiles so labels and points will get chopped at tile edge. I have working code for this but haven’t pushed it yet.

  • I don’t kill the QGIS session that I create. Creating a session for each request was really expensive so I just keep it around.

  • I only load the project once so any changes mean starting and stopping the server. Wouldn’t be hard to add a file watcher for this.

  • It’s just me using this at home for fun, I have no idea on how it would scale, or even if it would, but I would be keen to hear feedback on that theory.

qgis

Exporting QGIS symbols as images


Ever wanted to export your QGIS symbols as images? Yes. Well here is some Python code that will let you do just that:

from PyQt4.QtCore import QSize
from PyQt4.QtGui import QImage, QPainter

style = QgsStyleV2.defaultStyle()
names = style.symbolNames()
size = QSize(64, 64)

for name in names:
    symbol = style.symbol(name)
    if not symbol.type() == QgsSymbolV2.Marker:
        continue

    image = QImage(size, QImage.Format_ARGB32_Premultiplied)
    image.fill(0) 
    painter = QPainter(image)
    symbol.drawPreviewIcon(painter, size)
    painter.end()
    image.save(r"C:temp{}.png".format(name), "PNG")

Or in 2.6 it’s even easier:

from PyQt4.QtCore import QSize
from PyQt4.QtGui import QImage, QPainter

style = QgsStyleV2.defaultStyle()
names = style.symbolNames()
size = QSize(64, 64)

for name in names:
    symbol = style.symbol(name)
    if not symbol.type() == QgsSymbolV2.Marker:
        continue

    image = symbol.asImage(size)
    image.save(r"C:temp{}.png".format(name), "PNG")

Bam!

symbols

Why? Because we can.

qgis

The QGIS Field calculator is dead. Long live the Field calculator bar


Ahhh the good old field calculator, it’s in a better place now. OK not really, it’s still there if you need it, but we can do a little better in 2.4. Introducing the field calculator bar:

Alt Text

oooo fancy.

The field calculator has always bugged me, I think it was just the combination of a few things:

  • It’s modal so it blocks you from doing anything else – this alone is motivation enough in my mind.
  • You have to do the Open – Run – Close – Open – Run – Close dance which isn’t great – annoying to say the least.
  • Did I mention it’s modal – AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH
  • Defaults to creating a new field – which is the edge case
  • You only have All or Selection, which is a bit limiting

Anyway, enough with that. Last night I was having a chat to Nyall about something unrelated, and while looking at Excel I thought about that little bar at the top and how handy that is. You don’t see a field calculator dialog in Excel – well there is one but not for the common case – you just wack in your expression and it does its thing. Why couldn’t we have this for QGIS? I think I said to Nyall “you know this would be pretty cool, I might give it a go”. Couple of hours later and this is it.

fieldcalc

I have expressed in the past, and above, my hate for modal dialogs, so that was the main motivation and the results are much nicer then before.

What do we gain:

  • Not modal – WIN!
  • Don’t have to close anything to see your results
  • See the results as soon as you run Update (All|Filtered)
  • Works on the features in table (All|Filtered)
  • Does one job

The other improvment to the old dialog is what features the bar works on. The bar will update what it sees in the dialog. If you need to update just the selection, simply select Show Selected and run the update. Need to search for something to update? Run a filter and press update. The method has changed from All and Selected to All and Filtered. Just remember if you see it in the attribute table it will be updated.

fieldcalc-filter

The last point is important too, if you need a new field you use the New Field button, then run the update, there is no need to mix the two function into one tool. SRP.

This feature will be in 2.4. If you find any bugs assign them to me at hub.qgis.org and I will try to address them before 2.4 is out.

RIP Field calculator dialog

qgis

IntraMaps Roam – A Python QGIS data collection app


For the last couple of months I, though Digital Mapping Solutions, have been working on a tablet friendly data collection application that has been built on Python and QGIS. For those of you who have seen my QMap project I started a year or so ago you can consider this a reincarnation of that project, and that project retired. Most of the code has been reworked and using the QGIS libs gave me full flexibility in layout and workflow.

IntraMaps Roam (or Roam for short) is a standalone, fully bundled, Python application that was created to do data collection with a QGIS backend. The primary use of Roam is in a disconnected setup were one might not have internet connection, however Roam is using QGIS so will support any data format QGIS does. You can can use Roam in a connected environment, if your internet premits, by having WFS and WMS layers, or direct database connections; it’s up to you. Roam forms also allow for custom logic to be added to each form using Python so you can add your own workflow if needed.

Roam Map Window
Roam Data Capture

The binary package comes with a config manager application that can be used to create and manage Roam projects

Config Manager
Config Manager

The release page contains links to the 2.0 installers. The wiki contains all the information to get started. You can also take a look at the FAQ for the common questions.

Roam has been a great exercise in using and bundling QGIS libs with a Python application, which I have never done before but turned out to be pretty easy. Being a fully bundled application means you don’t need to install QGIS, or Python, on the client in order to run the application. Everything is in a nice bundled exe.

As Roam is based on PyQt and QGIS it is under the GPL2 license. Pull requests are welcome.

Currently Roam is only being packaged for Windows, because that was our first priority, however there isn’t a lot of Windows only stuff in the code itself so creating a version for OS X and Linux shouldn’t be too hard for someone with the know how.

Links

Happy mapping!?