UIs are for the weak. Welcome to ASCII QGIS land

Have you ever thought “gee I wish I could have a ASCII  QGIS map viewer for console use.  I’m so over these fancy UIs with their fancy graphics, fonts, and icons”.



You are still reading? OK good I thought I lost you.

Anyway. Here is a fun idea. A ASCII QGIS map viewer that renders your project files in a console window (with colour possible).  Still with me?

This project was mainly just a bit of fun to play with the curses Python library and QGIS. What started off as a random idea on the train seems to have turned into full “usable” thing, if viewing a project and the legend is considered usable.

If you are still with me and itching to see it in action here it is.  In all the ASCII glory


What can it do so far?

  • Load project
  • Pan
  • Zoom
  • Set colour mode on/off


The code is up at https://github.com/NathanW2/ascii_qgis (or http://nathanw2.github.io/ascii_qgis/)

It’s a bit of a fun side project at the moment so you might find bugs as I have only tested it on my machine.

Follow the README on github for notes on running.

Have fun.



3 thoughts on “UIs are for the weak. Welcome to ASCII QGIS land

  1. This is great – now, to remove the fiddly updating map window, replace it with a “PLOT” command, port the whole lot to a SPARC V7 set up…locate the box next to a bank of servers in an un-air conditioned room….

  2. I’m no joking… kids today, they’re like “OSM” this and “WFT*” that…they’ve never had to eat cold gravel or physical digitise a base map which has sat inside a park ranger’s pocket for 10 years**. ASCII…to good for ’em.

    * okay… so WMS… point is … we had to georeference hard copy maps…by hand! The amount of blood, sweat and tears (mainly blood) that had to be spilt…

    ** Seriously, the guy had been bush for a while, turned up with an area that hadn’t be surveyed in 60 years.

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