Exploring Our Natural World Workshop: Introduction to QGIS

8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location: ERM Office - 3790 Alfred Ave, Smithers, BC

***Please note: you must register for this workshop. Details below***

About the workshop

This two-day workshop with Morgan Hite will be a balance of formal presentations and demonstrations that participants can follow along with their own laptops.

This is a course for field scientists who have been making their own maps with ArcMap, and would like to explore transitioning to QGIS—and for existing QGIS users who have questions about features they’ve never used. It’s assumed that the participants make maps, but not very frequently—so mapping concepts like projection, and the details of how one gets around in GIS software, are not the most important things for them.

Participants should come away knowing how to load a variety of data types into QGIS, style the layers, perform some basic GIS operations, and produce a map.

We’ll cover…

  • The open-source world that QGIS exists in
  • Knowing your way around the user interface
  • Common projections and datums in our area, and how you can get into trouble
  • Different kinds of vector data, limitations they may have, and how to convert between them
  • Geometric operations like merging and clipping, and trouble you can get into
  • Raster layers, styling and blend modes
  • WMS layers, and some common handy ones for BC
  • How to get plugins
  • Preparing maps for printing
  • Producing georeferenced PDFs

About Morgan Hite & Adrian DeGroot

Morgan Hite has been a GIS consultant in Smithers since 2004. Although he used to have access to pirated copies of ArcMap and MapInfo, for the past ten years he has been doing all of his cartography under Linux using the free software package QGIS. He has made maps for geologists, historians, fish biologists, hereditary chiefs, advocacy groups, hikers, skiers and the Ministry of Forests, and his trail maps are frequently featured in Northword magazine.

Adrian DeGroot is a QGIS user on a PC that frequently has questions for Morgan about QGIS. He has been transitioning from ArcMap to QGIS but still uses both platforms. Adrian owns Drosera Ecological Consulting and has been using GIS programs to do ecosystem mapping, access existing data and make his own maps for 15 years. He is also the president of the BV Research Centre.


The course will occupy two consecutive mornings:

Wednesday May 1st: 8:00am – 12:00pm
Thursday May 2nd: 8:00am – 12:00pm

Materials Required

  • Please bring your own laptop with QGIS 3 installed.
  • Optional: bring some data you need to map, or have made a map with in the past using some other GIS package.


Members: $200
Non-Members: $225

To Register

Space is limited. You must register for the course. Fill out the form below. Payment is made at the door by cash/cheque. Receipts available upon request. Please arrive 15 min early.