QGIS Desktop User Guide

QGIS is a free and open source Geographic Information System. Geospatial information can be created, edited, visualized and analyzed using this application. This application runs as an interactive QGIS Desktop session on a virtual machine using VNC technology.

You will have to fill out a form to submit your job that asks for two information (Desktop Resolution and Job name). Desktop Resolution sets the desktop screen size for your QGIS Desktop session. Additionally, you will have to select a recognizable job name in this form. Once the form is filled you can select “Launch” to submit your job.

You can track the status of your job to the right side of the application page. The status will change from “Pending” to “Staged”, “Submitting” and “Running”. These processes usually take about 1 to 2 minutes. Few seconds after the change of status to “Running”, a message will be shown on the window that allows for connection to the interactive session (see figure below).

By clicking on Connect, a new tab will be opened that comprises QGIS interactive session.

QGIS has the following components:
(1) Menu Bar, (2) Toolbars, (3) Browser Panel, (4) Layers Panel, (5) Map view, (6) Status Bar

Load raster and vector layers from the sample dataset

You can either use Browser Panel to browse to your dataset (e.g. mydata or projects) and drag and drop it to Layers panel for visualization or from toolbar, you can select 'Add Raster Layer' and 'Add Vector Layer' icons to select raster or vector layers respectively.

A full documentation on QGIS software and its capabilities can be found at:


Last update: May 23, 2019