Hands on with GDAL/OGR: a gentle introduction to command line GIS


GDAL/OGR is a life-changing toolset. But for those who haven’t yet tried it, getting started on your own can be intimidating. Unfamiliarity with command line interfaces can make it especially daunting. This beginner-focused tutorial introduces some of the most frequently-used features. Since we’ll focus only on using GDAL/OGR tools from the command line, no programming experience is necessary.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Installation & setup (pre-class)
  • Exploring data: getting information from the command line
  • Converting data: exporting original data into new formats
  • Changing data: queries, clipping, and reprojection

In all cases, we’ll cover both raster & vector data manipulation. Demo data will be provided, but students are welcome to bring their own as well.

The material we’ll cover in this 4-hour session will be drawn from previous tech talks, shorter workshops, and tutorials. Due to limited time, attendees will need to come with GDAL/OGR already installed on their laptops: we’ll post easy-to-follow tutorials for Windows, Mac, and (most) Linux users to follow well in advance of the class date. As venue & scheduling permits, we’ll also be available before class to help anyone who was unable to complete installation on their own.

This tutorial will be focused on the absolute beginner: not just to GDAL/OGR, but also potentially to command-line tools or even FOSS GIS as a whole. GDAL/OGR is a fantastic toolset to keep in your geospatial toolbox, and it can be an eye-opening introduction to the world of FOSS GIS. Regardless of background or experience level, we want everyone to learn about this awesome, free & open source tool; this tutorial aims to help beginners over the hurdles along the way.

Slides (External URL)

Session details
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Schedule info
Session Time Slot(s):
Monday, May 2, 2016 - 09:00 to 13:00