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Carleton University Open Source GIS Tutorials

Welcome to our database of tutorials for Open Source GIS software. This collection has grown mostly through the contributions of students in | GEOM 4008 at | Carleton University's Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, but additions or revisions from other members of the community are welcome.

In recent years, each GEOM 4008 student has chosen one tutorial already in the list to update/advance/improve, and has also written a new tutorial - the tutorial list includes dates of authorship and revision, which can be used to assess how current the content will be. The tutorials should be fairly platform-independent, but in some cases you may notice features that are specific to Windows, macOS, or Linux platforms. Usually this only pertains to file system layouts or the look and feel of user interfaces.

Ongoing Service Restrictions

Please note: the ability to create your own user account has been suspended, due to excessive abuse by spambots, etc. However, we warmly welcome legitimate contributors. If you would like an account to make contributions to the tutorials on this site, please contact Scott Mitchell directly (see

Relevant help links for GEOM4008 Students

  • Consult the User's Guide for information on using the wiki software.
  • MediaWiki FAQ
  • Students in GEOM 4008, please remember to create your own account in this system, and login to it when you write your wiki pages

Tutorials under development

GEOM 4008 students, you can use this Under Development Page to create new tutorials by adding a link to a non-existing page and then editing it.

Tutorials (completed and under revision)

The following tutorials are from completed classes or workshops, and the authors have released control of the tutorial contents to the community. If you want to update/correct/improve any of these tutorials, please feel free to log in and help improve our tutorials. They are grouped first by software used, and then by thematic/application groups.

Tutorials organized by software used

QGIS (Quantum GIS)









Open Data Cube







Freely available extensions to proprietary software

Google Earth Engine/Colab





Tutorials organized by application area


Site Selection

Web Mapping and Database Applications


Data Collection, GPS, and Digitizing

Spatial Analysis

Remote Sensing


Tutorials From 2010 and earlier, and other deprecated tutorials

The tutorials from here down are quite old and are not included in the categorized lists above. Most are from 2010; a couple of tutorials from the 2008 class have been ported, but importing the remainder is hampered by version differences in the wiki software used to build them that year. Some tutorials that were worked on more recently have been moved down here because there are now problems using them on modern versions of the relevant software.

If future students decide to update any of these, they are more than welcome to, and at that time they can be moved into the categorized lists above.

Unless otherwise noted in the individual tutorial, all of these were originally developed on/for a Windows environment. Specifically, most students were using classroom computers running Windows XP, with QGIS 1.5 (including GRASS Tools), and FWTools. Please note that this environment imposed a 32 bit Windows XP constraint that prevented the system from using all the RAM in the computers, which is likely the culprit in those cases where the tutorial authors complained that the tools could not work with larger datasets.