How to use Open source GIS software for urban planning

Ever wonder how to make use of for ?

Nowadays, planning for the community has become more attractive by many researchers because of and to address the notion of .

If you like urban planning, there are some open source that can help you to map your community. Of course, you can still use participatory mapping using PRA tools.

With regards to mapping your city or municipality to know which is strategic places to put up buildings or to avoid traffic, you can use open source gis software.

In this article, I will show you simple steps to calculate the shortest path to avoid traffic for any city or municipality using .

For your information, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are designed for defining the three factors of space (represented from the X, Y, and Z planes) and time. The signals within the satellites let the GIS to view information in term of longitude, latitude, and elevation (when comparing sea level).

GIS can be useful for scanning, referencing, and reproducing older maps at any desired scale. Using GIS, several archeological geological maps (having different scales) are combined right single map (with single scaling) with considerably more accuracy, thus, save your time of scientists, engineers, and researchers who require to check the region.

Using the accurate scaling from GIS, different projects might be planned without having additional equipments for surveying the location. The different projects that may be planned and implemented using applications of GIS in geological mapping may be anything from creating a dam or reservoir to roads, highways and railroads with an entire town. The benefits of the utilization of GIS in geological mapping are visible when different projects may very well be entirely planned without even leaving the conference room!

Okay, so much for TRIVIA.

I did this mapping using open source gis software for urban planning to help our city. This is unsolicited help, I did it because I like doing things on my own to help other people and the community.

Step 1. Download open source software QGIS.

It’s free software. There are lots of GIS mapping software out there, but if you are looking for free, this one stands out the rest of other free softwares for mapping. Many researchers are now using this one.

Download it here.

Step 2. Download Google earth.

It’s free!

When I made this urban planning using open source software, I have no data on hand, good thing that Google Earth saves me time.

Step 3. Install the QGIS and Google Earth.

Visit the documentation for QGIS here and some very nice tutorial for beginners here.

Step 4. Create and save a digitize kml from google earth.

You can read the tutorial here on how to create map and save to kml or kmz.

This is the map I generated from google earth.


Step 5. Georeferenced satellite image from google earth to the place you are going to map.

Follow along with this simple tutorial on georeferencing here. Notice the push pins buttons in yellow? Those are the point that is assigned to each coordinates which you will need in the QGIS georeferencing.

calbayog street map

Step 6. Open your QGIS software and install your road map plugin.

You can do this by following this simple tutorial on network analysis.

QGIS road plugin

Read the detailed tutorial here on Network analysis here.

Step 7. Overlay to your downloaded image to your QGIS.

The result of your network analysis will be overlaid with a georeferenced map from google earth.

overlayed QGIS

 This is the result of overlaying the georeferenced image to the kmz file in QGIS.

georeferenced and overlaid gcp

Step 8. Calculate for the shortest path.

Now that you have everything in place. Fill the data on the road plugin you see in the red circle. You just need to point in the image where you would start and where it would end. Then click CALCULATE. It will give you the result in length and time (sec).

QGIS shortest path

 This image shows the shortest path from HOME point to our university NwSSU. The lines in red is calculated by the software itself. It tells us that this is the shortest path that you would take to avoid traffic or tardiness in class and office works.

Capoocan - NwSSU shortest path
Capoocan – NwSSU shortest path

Step 9. Congratulations. You are done!

Have any questions?

Contact me through my social network site.