QGIS offers many functionalities through in built features and Plugins. Below mentioned are some of the categories of features for QGIS 2.18.

1. View Data

You can view and overlay vector and raster data in different formats and projections without conversion to an internal or common format.

(i) Vector Data: Spatially-enabled tables and views using PostGIS, SpatiaLite and MS SQL Spatial, Oracle Spatial, vector formats supported by the installed OGR library, including ESRI shapefiles, MapInfo, SDTS, GML.

Use the link given below for more information:


(ii) Raster Data: Raster and imagery formats supported by the installed GDAL (Geospatial Data Abstraction Library) library, such as GeoTIFF, ERDAS IMG, ArcInfo ASCII GRID, JPEG, PNG.

Use the link given below for more information:

(iii) GRASS raster and vector data from GRASS databases (location/mapset).

Use the link given below for more information:

(iv) Online spatial data served as OGC Web Services, including WMS, WMTS, WCS, WFS, and WFS-T. See section.

Use the link given below for more information:

2. Explore Data and Compose Maps

You can compose maps and interactively explore spatial data with a friendly GUI. The many helpful tools available in the GUI include:

  • QGIS browser
  • On-the-fly reprojection
  • DB Manager
  • Map composer
  • Overview panel
  • Spatial bookmarks
  • Annotation tools
  • Identify/select features
  • Edit/view/search attributes
  • Data-defined feature labeling
  • Data-defined vector and raster symbology tools
  • Atlas map composition with graticule layers
  • North arrow scale bar and copyright label for maps
  • Support for saving and restoring projects

3. Create, Edit, Manage and Export Data

You can create, edit, manage and export vector and raster layers in several formats. QGIS offers the following:

  • Digitizing tools for OGR-supported formats and GRASS vector layers.
  • Ability to create and edit shapefiles and GRASS vector layers.
  • Georeferencer plugin to geocode images.
  • GPS tools to import and export GPX format, and convert other GPS formats to GPX or down/upload directly to a GPS unit (On Linux, usb: has been added to list of GPS devices).
  • Support for visualizing and editing OpenStreetMap data.
  • Ability to create spatial database tables from shapefiles with DB Manager plugin.
  • Improved handling of spatial database tables.
  • Tools for managing vector attribute tables.
  • Option to save screen-shots as georeferenced images.
  • DXF-Export tool with enhanced capabilities to export styles and plugins to perform CAD-like functions.

4. Analyze Data

You can perform spatial data analysis on spatial databases and other OGR- supported formats. QGIS currently offers vector analysis, sampling, geoprocessing, geometry and database management tools. You can also use the integrated GRASS tools, which include the complete GRASS functionality of more than 400 modules.


You can work with the Processing Plugin, which provides a powerful geospatial analysis framework to call native and third-party algorithms from QGIS, such as GDAL, SAGA, GRASS and more.


5. Create Maps and Publish on the internet

QGIS can be used as a WMS, WMTS, WMS-C or WFS and WFS-T client, and as a WMS, WCS or WFS server.
Additionally, you can publish your data on the Internet using a webserver with UMN MapServer or GeoServer installed.


6.  Use Plugins
Core Plugins and External Pulgins. QGIS can be adapted to your special needs with the extensible plugin architecture and libraries that can be used to create plugins.  New applications  can be created using C++ or Python.

7.  Python Console

For scripting, it is possible to take advantage of an integrated Python console, which can be opened from menu: Plugins ‣ Python Console. The console opens as a non-modal utility window. For interaction with the QGIS environment, there is the qgis.utils.iface variable, which is an instance of QgsInterface. This interface allows access to the map canvas, menus, toolbars and other parts of the QGIS application. You can create a script, then drag and drop it into the QGIS window and it will be executed automatically.
For further information about working with the Python console and programming QGIS plugins and applications
Python Developer Cookbook.  https://docs.qgis.org/2.18/en/docs/pyqgis_developer_cookbook/index.html#pyqgis-developer-cookbook


Content taken from the user manual available at the link given below.