QGIS Sorceress in Training: A QGIS User’s Story

Presented during FOSS4G SoTM Oceania, November 21, 2018.
@hannahdormido | [email protected]

Here is the video of the presentation:


Who am I?

I am Hannah, and I see myself as a full-time journalist, part-time mermaid, and a QGIS sorceress in training. I am a journalist by training and profession, but learned mapping using QGIS as I specialized on data visualization.

Why am I a sorceress in training?
Sorceress: Because when I first encountered QGIS and all that came with it, I asked myself “what kind of sorcery is this?”
In training: Because every single time I feel like I’ve mastered QGIS, something new comes along, or someone else does something cool that of course I want to learn how to do. So never a master, always in training! Don’t you fret, it is a good thing!


This was me doing a freelance gig a while back—way before my GIS days. Those were the days when I had no clue what a shapefile was, or what a kml was for.

How did I learn QGIS?

  1. I learned QGIS via Youtube tutorials created by my former Graphics mentor.

2. I followed GIS people on social media and joined groups. Even though I am based in Hong Kong. QGIS Australia has kindly adopted me into their community. You can find us on Twitter and check out the website. You can also join The Spatial Community on Slack. There is a channel for #QGIS, among other spatial-related topics.

3. I read a lot of blogs, like Anita Graser’s Free and Open Source GIS Ramblings. I also bought and read books on QGIS, mapping and data visualization.

What I’ve created using QGIS?


Choking on Our Harvest
(Can’t take all the credit for these three gorgeous maps, I had design help from my colleague Adrian Leung in Hong Kong).

Pollution Maps

If you are someone who wants to learn more about QGIS but don’t know where or how to start, please feel free to message me. I would be more than happy to share what I know, and help however I can. QGIS and mapping might appear intimidating at first, but you are not alone in learning—there’s a huge QGIS and open source GIS community that have your back: all you have to do is reach out!

[email protected]

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