Dataset Compatibility Guide


QGreenland v3 marks the final release under the original QGreenland NSF award. Future releases of QGreenland will be funded by a new NSF award, and we will be transitioning to new methods of transforming and accessing source data when building the QGreenland QGIS project.

The current guidelines on this page are therefore obsolete. We will update them when we have more concrete advice. For now, we advise anyone who wants to add data to QGreenland to strive to make their data FAIR and to publish it to DataONE! DataONE is a federated system composed of many member repositories. Please publish to the “Arctic Data Center” member repository at

Read our page on what’s next for QGreenland to learn more about our future and how to keep up-to-date!

While QGreenland provides a curated base package of data on a variety of topics, the options for adding additional data are nearly unlimited. We offer different guidelines for data compatibility depending on what your goals are:

Publishing previously unpublished data so it is compatible with QGreenland

To ensure that your own original research datasets will be easy to work with in QGreenland, either in your own individual QGreenland project or as an addition to the public QGreenland data package, please note the following:

  • Make sure your data are produced in a standard format with appropriate spatial metadata. For example, your dataset should have clearly defined projection metadata (as an EPSG code, proj4 params, OGC-compliant well-known-text, etc.) and should be formatted in a way that gdal/ogr tools can read and understand. Double check that your data can be opened in QGIS and appropriately geolocated.

  • If your data are not already in the QGreenland project coordinate reference system (EPSG:3413), that is OK. The QGreenland project includes all the tooling necessary to reproject your data, as long as the data meet the metadata requirements. A contributor to the QGreenland open source project can take it from here to ensure consistent and compatible results (see section 2 below).

  • Make sure your data are accompanied by metadata that describe the methods used for producing the data (e.g., scientific paper, document that describes the algorithm/data collection procedures used, etc.).

Contributing datasets to QGreenland via GitHub for inclusion in future releases

Follow the instructions found in our Contributing guidelines. The QGreenland source code defines “processing pipelines”, which, when executed on a server or a user’s computer, fetch data from its original source location, transform it (reproject, reformat, subset, resample, etc.) as needed, and finally compile these data into a zipped QGreenland QGIS project. Contributors may customize, re-use, or add to our processing pipelines to support their new layer, and when their changes are ready, submit a Pull Request to contribute valuable changes back to the QGreenland project.

As of QGreenland v2.0.0, we support editing of dataset metadata, QGIS styles, and data processing steps via simple Python-based configuration that is easy to learn. See the Configuration reference page for more information.

  • Ensure that all outputs of QGreenland processing pipelines are in EPSG:3413 coordinate reference system.

  • Ensure that all outputs of the QGreenland processing pipelines are in the correct format. We expect one GeoPackage per vector layer and one GeoTIFF per raster layer.

  • Fill out all metadata as configuration. This includes abstract, citation, layer description and title, etc. The QGreenland processing pipelines will automatically format this information and add it to the correct interfaces (metadata tab) in QGIS.

Adding datasets to your QGreenland project for personal use only

Refer to our documentation page on Adding New Datasets to QGreenland for instructions on how to add new data layers to your QGreenland project. Note that this section is also incldued in the UserGuide.pdf included in the QGreenland Core package.