QGreenland Documentation

What is QGreenland?

QGreenland examples

QGreenland is a free and open-source Greenland-focused GIS environment for data analysis and viewing, powered by QGIS. QGreenland is delivered in two ways:

  1. QGreenland Core: a large Zip package containing a core set of data curated to serve the majority of users. This documentation page is about QGreenland Core.

  2. QGreenland Custom (beta): a QGIS plugin for downloading a custom set of data, including data which is not part of the QGreenland Core zip package (for example, due to filesize constraints). QGreenland Custom has its own documentation.

Return to QGreenland website

What QGreenland is not

  • The QGreenland project is not a data-production project. While we do process existing data, it is only to enable efficient and effective viewing in the QGreenland QGIS environment.

  • QGreenland is not a navigational aid.

About QGIS

QGIS is a free and open source Geographic Information System (GIS) licensed under the GNU General Public License. QGreenland is designed to be used by a diverse user group, from scientists to planners and policymakers to educators, and more. QGreenland users are able to produce high-quality mapping products to meet their unique needs. And because the QGreenland data package is downloaded right onto the user’s computer, QGreenland can be used in the field and in remote places without Internet access. Some additional larger datasets (e.g., satellite imagery) not included with the main QGreenland download package are available through online access when connected. QGreenland was inspired by the free and open source Quantarctica GIS data package for Antarctica.

QGreenland Core Download Package

You will find the following files in the v2.0.0 QGreenland Core data package:

  • Folders containing data layers organized by topic

  • The main qgreenland.qgs project file

  • qgreenland.png - The official QGreenland logo

  • layer_list.csv - A complete list of all the data layers in the QGreenland Core download package, including information about each (data source, file size, etc.). This file can be opened with Microsoft Excel, LibreOffice Calc, a text editor, or a similar program.

  • UserGuide.pdf - The full QGreenland Core User Guide

  • QuickStartGuide.pdf - A one-page overview guide for experienced QGIS users on how to download the QGreenland Core data package and other information

  • STYLE.txt - Guidelines and standards for QGreenland data layer styling

  • README.txt - Brief description of the QGreenland data package

  • CHANGELOG.txt - A log of changes made to the QGreenland data package

Please note that QGreenland Core v1.0.0 is the first stable public release version from this project. The QGreenland Core v2.0.0 download package was released in March 2022. Development versions along the way will continue to be available via the website, with code fully documented on GitHub.

Although the v2.0.0 download package contains a full User Guide, updates and additions are constantly being made to our documentation as we continue to develop QGreenland. The most recent version of QGreenland documentation will always be available here on Read the Docs.

Citing QGreenland Core and Custom

We request that the QGreenland project be cited or acknowledged when publishing a QGreenland-made image or map.

QGreenland development is open source and available on GitHub. This means that users are free to create their own customized QGreenland package with different and new styles, layers, and data. Users who wish to contribute to the QGreenland project will find instructions on how to do this in the Contributor How-to section on Readthedocs.

QGreenland is licensed under an MIT license: Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions: The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

Users should note that published works produced using QGreenland are required to cite each dataset used in the work. QGreenland provides all dataset citation information in each layer’s metadata in QGIS (see the Layer Properties section in the Interacting with Geospatial Data tutorial for instructions on how to access a layer’s metadata) and in the layer catalog provided with the QGreenland download package, layer_list.csv. You are also required to acknowledge or cite QGreenland and the National Snow and Ice Data Center in your work.


Suggested citations for QGreenland:

Version 1.0: Moon, T., Fisher, M., Harden, L., and T. Stafford (2021). QGreenland (v1.0.0) [software], National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Version 2.0: Moon, T., Fisher, M., Harden, L., Simonoko, H., and T. Stafford (2022). QGreenland (v2.0.0) [software], National Snow and Ice Data Center.


We acknowledge the National Snow and Ice Data Center QGreenland package.