So how’s QGIS 1.9 / 2.0 coming along?

Quite well!  I just pulled the latest build from the GIT repository and it looks pretty spiffy.

A sign that 2.0 is getting closer, configuration files have moved from ~/.qgis to ~/.qgis2.  I don’t know if a migration routine will be included, but my installation created a fresh profile.  The fresh profile included a new theme for the standard toolbar buttons which look very similar to the buttons in GRASS’s user interface.  The new profile  re-set some settings cleared my plugins so I had to re-download the plugins, which leads me to the next overhaul, the plugin manager.

The plugin manager has been combined with the fetching and managing functions of the old plugin system which streamlines the plugin process.  So far none of the plugins that I have installed have required a restart of QGIS.  As for the plugins themselves, the plugins I use such as OpenLayers and Statist have been updated to work with the new API.

DBManager was been polished.  It now lets you save your custom SQL Queries and its import / export functions are much smoother.

Print Composer  has seen a pretty complete overhaul.  Anita Graser did a seven part series looking at some of the new features.  Here’s the link to her printing tag where you can find all seven articles.  My favorite highlights the new alignment guides.  The old version had a snap to grid function but the new guides and rulers make it that much easier to line up the elements of your map.

I keep forgetting to compile in support for the QGIS Globe plugin.  Hopefully I’ll remember to try it out the next time I pull down the source.

There are a ton more new and updated features that I did not get to, for example, the label overhaul and how raster symbology is handled.  Overall 2.0 is going to be a great step forward for the QGIS project.

Spotify 0.9 for Linux

I used to have to write about this all the time, Spotify but maintainers of the Spotify AUR PKGBUILD have been doing such a great job there aren’t any issues getting Spotify to install and run on Arch.  Hooray!

Handy vim shortcut

Too many times I have started editing a configuration file, or other files that require root privileges, with my normal user account.  A handy vim shortcut:

:w !sudo tee %

allows me to save the file without needing to discard my changes and re-doing them in a new edit session.

Accessing ESRI File Geodatabases on Arch Linux

First up, download the File Geodatabase API from here.  You’ll need create an ESRI Global account and agree to the API’s EULA.  Once the API’s tarball is downloaded, extract it and keep track of where you put it.  Next up, download GDAL’s PKGBUILD, a patch, and changelog from here.  All three files need to be in the same directory.  Next, edit the PKGBUILD to look for the API.  Personally I put the API in /opt so I added:

--with-fgdb=/opt/FileGDB_API

and then ran mkgpkg.  Once GDAL finished compiling pacman -U upgraded gdal.  Now I can go into QGIS, click Add Vector, click the Directory radio button, and select File GDB in the file type drop down.  Easy peasy.

Resetting the Edge 500’s battery meter

If your Edge 500’s battery meter gets stuck at 100% just disable the auto shutoff feature and let the battery drain. The next time you charge it up the battery meter will reflect the actual amount of charge you have remaining.

Rotating a QuickTime movie

I was handed a QuickTime movie that was recorded with an iPad that was held upside down.  Luckily ffmpeg makes this easy.

ffmpeg -i <input_file> -strict -2 \
-vf "transpose=1, transpose=1" <output_file>

The -strict -2 allows ffmpeg to use the experimental aac codec, and -vf “transpose=1, transpose=1” rotates the video by 90 degrees twice.

Installing Postgis 2.1.0SVN on Arch

I wanted to try the new Tiger geocoder extension that’s coming with PostGIS 2.1.0.  I set up a PKGBUILD to upgrade the 2.0.2 that’s in Arch’s repository.

Since this is a major version upgrade a hard upgrade is required.  The upgrade went smoothly except the spatial_ref_sys table wasn’t populated.  Running the spatial_ref_sys.sql script found at /usr/share/postgresql/contrib/postgis-2.1 solved that problem.