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Sortie de QGIS 3.0 Girona

Sortie de QGIS 3.0 Girona

QGIS 3 splash screen

After approximately 1.5 years of development work the new QGIS release 3 "Girona" was just released. Girona was the host city of one of our developer meetings in May 2016.

The new release delivers not only a plethora of new and improved features and functions, but also experienced an extensive renovation in the QGIS API, changes of base libraries from qt4 to qt5 (the "Q" in QGIS) and a shift from Python 2 to Python 3 for Python Scripts and Plugins.

A detailed "visual changelog" can be found at - but is still under development.

Following is a (incomplete) list of the highlights in QGIS 3:

  • General
    • Many new and improved expression functions
    • New quick search (locator) in the bottom left of the status bar - allows to search in layer names, algorithsm, feature attributes and web service. Can be extended with python plugins.
    • Improvements for saving map extents as images or PDF files
    • Support of zipped project files (.qgz)
    • Support of user profiles: one user can have multiple profiles with different tool-bars, panels and plugins, e.g. for digitizing tasks, analysis tasks, cartography tasks, etc.
  • Data provider improvements and data management
    • Geopackage is now the default format in many places where data can be saved or exported (instead of the ancient ESRI shapefile format)
    • Geopackage tables are supported as output format in processing
    • Styles can be saved in/loaded from Geopackages or SpatiaLite data sources
    • automatic detection of relations from PostgreSQL tables
    • auto-assignment of widget types based on data types
    • Support of new data types for PostgreSQL data sources (array, hstore)
    • auto-detection of default values for SpatiaLite data sources
    • New metadata display and management with integration with Geonode
    • Map projection choice dialogue now display the spatial extent where projections can be used
    • Add layer dialogue was unified into a single dialogue with vertical tabs for different data sources
    • Ability to reproject data during export to DXF
  • Symbology/Cartography
    • more data-defined properties (e.g. for diagrams)
    • better support for units (e.g. non metric ones)
    • new point cluster renderer
    • new version of point displacement renderer (grid layout)
    • many improvements for styling of discrete raster layers (e.g. for landcover raster files)
    • algorithms for a useful assignment of fill colors of neighbouring polygons
    • Labels positions/alignments/rotations can be saved alongside a project in sidecar .qgd files (SQLite) e.g. for the cases where one cannot modify the original data sources
    • "Live layer support": redraws at specified intervals, e.g. for tracking or changing objects
    • PostgreSQL-Server can trigger rendering updates of connected QGIS clients
  • 3D visualization
    • First version of 3D rendering and 3D navigation
    • Support of terrain surfaces (DTM/DSM raster files) and 3d geometries (e.g. for buildings or other 3D objects)
    • Extrusion of 2D polygons and lines and clamping to DTM data
    • Support of rendering of 3D-models at point features (e.g. for trees, buildings, 3D furniture, etc.
  • Editing / Construction tools:
    • Redesign of the node editor tool. Change from "click-drag" to "click-click" in order to allow for numeric input
    • tracing mode with offsets
    • more editing tools can use the advanced editing tool for numerical input
    • Lines can be extended at start/end points
  • Forms and Widgets
    • Ability to control visibility of widget groups or single widgets through expressions
    • Better default-widget assignment based on data types
    • Improved relation reference widgets for 1:n and n:m relations
    • Improved constraints already during editing in forms on the client
    • New actions with "layer scope"
    • New action functions for duplicating and deleting records in embedded forms
    • Search in the form (Ctrl-F) now also supports embedded forms/relations (with aggregates) for filtering and selecting features
    • Improvements in the display perfomance of complex forms (esp. for PostgreSQL forms)
  • Map composer (layouts)
    • Renamed from "composer" to "layout"
    • New "Reporting" mode (with headers and footers)
    • Support for mixed page sizes
    • Complete redesign of layouts under the hood
    • Better display performance of layouts
    • Layouts are now loaded "on demand" and not directly during project load, eliminating the slow-down that happened with many composers in QGIS 2.x. projects
    • Better API for Python-code and plugins
  • Processing
    • Ported from Python to C++
    • Many new native algorithms for vector and raster data
    • task manager to control long-running backgournd processes
    • zonal-statistics plugin ported to processing
    • heatmap plugin ported to processing
    • Export of graphical modesl to SVG/PDF (for documentation purposes)
    • Better handling of invalid or corrupt features and geometries
    • New algorithm for downloading of network data
  • QGIS Server
    • completely rewritten to cleanly separate GUI and core parts and use improved QGIS 3 API
    • multi-threading support within a single request
    • Improved OGC compliance (tested with OGC test suite)
    • Geometry output of curved geometries can segmentized for GetFeatureInfo responses


QGIS 3 is an "early adopter" release. The development team is aware that the many changes and the extensive refactoring may cause instabilities in the early releases. Please perform extensive testing before using QGIS 3 for production work or wait until the first QGIS 3x LT version is published. On the other hand, the QGIS developer team values you testing feedback and bug reports. Extra care is required if you rely on plugins: all plugins that already existed during QGIS 2.x. need porting to the new QGIS API, to qt5 and Python 3. If you rely on such plugins, please inform yourself if the concerned plugin already supports QGIS 3.

Do note that QGIS 2.x and 3.x can be installed in parallel (in separate folders) and has independent settings and plugin installations.

We thank all developers, testers and sponsors who supported the QGIS.ORG project during this extensive work around QGIS 3.