Creating maps that you can pass on to others is often a central and regular requirement if not in paper format then in a digital format that can be e-mailed or printed out. Here’s a quick reference for myself as much as anything else.
To get into the print composer you can create a completely new print composition or alternatively load an existing print composition – Generally the 5th icon in the main menu bar will take you there (should be a white landscape rectangle with a star will give you access to the print composer , demonstrated below;
The 6th icon can be used to get to an existing declared print composition.
Now in the first instance you are going to want to navigate around the map and ensure that the map you wish to produce has the correct extents. In the below image on a 2 screen image I show QGIS v2.2 open on the left screen and the print composer open in the right. To move the composition area around go to the map window within the main program and navigate accordingly. Then within the print composer window hit the command button titled
Set to map canvas extent
This will re-draw your composition with an interpreted boundary defined directly from you map window. You can enforce scale in the item properties. Similarly after changing layers you will need to ensure that you hit the above button again when you want the composition to reflect the layers within the map window.
PLEASE NOTE THIS IS AN OLD POST Microsoft has replaced this qualification
Microsoft MCSE Data Platform
Some notes on the syllabus for this – thinking of taking it.
Earning an MCSE : Data Platform certification will qualify you for
jobs such as database analyst and database designer
1 : Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012
Exam 70-461 – MS SQL 2012 credit towards certification MCSA and MCSE
* Create Database Objects (24%)
* Work with data (27%)
* Modify data (24%)
* Troubleshoot and optimise (25%)
2 : Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases
Exam 70-462 – MS SQL 2012 credit towards certification MCSA and MCSE
* Install and configure (19%)
* Maintain instances and databases (17%)
* Optimise and troubleshoot (14%)
* Manage data (19%)
* Implement security (18%)
* Implement high availability (12%)
3 : Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012
Exam 70-463 – MS SQL 2012 credit towards certification MCSA and MCSE
* Design and implementation of data warehouse (11%)
* Extract and transform data (23%)
* Load data (27%)
* Configure and deploy SSIS solutions (24%)
* Build data quality solutions (15%)
After completing steps 1-2 you’ll earn a Microsoft certified Solutions
Associate (MCSA) SQL Server 2012 certification
4: Developing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases
Exam 70-464 – MS SQL 2012 credit towards certification MCSE
* Implement database objects (31%)
* Implement programming objects (21%)
* Design database objects (24%)
* Optimise and troubleshoot queries (24%)
5 : Designing Database Solutions for SQL Server 2012
Exam 70-465 – MS SQL 2012 credit towards certification MCSE
* Design database structure (29%)
* Design databases and database objects (32%)
* Design database security (15%)
* Design a troubleshooting and optimisation solution (24%)
Elite Dangerous from Frontier Developments an example of a game built on internally developed game engine – and they are seriously kicking ass as a result.
It is tempting having been burnt with IT projects to say right that’s it I don’t trust consultants anymore I’m going to try and do everything by myself we cannot trust outside companies with our valuable processes – we are after all primarily purely a process company and our processes are golden to us. I must admit I have had periods of my working life where I have been sympathetic to this view. I have found Internally developed systems great because – they motivate internal teams, they increase knowledge of systems design, they can be completely market leading, they can be incredibly flexible and reactive, they really engender responsibility and accountability, they can be very incremental and adaptable and certain individuals can develop systems often using existing IT infrastructure for solely labour costs. (Why employ capable people if you don’t want to use them?)
Against this there are some fairly big black marks which for some are insurmountable.
They tend to be very person dependent with a lot of power resting with certain individuals
Often those individuals are not necessarily chosen by management and often management really don’t like this.
People move on
Most systems will take a year to at least get up and running and sometimes solutions are needed quicker than this.
As a result I would always suggest a mixed strategy of allowing talented individuals to develop those areas for which there are no good products on the market while encouraging buy in of good tools and good products where tools and products do exist. It really should not be an either or and going down solely down either path could lead to problems. It is of course rare to go solely down the all internal route but I am aware of companies only going down the externally produced route.
But be aware even if you are going down the open source and internal development path – be prepared to invest. Buy good IDEs – don’t skimp on database support. Hire consultants (but please give them focused tasks non delivery of results from consultants is often because they’ve been hired without any real idea of what is required of them) Buy products because they look interesting. Financially support open source projects that are actively contributing – not because your liberal with your money but because value is value chances are you can still choose a cheaper path that benefits you and the providers by not leaving yourself open to the kind of consultancy that costs but does not provide. Most of all its your chance to buy in and vote on the future of your software. Open source providers will sit up and notice pay attention and give real weight to your requests.
Be warned though this kind of imagination and vision requires allowing good visibility and control across large parts of the network something that seems to contradict the general trend towards tighter formal security (at least where I work). I would argue however that tighter security often leads to loss of accountability and responsility (a lack of people who can track through all the programs of an issue) resulting in people and especially management being completely blind sided by problems and counter intuitively greater risk of negilgence and greater opportunity for fraud. [Financial Crisis and the Accounting profession anyone?]
I would add that if you really want to be world class you are going to have to take control of your software.
A map showing winds over the Atlantic
Looking for a desktop digital mapping package? You really need to check out QGIS it is an absolutely excellent open source geographical information system. At the time of writing the latest version was QGIS 2.4 – the below tips were taken from research into windows version of QGIS 2.2
Full program available here.
Link to www.qgis.org site (English)
Tip : Navigation – Magnification – Plus or Minus mangifier Icons or wheel scroll
Tip : Navigation – Scroll – cursor keys or alternatively the hand icon or hold down the space bar and movement of the mouse when pointer is in the map window.
Tip : Projection – CRS stands for Coordinate Referencing System – lots of different ways of showing what is essentially the surface of a sphere on a flat surface – and more generally referred to as map projection – you will remember from geography. For most UK maps the coordinates are often in Ordnance Survey UK Grid therefore you want the properties of Coordinate Referencing System of the project to be OSGB and you want the coordinate referencing system of the individual layers to be OSGB as well. Once this is done the scaling will be correct and so will the measurement tools.
Tip : View / Panel – allows you to switch on and off menus – very good and very powerful
Tip : Graphical Record selection – Icon in the middle of the toolbar that has a number of differing options – it’s a drop down that allows different things for selection.
Tip : Attribute Record selection – Icon in the middle of the toolbar that allows for table attribute selection. Shows the table and this can be sorted properly.
Tip : Deselect Records – can individually de-select using the keyboard alternatively you can also use the de-select icon in the middle of the top of the screen.
Tip : Browser – brilliant for navigating through the directory and seems a lot quicker than going through the pop up individual menus on the left – for me anyway – additionally you can add an additional browser layer and transfer things between directories. It is an excellent alternative to the file dialogue manager.
Tip : View / Decorations – You can add things like scale bar and copyright to the map window here – very intuitive and nice finishing touch to your projects.
Tip : Labelling – Make scale dependent – highlight the layer you are interested in and right click. Now select the Labels option and within the Size section change the drop down from points to map units.
Tip : Labelling – Threshold the labelling – right click on layer and then go to the Rendering section and select scale based visibilty and adjust accordingly.
Above interpreted from the QGIS manual see:
Link to PDF version of QGIS v2.2 manual
Just out of curiosity I went off and had a look for a function that does the same for excel spreadsheets as my previous post did for databases.
Here’s a function that will work.
Public Function Scramble(Optional ByRef UserText As Variant, Optional ByRef Everytime As Variant) As String
On Error GoTo ScrambleError
Dim i As Long
Dim Num As Long
Dim NewPosition As Long
Dim Temp As String
If IsMissing(UserText) Then
Scramble = "No data"
' No quotes automatically generates an error from the worksheet.
ElseIf IsError(UserText) Then
Scramble = "Error - try adding quote marks around your entry."
Application.Volatile (Not IsMissing(Everytime))
If TypeName(UserText) = "Range" Then UserText = UserText(1).Value
Num = Len(UserText)
If Num > 0 Then
For i = 1 To Num
Temp = Mid$(UserText, i, 1)
NewPosition = Int(Num * Rnd + 1)
Mid$(UserText, i, 1) = Mid$(UserText, NewPosition, 1)
Mid$(UserText, NewPosition, 1) = Temp
Next ' i
Scramble = UserText
Scramble = "No data" 'Can result from entering ""
Scramble = "Error " & Err.Number
Here’s a nice function I found that will completely randomize information within fields of a database. Data will not be recoverable from this process which of course is its strength.
Good if you are wanting to demonstrate a database to people that normally contains sensitive information but don’t have time to make up your own records.
Works on text fields and will randomize numbers as further numbers and letters as further letters.
Public Function ScrambleID(parmString) As String
Dim lngLoop As Long
Const cAlpha As String = "ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ"
Const cNum As String = "0123456789"
Dim strNewChar As String
Dim strThisChar As String
For lngLoop = 1 To Len(parmString)
strThisChar = Mid$(parmString, lngLoop, 1)
Select Case strThisChar
Case "A" To "Z"
strNewChar = Mid$(cAlpha, Int(Rnd * Len(cAlpha)) + 1, 1)
Case "0" To "9"
strNewChar = Mid$(cNum, Int(Rnd * Len(cNum)) + 1, 1)
Loop While strNewChar = strThisChar
ScrambleID = ScrambleID & strNewChar