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Using QGIS Data with MileCharter


At the present time, the Ultra Mileage system does not have a plugin for QGIS (Quantum GIS). It can, however, work with QGIS point data layers that have been exported to CSV files.

This page shows you how to do this. For this example, we use FEMA headquarter and shelter data from ArcGIS Hub. These have been added to a QGIS map as shapefiles. For the basemap, we have chosen the “MapSurfer OSM Roads” option. This is for illustrative purposes only. We could have used any basemap we wished, and it does not have to include roads or come from the OpenStreetMaps project. Here is a map of this data:

sample QGIS map

Sample FEMA QGIS Map (shelters:red; regional HQs: green)

Before exporting a point layer, you must make sure it uses decimal longitude,latitude coordinates. If not, transform them first.

Then, to export a point layer, right click on the layer’s name in the Layer Browser. Select Exporter and then Save Features As .  This will display the Select Vector Layer as dialog box:

QGIS Export Dialog Box

QGIS’s Select Vector Layer dialog box

Select Comma Separated Value (CSV) as the output format, and enter the output filename. Make sure the output coordinate system uses WGS84. Here we select all data fields for output, but you only need to select the output coordinates and a name/identifier field. For the Geometry, select AS_XY. This will write the Longitude coordinate as ‘X’ and the Latitude coordinate as ‘Y’. Press OK to export the file.

Ultra Milecharter can then read the resulting file as a conventional CSV file. Remember to select ‘X’ for the Longitude column and ‘Y’ for the Latitude column.

Here are the results, showing distances in miles between the FEMA regional headquarters and the current FEMA shelters:

MileCharter chart

The MileCharter results using the FEMA QGIS location data

For clarity, only the FEMA locations within the contiguous USA are shown.

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