Our lab has about 10 projects in ArcGIS 9 (a couple are made in ArcGIS 10) that includes the following in each:
- A georeferenced (WGS1984 geographical projection) raster seafloor image, representing areas of about 20m x 20m.
- A layer of points across the image, each of which is hyperlinked to documents residing on the same computer.
- A few layers of points (feature class) representing features in the raster image.
- A few layers of polygons (feature class) representing features in the raster image.
With the above, we have been able to:
- Analyse the areas outlined with the polygons and added buffers to some of them.
- Answer questions like: Does this kind of fish (represented by a layer of points) always occur near a certain rock type (represented by polygons or points).
- Add new seafloor images (as new layers) representing the same area, but taken at a later time, to see if the distribution of features in it have changed over time (i.e. there's 15% more fish, etc.).
In the future, we would like to add bathymetric data so that we can make a 3D view of seafloor represented by our images.
Finally the question: Can the above be successfully migrated to QGIS and HOW do I do it? (so we can save licensing fees and also use open source software, etc.)
Based on my initial look a QGIS, most of what I outlined above can be done, but can anyone confirm that?
If we do this, it needs to be done within the next couple of months, all by ourselves with no programming ability. (we don't have funds to hire someone to do the migration for us, or to add feature to QGIS).