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Is it sensible for me to migrate to QGIS?

I've been using OCAD, a very old vector based map software to maintain a local "back country" map.

With OCAD6 I initially import base data, e.g. contours, main roads etc, as .dxf. Later import new data the same way. But then I can adjust or draw things easily by hand.

As tracks wash away, get re-routed, get abandoned, or repaired, I can easily update track condition freehand, from, say, "abandoned" to "Grade 3".

I can simply cut a line object to create 2 new line objects. Or make 2 cuts to create a new section in the middle. Then change that section from, e.g., "grade 4 track" to "grade 2 track" by:-

  • selecting the new line object
  • selecting a new symbol
  • click "change symbol".

Any way to do this easily in QGIS?

Am I misunderstanding what QGIS & GIS in general are?

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Can you add information about what data format do you use? Do you use dxf just to import the data into this software? Or do you store the data in dxf as well? – Devdatta Tengshe Mar 13 '14 at 3:07
The data format used by OCAD is it's own proprietory one. It will import & export .dxf.I just mentioned the vector format because OCAD has the look'n'feel of a raster drawing program, so much detail can be changed on the spot by hand. So migrating to QGIS via exporting vectors isn't a problem, but actually using QGIS might be. – Garrytre Mar 13 '14 at 3:20

I don't see any obstacles for you to use QGIS instead of OCAD.

Editing works pretty much the same way you do. QGIS has a CAD Tools plugin for those who prefer CAD-like techniques.

You will benefit from the ability to load other data and maps in the background to check your data visually, without the need to do a complete re-import.

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I have with success migrated companies from CAD (and commercial GIS) software to QGIS. The main challenge is having people understand the database behind a GIS instead of (just) a CAD drawing. Usually DXF is no problem opening in QGIS.

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