Given that it is already understood that the QGIS composer atlas function makes it possible to print separate pages based on a 'coverage' layer, what basic range of functions/outputs can be achieved with this tool?

The QGIS print composer atlas capability is powerful. I ask the question because even having understood the basic functionality it's really difficult to grasp the wider capabilities of this tool.

(For example, is it possible to rotate output maps, is it possible to change scales for different maps, is it possible to show and hide features, and so on?)

(I'm not convinced this is a valid question for Stackexchange - I judge that it is but I'm happy enough if others strongly disagree - the question could be re-phrased... where can I find a clear list of capabilities? I'm asking because I can't find such a list - the documentation doesn't really provide this.)

closed as too broad by underdark Nov 16 '15 at 18:45

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As nobody responded to this I'll provide my own very limited and partial answer in case others look at this:

Atlas can:

  • show or hide the coverage layer objects
  • produce maps at a given scale
  • take data from the coverage layer for its labels
  • put an image in a label based on data in the coverage layer
  • display a customised scale bar in various designs
  • display a legend either automatically based on the map layers, or heavily customised (including rotated)
  • display a fixed arrow/line
  • display a fixed image

There are a whole load of other capabilities which I can sense exist, but which I don't have time to explore (hence the question) and which I don't find described anywhere. I suspect that the capabilities of Atlas are actually pretty powerful. I think that it's probably possible, for example, to rotate maps based on a data field, to move and rotate an arrow in the same way, and to show some kind of second overview map, to change the scale bar on each map, etc.

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