I am working on identification and monitoring of pipeline oil spill using remote sensing and QGIS. (I am a new user.) I wish to know how to use the time manager in QGIS to monitor the incident events.

The objectives of my project are application of geo-informatics and remote sensing capabilities to identify incident cases in the hotspots where oil spillage is prevalent to perform spatiotemporal analysis in monitoring events.

My data was imported from excel sheet (raw data) and saved as CSV. Essentially the attributes of my data reflect the following features oil spill ID, Incident date, report date, estimated quantity, causes of spill and site location. I also have the coordinates of all the events. However, there is no information about the time. Is this not a limitation to time manager plugin?

The layers of the spill events with potential IDs, dates and different quantities can be critically examined by zooming in to see the damage done by the oil spills to vegetation, water bodies and lands. This gives opportunity to look at the antecedents how the affected areas have been in the past years. It is like using the time slider on Google earth which give insight into the areas affected in the preceding years. This is what I think I may use time manager to perform on QGIS. But the time of events were not recorded in the data which may be difficult to perform using time manager. But as you mentioned that Crayfish focuses on visualizing which may explain my monitoring strategy, perhaps I can watch the video and see how it works. So essentially, it is to monitor the spill events from the perspective of looking at the same spot/affected area over a given period of time/year. Maybe I succeed in making my question clearer.

  • Time Manager works fine with date-only data, time is optional.
    – underdark
    Jun 4, 2016 at 16:42

2 Answers 2


You did not mention the data formats that you have available, but in general I recommend looking into both Crayfish and Time Manager, two QGIS plugins which have been built to work with spatio temporal data.

Time Manager focuses on working with vector data (mostly moving objects modelled as points, but also other changing features modelled as vector features). Raster support is available but not too advanced. Time can be encoded in the raster layer name or accessed from the metadata in case of netCDF files.

Crayfish focuses on visualizing meshes and grids. For example, they have good support for hydraulic modelling output formats, such as XMDF, SMS DAT, GRIB, HEC2D, netCDF, Serafin and SWW. You can watch Overlay vectors and contours in Crayfish plugin for QGIS to see what this plugin does

  • Data format is in CSV. Do you have an idea or know any tool that can be used to convert the CSV data into GRIB or NetCDF since this is the format Crayfish plugin uses.
    – user74501
    Oct 18, 2016 at 21:10
  • The challenge is having to convert my data sets which are in csv into either GRIB or NetCDF. How can I convert csv into GRIB? This would enable me Crayfish plugin. Previous questions on the forum has been, "conversion of GRIB into csv". We have not seen a post asking for conversion of csv into GRIB. I would be grateful to learn how this works.
    – user74501
    Oct 19, 2016 at 14:21
  • @user74501 I recommend posting this as a separate thread in order to gain more visibility than when it's hidden here in a comment.
    – underdark
    Oct 19, 2016 at 15:59

In QGIS 3.x series, you can use native Time Controller and loading of meshes can be done directly with Mesh Layer

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