Is the GIS equivalent of "Hello world!" = "You are here?"

I installed ubuntuGIS recently, but I'm a little overwhelmed navigating the network of many packages to begin accomplishing simple things. I'd like to explore GIS more thoroughly (I have made maps using R and techniques like these).

Are there any resources minimally illustrating going from...

Point A: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntugis/ppa && sudo apt-get install qgis to

Point B: Here is a simple world map with a marker for your location?

Or could someone propose this "hello world" to get newbies started? I think a tiny, simple project like this---"print where you are in the world" analogous to "print words on a screen" would be a very good learning tool for providing some narrative, tutorial context---something like giving a newbie a "roadmap" to making maps.

(Not required, but my personal preference on a thing like this would be that the output be d3 or kartograph, something in-browser.)

  • Certainly not required, but care to explain the downvote? What is undesirable in asking for a minimal working example of how to make a map plotting a point? If you leave a comment I can better explain my question. – Mittenchops Jan 8 '13 at 23:14

As you've already discovered UbuntuGIS is not a GIS itself but a repository of GIS and related software. I suggest you try installing QGIS (from UbuntuGIS or qgis.org) and having a look at the How do I do that in QGIS page.

  • Yeah, I'm aware that qgis is an important part of that. It seems like a good step 2 after install the repository, but it's still a long trip from there to "here is the map." The link you pointed to on QGIS was also not super helpful in this---the closest thing I could find to plotting any point was "plotting random points"(hub.qgis.org/wiki/quantum-gis/Creating_random_points) which was a 404... – Mittenchops Jan 8 '13 at 23:11
  • 2
    See 1st 'How To' link - Opening vector files – user2856 Jan 8 '13 at 23:26

A good source of basic tutorials to get you started is the OSGEO Live-DVD. It contains most of the open source GIS packages that you'll need to get started and each one has a quickstart and tutorial to get you going.

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