Traditional publishing

Preparing project

This section explains the process of publishing QGIS map project. It is assumed that QGIS Desktop is installed on the user device and so is the Gisquick plugin in QGIS. This can be done in Manage and install plugins inside the Plugins tab. Type the plugin name into the search bar and install it.

QGIS project dedicated for publishing is prepared in the standard way. Map layers can be combined from various data sources like flat files (Esri Shapefile, OGC GML), file-based databases (OGC GeoPackage, SQLite, SpatiaLite), server-client databases (PostGIS) or OGC Web Services (WMS, WFS, WCS).

Before publishing project using Gisquick plugin, the project must be saved in QGS format (QGZ format is currently not supported by the plugin).


imp When using flat files or file-based databases as data stores it is strictly recommended to save all the files (data and QGIS project) in the same directory. QGIS project must be set up to use relative paths (see Project Properties).

When using any kind of authentication (databases, web services) it must be ensured that the server used for publishing will have access rights to such data sources.

Publishing QGIS project will be demonstrated on the Prague sample project downloadable as a zip file. At first, sample prague.qgs QGIS project is open in QGIS Desktop. Before doing any changes the project will be published as it is.

The publication process is started by Gisquick QGIS plugin plugin. The plugin is designed as a wizard to simplify the publishing process as much as possible.

The first page of the wizard allows defining basic settings for publishing:

  • base layers,

  • overlay layers and

  • basic project metadata.

By base layers are meant typically WMS layers provided by QGIS project. The Base layer sub-page also allows adding base layers provided by external services like OpenStreetMap, MapBox or Bing.


imp External base layers are available only when QGIS project is using WGS84 Pseudo Mercator projection (EPSG:3857).

Here also default base layer can be defined, see figure below.

In the second Layers sub-page is controlled, simply by checkboxes, which map layers will be published. It’s also possible to publish layer as hidden (ie. not shown in Overlay layers tab, see User interface section). Top left checkbox Use cache controls usage of QGIS Server map cache. By default, map tiles are cached by QGIS server and re-used when possible.

The last Project sub-page allows defining basic project metadata like title, extent, min/max scales, info message, access constraints, etc.

In the following page, topics can be defined. By topic, a group of thematically-related overlay layers is meant. Topics can be easily switched in the Topics tab of Gisquick UI, see User interface section. Layers which should be part of a defined topic are simply checked. Topics can be added or removed by buttons located in the bottom-left part of the dialog. Each topic has defined a short description (abstract) which is shown by Gisquick UI.

Last but one page shows a read-only configuration summary. It’s the last chance to go back by Back button and change publication settings.

On the last page are displayed files need to be transferred to the Gisquick publication server. The result of the publication process is two generated files: timestamped QGIS project (.qgs) and metafile (.meta). These files together with project data (see Data sources) must be transferred to the publication server.

When Publish button is pressed, the unique project file name with timestamp together with its metafile is created. By default, timestamped files are created in the same directory as the original QGIS project. Optionally the destination directory can be changed by the Change button. In this case, data source files are also copied to the newly defined directory.

The published project together with data can be optionally zipped into an archive, which can be easily uploaded to the publication server, see Create project zip file for upload option.

Uploading project

In the next step, the user can upload a prepared project zip file created by Gisquick plugin as described in the section above. Log in to your publication server account. In the user menu, go to My profile (see User profile page for details). Go to Upload project, enter the project zip file and upload the file using the Upload button.

After successful upload, go to My Projects and find your first published project.

At this stage, it is possible to view the project in Gisquick by clicking the blue icon in the second column. However, it is recommended to finish the setup following the chapter Releasing project.