QGIS on Android Phone

At FOSSGIS I was asked to try to install qgis on a very small android phone, I think it was a 3.2″ screen. the install went smoothly after making some space but then the problems came because of the small screen.
Eventually I thought about setting a smaller font size to make the UI scale more, the problem was that it was impossible to get to the size setting because the UI was to big.
As a workaround I created a QGIS.conf file with this content
[General]
IconSize=32
fontPointSize=4
and pushed it to the device using the android debug bridge like this:
adb push myQGISConfigFile.conf /data/data/org.qgis.qgis/files/Settings/QuantumGIS/QGIS.conf
On the next start the whole gui was nice and small and fitted the screen.

Here some screenshots from my Samsung galaxy 9000 with 4″ screen and a video demonstrating digitising (with pen and fingers), GPS, compass and zooming on the phone.

This video shows QGIS on a Samsung I9000 Galaxy S Android smartphone with 4.0″ screen. the point size in settings->option->general is set to 4

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Posted in Android, Android QGIS, GIS, QGIS
44 Comments » for QGIS on Android Phone
  1. stelios says:

    I have the same diplay problem with my samsung mobilephone. Could you help me to solve it with a few easy steps? thanks

  2. laraque says:

    I get “Fatal error” .. testing all the version availables using QGIS Installer over Motorola Defy.

    Any comments about the minimum requirements ?

    • marco says:

      when do you get the error? did you try to look at the logs using alogcat (available in the market)
      ciao

  3. Ricardo says:

    When I run QGIS for android, the following message: The application has caused a serious error and can not continue. My phone is a Motorola Defy.

  4. Igor says:

    I’m trying to run QGIS Mobile on my HTC Flyer P510e (Android 3.2.1). I downloaded and installed the software without any problems but now…I’m having difficulties in opening rasters and shapefiles! I tried to copy the files both in the memory of the tablet and in the MicroSD but I don’t manage to have access to them!
    Is there any particular directory I should use to save the files?
    Regards

    • marco says:

      did you run the qgis first run? then there should be a link called storage.
      or try the go up arrow in the file open dialogs.
      ciao

  5. Anita says:

    Hi Marco,

    I’m writing a short article about QGIS and would like to use one of your QGIS for Android screenshots. Hope you are ok with that.

    Ciao,
    Anita

  6. Igor says:

    Ciao Marco,
    ho avviato “qgis first run” ma non trovo da nessuna parte il link chiamato storage di cui mi parli. Dove dovrebbe essere?
    Quando provo a caricare file (raster o shape che siano) come farei nella versione desktop (Add Vector Layer o Add Raster Layer), seleziono “File” tra le Source Type e poi, tapping su Browse, cerco la directory in cui ho salvato i miei file non compaiono le cartelle che sono nella memoria del tablet bensì delle altre che per quanto ne so non esistono.
    Potresti suggerirmi altre possibili soluzioni al problema?
    Grazie tante!

  7. Igor says:

    Once runned QGIS Mobile on my HTC Flyer P510e (Android 3.2.1), I’m trying to open shapefiles and rasters. Just while tapping “Open” to charge maps or whatevere, the application closes!
    Should I install extenctions or addtional components?
    Ciao

    Igor

  8. David says:

    Android Toshiba Tablet 7´´
    Sometimes, any toolbar resize to full screen (layer, gps,…) and it´s imposible to resize it back. Shut down qgis, try to change icon size, etc in Settings, but doesn´t work. Reinstall qgis is the only solution, but there is always a risk that any tool bar resize to full screen…..
    Thanks
    David

    • marco says:

      hi they resize when you hit the float dock button. you can go into android settings> applications> qgis> clear application data
      ciao

      • David says:

        Marco,
        I think it doesn´t work, as I tried to hit every botton, frame, etc. in QGIS and android buttons. I am new in Android.
        android settings> applications> qgis> clear application data it´s good, thank you!.
        I always worked with Arcpad but want to change. About QGIS, it´s really fantastic for PC, but I miss a kind of QGIS mobile or lite, for tablets and phones. With a simply funcionallity: layers view, MrSid, GPS offline, edit vector, attach pictures….
        Thanks a lot
        ciao
        David

  9. Iron says:

    Hi,
    is there a way to copy myQGISConfigFile.conf to the path /data/data/org.qgis.qgis/files/Settings/QuantumGIS/ on the device with an application from my PC, such as Android Commander?

    I’ve searched for that path, but /data/ folder on my GS2 is empty, where I can find it?

    Thanks

    • marco says:

      try to go directly into /data/data/org.qgis.qgis/files/Settings/ I’ might be a permission issue (normally you can’t list the /data/ folder unless you rooted your device)

      ciao

      • Iron says:

        Ciao,
        my device is rooted, but the /data/ folder it’s showed as empty in Android Commander, even if I’ve set as visible hidden and system files.

        Anyway, I solved this issue pasting the entire path into Android Commander.

        I’ve pulled the existing QGIS.conf file from the device, added the section [General] with the parameters you suggested and now the main interface of QGIS i much more readable.

        But the other windows (e.g. to load the layers or connect to to a WMS service) are still with big characters and dimensions that does not let some buttons to be pushed.

        Is there a way to set font size and button dimension even for the windows?

        Thanks again.

  10. Anne says:

    Hi,
    thanks for the great work!
    It’s working on Samsung Galaxy S with Android 2.3.3. (Changing the settings with a conf-file did the trick for such a small screen.) However, QGIS seems a little bit unstable – shutting down qute often in the middle of different operations like adding a shapefile, creating a new shapefile, adding a WMS etc. Is this due to my “old” phone? Will it be better on a newer phone (e.g. SGSIII or tablet) with a newer version of Android and/or is a new version of QGIS Android to be expected soon? I would like to use QGIS on Samsung tablet for collecting data (digitizing/GPS) during field work.

    • marco says:

      no, it is not phone dependent. It is just still alpha. I’m working toward a new version, but I still need some time. If you can please consider helping the development by donating.
      ciao

  11. Denis says:

    Hi,
    I copied the QGIS.conf to
    /media/903A-09DA/Android/data/org.qgis.qgis/files/Settings/QuantumGIS
    but nothing changed, I cannot set the font size.
    Do you have any idea, how to?
    I tried with adb, but my phone is not rooted…
    Thanks a lot!

    • marco says:

      Hi Denis,
      try moving the inside of the widget dragging it with _two_ fingers

      • Denis says:

        Thanks marco, it worked just great!

      • Fernando Ferreira says:

        Hi Marco, could you better explain. I try to copy the qgis.conf but with no changes.
        I only see the Android/data/org.qgis.qgis/files folders.
        By using explorer i create a folder named \settings\QuantumGIS with the qgis.conf inside. Am i doing wrong?
        Best regards.
        Fernando

  12. Fromax says:

    Good show, Marco!
    I modified my QGIS.conf according to your instructions, and now I’ve got QGIS up and running on my Galaxy S3.
    Note: I only intend to use it as a viewer on this device…

    • Fernando Ferreira says:

      Hello,
      I also create the conf file but i can’t see any change. My tablet is rooted so i don’t see the folder. So i create a folder settings and put the file inside.
      Could someone explait how to do it and which software can i use?
      Best regards.
      Fernando

      • Fromax says:

        You shouldn’t have to create any folder: it’s created by Qgis upon install.
        If you’re not familiar with UNIX path & files conventions, you need to understand that “/” is the filesystem’s root (sort of like “C:\ drive” in Windoze). Maybe you’ve been looking in the wrong place…

        Create the file ‘QGIS.conf’ somewhere in a normal user folder (/mnt/sdcard/something) with any text-editor, then copy it to Qgis folder, as shown in my post here.
        Open a terminal in the folder where you created the file, then go
        cp QGIS.conf /data/data/org.qgis.qgis/files/Settings/QuantumGIS/. (You could copy & paste this line).

        • Fernando Ferreira says:

          Thanks Fromax but i can´t see the settings folder in my smartphone.
          But i il try to do the way that you tell.

        • Fernando Ferreira says:

          Well i tryed but “Permission denied” error.

          • Fromax says:

            Mmm… don’t know what’s the problem here.
            I used this method successfully on a Galaxy S2, an S3 and an Asus tablet. None of them were rooted.
            What device and which Android version are you using?

          • Fernando Ferreira says:

            My mobile phone is a LG 970.

  13. Fernando Ferreira says:

    Hello,
    Could some one better explain how to put the conf file. I try to copy the qgis.conf but with no changes.
    I only see the Android/data/org.qgis.qgis/files folders.
    By using explorer i create a folder named \settings\QuantumGIS with the qgis.conf inside. Am i doing wrong?
    Best regards.
    Fernando

    • Fi156 says:

      Same problem here, doesn’t find/have the path: “/data/data/org.qgis.qgis/files/Settings/QuantumGIS/QGIS.conf”
      but “Android/data/org.qgis.qgis/files”, the Settings Folder is missing.

      I have created the structure “Android/data/org.qgis.qgis/files/Settings/QuantumGIS/QGIS.conf”.
      It seems to me that QGis doesn’t use this anymore. (Font of QGis stays the same.)
      Is their another option to put this *.conf into?

      regards from germany

      • Fernando Ferreira says:

        Besides this problem, I saw that if i want to edit a shape file, I only edit data using the table data. And the text is too big to see and I can´t close the table data.
        Is it normal? I´m using a LG970 Smartphone but i also tested in a 7”tablet and the same has happen.
        Best regards from Lisbon, Portugal.
        Fernando

      • Fromax says:

        See my reply further down in the comments.
        My solution was to use a terminal emulator. No root needed! There might be other ways though…

  14. Fromax says:

    About accessing/copying the conf file: The path has to be exactly “/data/data/org.qgis.qgis/files/Settings/QuantumGIS/QGIS.conf”. The problem is that “/data/” is not accessible if you’re not root (you can’t even see the content of this dir). But the good news is that if you go deeper, then from “../Settings” it is accessible.
    You must use a terminal to access it. I use “Terminal IDE” (free) but others should work too.
    Try the command “cd /data/data/org.qgis.qgis/files/Settings/QuantumGIS/” then “ls” to list the content.
    To copy the file, do (from your homedir) “cp QGIS.conf /data/data/org.qgis.qgis/files/Settings/QuantumGIS/”.
    To edit, type “vim /data/data/org.qgis.qgis/files/Settings/QuantumGIS/QGIS.conf” (or use ‘nano’ if you’re more comfortable with it!).
    It’s quite a lot of typing on a small screen, but it can be done. And note that you don’t need to root your device to do this.
    Hope it helps…

    • roger caceres says:

      Hi i just installed qgis 2 on my samsung s2 and is having the oversized qgis interface screen problem. I am trying to follow your instruction on accessing the /data/ directory without rooting. Can you explain further how digging deeper, then from ../setting it is accessible? thanks.

      my android
      jelly bean
      samsung s2 i777

    • roger caceres says:

      fromax,

      installed the terminal ide and then opened it activated terminal emulator, typed in the change directory to “cp QGIS.conf /data/data/org.qgis.qgis/files/Settings/QuantumGIS/”.

      Message from the terminal emulator is “Permission denied”

      Any ideas on how to get over the permission thing?

      Thanks.

      • Fromax says:

        Hi Roger
        I’m not sure what’s happening here…
        As I wrote before, I succesfully added and edited my QGIS.conf on three different non-rooted devices (Galaxy S2, S3, Asus Transformer) using the same method, as described above.
        Have a look at this screenshot showing how I create a new file and copy it to the Qgis directory:

        In the next one, you can see the differences in the permissions in all the folders you “traverse” to reach it:

        Everything beetween `data` and `files` is locked, but from `Settings` to `QuantumGIS` you have read-write (rw) permissions.
        Maybe it can help you to troubleshoot your problem.
        Of course, there might be differences beetween the various Android implementations…

  15. Hi Marco. I have read your post long time ago, but i could never make it work. I have a samsung galaxy Note 1 (the phone, 5.3 inches). But letters are too big. The phone is not rooted. Is any solution without having to root the phone?
    Thanks

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  1. […] one may wonder who in his right mind wants to work on GIS on a 3.7 inch touch screen (but see here). However, certainly for tablets, I can see this could become a very useful application (e.g., for […]

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