QGIS continues to impress me as an ever-more viable and useful desktop GIS application. I had started a thread on The GIS Forum this past winter asking about the availability of a field calculator along the lines of what ArcMap users know very well. At the time such functionality didn’t exist either as a plugin or native to QGIS, but it was evident from information I was able to gather elsewhere that it was on its way in the relatively near future. This is a piece of functionality that I’ve been eager to see in QGIS since modifying attributes in bulk has been at best a difficult process.
Hitting fast forward to the last week or so, I was very pleased to find that Darren Cope had replied to the thread to let us know that a field calculator was now available from Changeset 11735 onwards, meaning that Windows users could get it in the 1.4 (dev) version of QGIS available via the OSGeo4W installer.
I think as the screenshot below illustrates, this is a great start for QGIS’ field calculator. While I haven’t had a chance to put it through all of its paces yet, it looks to me that it should do what most users would expect from a field calculator. This makes QGIS an even more likely option for the increasing number of people in my organization who need basic desktop GIS capabilities but have nothing available in their budgets. If you haven’t checked out QGIS yet, it’s well worth your while to do so.