FAQ – Frequently asked questions

The Quantarctica manual (PDF 1 MB) is a step-by-step guide to installing QGIS 2.4 and Quantarctica 2.0 and optimizing the system.

What software do I need?

You need QGIS 2.4, plugins and Quantarctica's project file and datasets. You get all this in the Quantarctica 2.0 base package, which you'll find on our downloads page.

NOTE: If you're not using Windows, please download QGIS 2.4 for your platform from QGIS's downloads page.

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How big is the Quantarctica base package?

The v2.0 base package is 8.9 GB. The download size is about 6 GB (zip file).

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What's included in the Quantarctica base package?

The v2.0 base package includes:

  • base maps
  • mosaics of satellite images
  • glaciology data
  • geophysics data
  • high-resolution Landsat CIRREF images

High-resolution Landsat MOS and RADARSAT images are also available but should be downloaded separately. You'll find them on our downloads page.

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What is the diff package?

If you have developed your own GIS package using Quantarctica 1.0 as a base, and want to add new datasets in Quantarctica 2.0 into your GIS package, the diff (= "difference") package is for you.

The diff package includes only the data and QGIS 2.4 installer added for Quantarctica 2.0.

We recommend:

  1. Download the diff package (800 MB).
  2. Copy "Scientifc/Glaciology/BlueIce" and "Scientific/Glaciology/Drainage" folders to your computer "... Quantarctica/Scientific/Glaciology".
  3. Copy files (not folders) in "Basemap/Terrain" and "Scientific/Glaciology/FlowSpeed" folders to corresponding folders in your computer. These folders are already present in Quantarctica 1.0.
  4. Install QGIS 2.4. See Quantarctica 2.0's manual for how to optimize QGIS and install plugins.
  5. Open the existing QGIS project file into QGIS 2.4 and save this file in the QGIS2 format.
  6. Drag and drop data files (with "shp" or "tif" extensions) to QGIS, when your GIS project file is open.
  7. These datasets have style files so drag-and-drop show these datasets as Quantarctica 2.0 visualizes them.

If you really want to stay with Quantum GIS 1.8 but use these datasets, it is possible. However, the style file for flow vectors does not work properly (other style files work fine with 1.8).

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Can I still use my old version of Quantarctica?

Yes. However, we provide the older version "as is". There will be no further bug fixes etc.


Want to add new datasets to Quantarctica 1.0, instead of using Quantarctica 2.0 on QGIS 2.4? Please see the instructions for the "diff" file above.

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Do I need an Internet connection to use Quantarctica?

No. An Internet connection is required only for downloading the dataset. Once you've downloaded Quantarctica, you can take it with you anywhere!

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My downloads fail / I need an FTP client

We strongly recommend you use an FTP client to download the large files. (Users attempting to download via the regular web browser have reported problems.)

If you don't already have an FTP client installed, we recommend FileZilla – it's free.

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I'm experiencing problems. What do I do?

If you have problems related to QGIS, please visit QGIS website. To resolve Quantarctica-specific problems or file a Quantarctica-specific bug report, please contact us.

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