Riverscapes Toolbar QGIS Plugin

Quick Start

Installing the RAVE plugin itself is relatively straightforward. It’s a simple QGIS plugin. However, RAVE communicates with an online data warehouse of model products. This data warehouse is stored on Amazon’s Web Services (AWS) and so you need to also install several tools that enable RAVE to communicate with Amazon’s storage systems. We are working to streamline and remove as many of these steps as we can but for now here are the instructions.

If you installed the plugin first you do not need to uninstall it. Just complete the steps you didn’t already do below. There is also no harm in re-doing any of these steps.

Step 1: Install QGIS

If you haven’t done so already, go ahead and install QGIS. If you plan on simply browsing and consuming products from the riverscapes data warehouse then you should simply download and install the regular, standalone version of QGIS.

If you plan on developing riverscapes tools and products then you should download the OSGeox64 installer that includes QGIS as well as lots of other tools such as Python and GDAL that are essential for software development.

Some of the steps below differ if you are running the standalone version of QGIS versus the developer version. How do I know if I have the developer or standalone version of QGIS installed? Generally if you see in your c:\ drive a folder called c:\OSGEO4W64 then you have the developer version of QGIS installed and should follow those instructions (below).

Step 2: Install AWS CLI

Installing the AWS command line interface (CLI) will allow you to set up your AWS credentials in the system in a place where the RAVE plugin can find them:

  1. Follow the online instructions for installing the AWS CLI
  2. Open a command prompt and type aws configure
  3. Type your credentials as given to you. Contact North Arrow Research (email info [aT] northarrowresearch.com) if you need keys.

Step 3: Install boto3

Boto3 is the library that allows QGIS to communicate with AWS using python. It essentially sits between the AWS CLI and RAVE.

QGIS Standalone Users:

  1. Click Start button and type OSGEO4W (yes, even in the standalone version)
  2. You should see program called “OSGEO4W Shell”. Click that and you should get a DOS command window in which you should type the following:
python -m pip install boto3 --user

QGIS OSGEO4W64 (developer) Users:

  1. Navigate to c:\OSGEO4W64 (if that is where you installed QGIS) and double-click OSGeo4W.bat. This will give you a command shell with all appropriate python libraries and environment variables set.
  2. type easy_install pip to install the python package manager (this may already have been done but no harm in doing it again).
  3. type pip install boto3

If all goes well you should have boto3 installed. Test it out by typing the command python in your shell and then import boto3. If it imports without any errors you’re good:

GDAL 2.2.0, released 2017/04/28

Python 2.7.5 (default, May 15 2013, 22:44:16) [MSC v.1500 64 bit (AMD64)] on win32
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import boto3

here’s what it looks like when it doesn’t work:

GDAL 2.2.0, released 2017/04/28

Python 2.7.5 (default, May 15 2013, 22:44:16) [MSC v.1500 64 bit (AMD64)] on win32
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import boto3
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
ImportError: No module named boto3

Step 4: Install the plugin from the NAR web store

  1. Start QGIS
  2. On the Plugins menu, click Manage and Install Plugins...
  3. Switch to the Settings tab
  4. Check the Show also experimental plugins checkbox
  5. Click Add... in the bottom right.
  6. Enter a name for this new pugin store, e.g. NAR Plugins
  7. Paste the URL to the NAR web store
  8. Click OK
  9. You should then see Riverscapes Toolbar as an option. You can click “Install Plugin” button from there.

Plugin installation

Once you have enabled the plugin you will see a blue “R” icon in the toolbar area of QGIS. icon Click this R button to open the RAVE dockable window.

Step 5: First Time RAVE Setup

First time RAVE users should perform the following steps:

  1. With the RAVE dockable window open (see previous step) click on the Settings button at the bottom left.
  2. Enter the local folder on your computer where you want riverscapes products downloaded. Any products that you download will get placed here in the same folder structure as the online, remote data warehouse.
  3. You can leave the Delete and Force checkboxes unchecked.
  4. Click OK.