Introduction to Point Data in QGIS

Curriculum by:

M. Cecilia Porter, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Calgary

Dustyn Dryak-Vallies, STEM teacher, Trail Ridge Middle School

Two thick-billed Murres, Black Sea birds with white bellies, stand on a rock facing each other.
Two thick-billed murres on a rock. Credit: Art Sowles, US Fish and Wildlife
Image Credit
Art Sowles, US Fish and Wildlife

In this lesson, students will learn foundational skills for viewing and editing geospatial data using real-world examples. Using the colony locations of the thick-billed murre, a culturally important arctic bird, students will learn how to view point data, access and interpret the attribute table, and add new data points with attributes. 
Learning Goals and Outcomes
Students will... 

  • Understand that data visualization helps people interpret the past and present
  • Develop an initial model that describes thick-billed murre data from QGreenland 
  •  Be able to: Turn data layers on/off, access and interpret a vector attribute table, and create new data by adding a point
Resource Type
Course Type
Middle/High School, Undergraduate

This lesson can act as a two-part stand-alone lesson for a middle or high school class, or as a singular introductory activity in a more comprehensive GIS class in an undergraduate setting. Students require little background knowledge beyond basic computer literacy. 

Teaching Materials

Educator Guide (Google Doc)

Student Guide (Google Doc)

User Note: These resources are provided as "View-only" Google docs. To make an editable copy of the teaching materials, select File -> Make a copy to save an editable copy your own Google or select File -> Download to download a copy to your computer in the format you prefer.


Gandhi, U. (2019). Working with attributes (QGIS3).QGIS Tutorials and Tips. 

UOSWildlife. (2021, May 5). QGIS- Adding data to point in the attributes table [video]. YouTube.