QGIS User Group Netherlands Contributes to QGIS Internationally


The growing popularity of QGIS in the Netherlands has led to a significant increase in the membership of the QGIS User Group Netherlands (QGIS-NL) since its establishment in 2019. Thanks to the increase in corporate members QGIS-NL could become a Large Sustaining Member of QGIS.

This blog post is a translation of an article published in Geo-Info 2024, Issue 1, which was written by Hans van der Kwast and Raymond Nijssen.

Being a Large Sustaining Member allows QGIS-NL to make a substantial contribution to the development and improvement of QGIS. By participating in this program, QGIS-NL contributes to the ongoing growth and development of QGIS as an essential Desktop GIS software for professionals worldwide. As of early 2024, the association counts 100 individual members and 11 corporate members.

What Does a QGIS User Group Do?

Currently, there are 28 QGIS User Groups around the world. You can easily see them on a map by typing "user groups" in the coordinate field in QGIS.

A QGIS user group brings together QGIS users in a country or region to support various activities related to QGIS. This includes organizing user meetings to exchange experiences and learn from each other, coordinating QGIS developments based on local or regional needs, publishing articles in professional journals, and sharing QGIS information on social media and forums.


QGIS-NL organized many interesting activities in 2023. Traditionally, there was the joint New Year's reception with the OSGeo and OpenStreetMap community in January. On March 3rd, QGIS version 3.30 's-Hertogenbosch was released, featuring a Dutch city on the splash screen of many users for the first time. This was no coincidence, as from April 18th to 23rd, 200 QGIS users and creators from 29 countries gathered in the same city for the first QGIS User Conference and Contributor Meeting organized in the Netherlands.

Furthermore, QGIS-NL was present at the GeoBuzz in Amersfoort on June 21st and 22nd, where many QGIS users found us in a cozy tent. On September 14th, QGIS-NL attended FOSS4G-NL in Middelburg, and on November 21st, a user day about QGIS at organizations was organized by members. For this event, we were welcomed in the council chamber of the municipality of Gouda.

In addition to the above activities, a QGIS user group can use the annual membership fees for the development of certain features, to help solve problems, or as a donation to the international QGIS project. That is also what is now possible for QGIS-NL, because there are enough members to contribute to the international QGIS project in addition to the activities.

The Importance of Sustaining Membership

Although QGIS is free to use, this does not mean that it does not need financial support. On the contrary, donations are essential to ensure the continuity and improvement of the software.

The QGIS Sustaining Membership Program is therefore an initiative that offers organizations and individuals the opportunity to support QGIS. The program is designed to ensure the sustainability of QGIS with the help of donations. Because QGIS is open-source software and no licenses need to be purchased, this is an important and necessary source of income. In 2023, the income for QGIS from the Sustaining Membership Program amounted to over 260 thousand euros, which is about 70% of the total budget of QGIS. The Sustaining Membership Program has four levels: Flagship members donate at least 27,000 euros, Large members at least 9,000 euros, Medium members at least 3,000 euros, and Small members at least 500 euros per year. The list of sustaining members and donors can be found here.

QGIS-NL is currently the only Dutch Large Sustaining Member (donations of at least 9,000 euros). There are also 4 Medium Sustaining Members (donations of at least 3,000 euros) and 2 Small Sustaining Members (donations of at least 500 euros) from the Netherlands. Companies and governments that use QGIS can thus contribute financially to QGIS internationally in various ways: by becoming a Sustaining Member, by becoming a corporate member of QGIS-NL, or both.

International Influence of QGIS-NL

In addition to the financial contribution as a Large Sustaining Member, QGIS-NL, like other QGIS user groups, has voting rights. With this, the QGIS User Group Netherlands can represent the interests of the members in decision-making of the international QGIS organization.

Voting members play a crucial role in decision-making in the international QGIS organization. These are usually individuals who have made significant contributions to the QGIS project, for example through code, plugins, documentation, community support, or other significant efforts that benefit the QGIS project. They are responsible for important decisions about the direction of the project so that it aligns with the needs and goals of the community. They have voting rights on various matters, including project improvements, governance issues, and other critical aspects that shape the future of QGIS.

QGIS-NL is therefore more than a collection of GIS professionals; it is a dynamic force that contributes to both the local and international GIS community. The growth in membership, engagement, and status as a Large Sustaining Member emphasize the importance and impact of QGIS-NL nationally and internationally. As QGIS continues to evolve, the role of user groups such as those in the Netherlands will remain crucial in supporting and shaping the future of GIS. You can contribute to this as an individual or company. An individual membership costs 25 euros per year. Corporate membership costs 500 euros per year. In addition, students can become members for just 10 euros per year. You can become a member via https://qgis.nl/.

If you want to know more about QGIS-NL, you can also find us again this year with a stand at GeoBuzz and we contribute to the FOSS4G-NL conference. We also organize QGIS user days, such as a day about QGIS and Python.

GIN is organising a webinar about this publication on 28 March. More information and registration.