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QGIS is a powerful, user friendly, free and Open Source Geographic Information System (GIS). It runs on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Unix, and Android and supports numerous vector, raster, and database formats and functionalities.

At L ~ P : Archaeology we exclusively use QGIS for all our GIS requirements and have developed a number of plugins to support archaeological projects and to integrate with ARK Database. We have released some of these plugins for all archaeologists to benefit from and will release more over time.

Currently these plugins are hosted in our beta testing repository and are marked as experimental, but once stable will be submitted to the main QGIS repository. You are welcome to try out these plugins and to provide feedback, but please be aware that they are in beta and so may still have some bugs. To provide feedback, either open an issue on the plugin's GitHub issue tracker, or email ark@lparchaeology.com.


Development of these plugins is sponsored by L ~ P : Archaeology using the Free Software philosophy and Open Source development methodologies. All of the code is developed in the open on GitHub and contributions from other interested parties are always welcome. If you would like to commission or sponsor development of new features or plugins then please contact us.


The plugins offered here are in beta and no warranty or support is offered for them. That said, we are keen to receive feedback on the plugins and will respond as best we can. We plan to set up appropriate community support channels in the future. In the meantime, you can raise issues via the appropriate GitHub page, or email us at ark@lparchaeology.com.


All L ~ P : Archaeology plugins are developed under the GPL2 licence, the same as QGIS itself and all plugins in the main QGIS repository. The GPL allows you to freely use and modify the plugin as you wish, provided you share with the community any improvements to the code you might distribute. Share and share alike, it's only fair.


To install the plugins you need to add the L ~ P : Archaeology QGIS Plugins repository in your QGIS plugins settings.

  • From the Plugins menu choose Manage and Install Plugins
  • In the Plugins window choose the Settings tab
  • Select the Show also experimental plugins option
  • Select the Add... button
  • Add the new repository details with the name ARK Plugins and a URL of https://plugins.lparchaeology.com/qgis/plugins.xml
  • After clicking OK the repository will be loaded and the new plugins will be listed in the New tab

The Plugins Settings dialog should look similar to this before adding the ARK repository:

QGIS Plugin Settings

The Repository Details dialog should look similar to this:

QGIS Repository Settings

Available Plugins

The following plugins are currently available in the repository.

ARK Clone

A QGIS Plugin to clone existing vector layers including styles as shapefiles or temporary memory layers.

This plugin adds an option to the legend context menu and the main vector menu to clone the current layer. Users can choose to clone just the layer structure, just the selected features, or all the features.

Development of ARK Clone is hosted on GitHub at https://github.com/lparchaeology/ArkClone. You can open an issue at https://github.com/lparchaeology/ArkClone/issues, or email ark@lparchaeology.com.

ARK Grid

A QGIS Plugin to create and work with local site grids as commonly used in archaeology.

A grid wizard allows you to create grids from two known points, or from a known origin and baseline. Interactive tools are provided to convert between local coordinates and map coordinates.

ARK Grid Panel

Detailed documentation can be found on the ARK Grid page.

Development of ARK Grid is hosted on GitHub at https://github.com/lparchaeology/ArkGrid. You can open an issue at https://github.com/lparchaeology/ArkGrid/issues, or email ark@lparchaeology.com.

Future Plugins

The following plugins are currently under development.

ARK Snapping

A QGIS Plugin to speed-up snapping configuration.

This plugin is currently in alpha and will be released as beta shortly.

Main Toolbar buttons allow you to quickly switch between All Layers, Current Layer, and Selected Layers, and to toggle Intersection Snapping and Topological Editing:

ARK Snapping Toolbar Buttons

When in Selected Layers mode, the Layer Context Menu allows you to configure snapping on the selected layers.

ARK Snapping Layer Context Menu

In Selected Layers mode, a new panel will list all selected layers and allow for more detailed configuration. This has yet to be implemented.

A custom version of the panel is implemented in ARK Spatial, the action buttons for each layer will be changed to a list of layer names, with buttons to add/remove available layers.

ARK Snapping Layer Panel

ARK Spatial

A QGIS Plugin to record and query archaeological spatial data.

This plugin is currently in alpha and will be released as beta shortly.

Features include:

  • Simplified geo-referencing of permatrace to a site grid or baseline
  • Rapid digitising of archaeological plans and sections using MoLAS drawing conventions
  • Powerful query and filter tools working at Context level
  • Post-excavation checking workflow and reports
  • Live data link to an ARK Database

ARK Spatial

ARK Georeferencer

A QGIS Plugin to georeference permatrace to a site grid.

This plugin is currently part of ARK Spatial but may be released as a separate plugin.

ARK Georeferencer

Library for Plugin Developers

Many common functions and classes needed in the development of QGIS plugins have been aggregated into a common library libarkqgis that is reused by all our plugins. Other plugin developers may find this library useful, although we do not provide a stable API guarantee as yet or a even a stable release branch.