The event visualisation plugin for QGIS is a way of adding tabular geographic data to QGIS in a similar way to the “add XY data from table” option in ArcGIS. I’ve only tried the windows version so far but it is cross-platform.
You download it from here
Extract the zip file and move the files to the following locations:
Copy plugins/libevis.dll to C:\Program Files\Quantum GIS\plugins
Copy the imageformats folder to C:\Program Files\Quantum GIS
Copy the sqldrivers folder to C:\Program Files\Quantum GIS
Ensure the plugin is installed and activated by checking plugins\plugin manager in QGIS, and ticking the checkbox next to EVIS. If it is not present then you haven’t installed it correctly. In plugins/eVIS choose the data connection option. Choose access as the database type, and browse to the database in the database name box. Hit the “connect” button to test the connection. In the SQL query tab, type the SQL query that defines the data that you want. If you don’t know how to write SQL, make the query in access and choose the SQL View, then copy the query into QGIS. If you want to display the data from one table, then the syntax is “select * from your_table”. Once you have the right query, hit the “run query” button. Choose a name for your layer, and choose the fields that represent the x and y coordinates for your data. Click “OK” to see the data displayed on the map