Creating Maps with QGIS. A comprehensive guide to the best… | by Jake Teo | Dec, 2023

A comprehensive guide to the best open-source GIS software

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

More than 10 years when I started my data career as a GIS (Geographic Information System) analyst, two pieces of do-it-all GIS software were prominent. 10 years later, it is still the same two software. ArcGIS by ERSI is by far the dominant king, which is very easy to use with many features and an excellent Python library that came with it. However, it costs money and only works on Windows.

QGIS (Quantum GIS) on the other hand is the best open-source alternative. It ships to most operating systems and has a very active open-source community. You won’t do wrong committing to either software, but as I went deeper into my programming career, using Windows became more difficult, and I generally tried to avoid enterprise software to avoid any procurement administrative work. Hence I deviate more towards QGIS now.

QGIS logo. (CC BY-SA)

The below tutorial is shown in QGIS 3.34 Prizren and may differ slightly in previous and future versions.

Keyboard Shortcuts
Add a Base Map
Create a New Layer
Edit a Feature
Using the Toolbox
The Field Calculator
Adding Labels
Map Themes
Map Layout

At the end of this walkthrough, you will learn how to make a map like this, which I will use for a forest survey.

What you will learn from this post. (Created by author)

There are a few commonly used actions whereby implementing keyboard shortcuts that will make your life easier. I will customise them so they are easier to reach. This might seem unimportant, but trust me, it just optimises everything when you want to move and…

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