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8. Map Production

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Hi, my name is Sibongile. Welcome to the eighth topic in our Gentle introduction to GIS. In this screencast, we will give you a basic introduction... ... to the concept of map production. We will show you how to create a simple map. Map production is the process of arranging spatial information on a sheet of paper. You should be able to understand the information on a map just by looking at it. Maps are often used in presentations and reports. Map production tools are an important part of Geographical Information Systems. In this screencast, we will show you how map production works using QGIS. Let's take a closer look! Map production in QGIS is carried out using the Print composer. You can find the 'Print composer' Icon in the toolbar. Today, we will create a map for visitors to ... ... an area in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. The first step is to load some vector layers. To do this, click on the 'Add vector layer' icon in the toolbar. Now look in the 'Local' folder which is inside the 'gisdata' folder. You will find many files listed in this folder. First let's add the layer '50k_contours.shp' – which is ... ... a polyline layer containing contour lines. Click the '50k_contours' name and then click open. The layer will be added to the map view. Now repeat the process for the following layers: ... … ‘50k_roads’ … ... '50k_rivers' ... ... '50k_inlandwater' ... ... 'tourism_polys' ... ... 'tourism_lines' ... ... 'tourism_points'. You should now have a nice looking collection of layers in the map view. Now we can start the print composer tool to make a map! Click on the 'Print Composer' icon in the toolbar. Now click on the 'Zoom Full' Icon, in the print composer dialog. Next, click on 'Add new map'... ... and draw a rectangle for the map body, covering the whole map area. Select 'Cache' to preview your map. Now we need to add a north area arrow. How do we do this? First, Click on 'Add Image'. Then, place the empty image window by clicking in the lower left corner. In the 'Item' tab on the right, click browse ... ... and then choose the image in: ... c:\program files\ Quantum GIS\images\north_arrows\ And choose default.png Now that your map has a north arrow, what we need to add is a title. This way the viewer will know what the map is all about. To do this, we click on the 'Add new label' icon. Then click on the map where we want the label to appear. Then enter the title name, for example: 'Hiking Trail'. We can change the appearance of the font ... ... so that the name stands out and is easy to read. Click on the 'font pattern'. Let us use the font 'Arial Black'. ... and for size a nice big '36'. Now that we have a nice looking title, we can place it on top of the map. We do this by dragging the box to where we think it will look best. Another important element in map production is the legend. To add a legend, Click on 'Add new vect legend' ... ... and place the window with all the layer items in the lower right corner. Finally, you will remember that all good maps have a scale bar! To add a scale bar, click on the 'Add new scalebar' icon ... ...and place it at the bottom of the map. Then, in the 'Item' tab on the right side define: ... ... 'Segment Size': 0.01 ... ... 'Map units': 0.01 ... ... 'Unit Label': degree ... Your map is nearly finished now. The last thing we will do is to export our map as an image. To save an image, click on the 'Export as Image' icon. In the save dialog, give a name for your image: 'trailmap.png' ... ... and then click "save". Now that your map is saved, you can display the result with an image viewer. You can also give the image to other people – or print it out! Congratulations! You have made your first map! With some practice, you will soon be able to create ... ... new, beautiful and informative maps! In the next screencast we will look at Spatial Analysis. See you next time!

Video Details

Duration: 11 minutes and 13 seconds
Country: South Africa
Language: English
Producer: Chief Directorate: Spatial Planning & Information, Department of Land Affairs, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Views: 435
Posted by: giacomo on Mar 30, 2010

Understanding map production for spatial data. Map production is the process of arranging map elements on a sheet of paper in a way, that even without many words a layperson understands what it is all about. Maps are very often produced for presentations and reports where the audience or reader is a politician, citizen or a learner with no professional background in GIS. Because of this, map has to be most effective in communicating spatial information. In this worksheet we explore the common elements of a map and how they can be combined to produce a pleasing product.

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