Research for Global Development

Quantum Leaping forward with QGIS


Overcame two sticky-wickets with QGIS, the free and open-source desktop GIS software package.

 

Sticky Wicket Number One

Sometimes the QGIS labeling engine doesn’t get your map labels quite right and you want to do some minor tweaking.  Unfortunately the SVG and PDF vector outputs from QGIS do not leave editable text, rather vector text outlines, making subsequent editing in Inkscape or Adobe Illustrator problematic.

Today I figured out how to edit labels directly in QGIS.

Step 1.

Have your map project loaded with your GIS dataset and have enabled labeling using the Layer labeling settings (nice little ABC icon in QGIS).

Step 2.

Add two new columns (fields) labeled x and y (or some such) to your GIS dataset and ensure that they are REAL (double) as a data type.

Step 3.

Back in the Layer labeling settings (ABC icon), ensure that the X Coordinate and Y coordinate options under the “Data defined settings tab” point at the two new columns you created.

Step 4.

Toggle on editing to edit your data layer.  Click the “Move Label” button which should now be active rather than grayed out.

Step 5.

Move your labels around and change them to your heart’s content.

(For more information, see this helpful StackExchange post)

Sticky Wicket Number Two

If you have joined additional data to your GIS data (say, in order to make a thematic choropleth map), it is important that you have saved this out as a complete spatial dataset before attempting to style (i.e. graduated color scaling).  Then the ranges and labels should auto-populate, rather than having to enter them manually.

Below is the result of today’s discoveries.  For more on our research on Tanzania, see AudienceScapes.

 

InterMedia

Quantum Leaping forward with QGIS


Overcame two sticky-wickets with QGIS, the free and open-source desktop GIS software package.

 

Sticky Wicket Number One

Sometimes the QGIS labeling engine doesn’t get your map labels quite right and you want to do some minor tweaking.  Unfortunately the SVG and PDF vector outputs from QGIS do not leave editable text, rather vector text outlines, making subsequent editing in Inkscape or Adobe Illustrator problematic.

Today I figured out how to edit labels directly in QGIS.

Step 1.

Have your map project loaded with your GIS dataset and have enabled labeling using the Layer labeling settings (nice little ABC icon in QGIS).

Step 2.

Add two new columns (fields) labeled x and y (or some such) to your GIS dataset and ensure that they are REAL (double) as a data type.

Step 3.

Back in the Layer labeling settings (ABC icon), ensure that the X Coordinate and Y coordinate options under the “Data defined settings tab” point at the two new columns you created.

Step 4.

Toggle on editing to edit your data layer.  Click the “Move Label” button which should now be active rather than grayed out.

Step 5.

Move your labels around and change them to your heart’s content.

(For more information, see this helpful StackExchange post)

Sticky Wicket Number Two

If you have joined additional data to your GIS data (say, in order to make a thematic choropleth map), it is important that you have saved this out as a complete spatial dataset before attempting to style (i.e. graduated color scaling).  Then the ranges and labels should auto-populate, rather than having to enter them manually.

Below is the result of today’s discoveries.  For more on our research on Tanzania, see AudienceScapes.

 

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