In this post, I am working with QGIS, following along the tutorial from the Programming Historian to create and edit a map of Prince Edward Island.

Upon opening a new project, the first task was to set the Coordinate Reference System (CRS) to the specifics of Prince Edward Island. This was done in the CRS tab in Project Properties. 

Project Properties window for the selecting of a Coordinate Reference System

Next was to input the coastlines from a shapefile having that information by adding it as a vector layer as shown below. By default, QGIS gives this a background fill, which was removed double clicking the coastline entry in the layers pane, thereby opening the layer properties window where the symbology involving such aspects of appearance as fills and outlines can be customized. The background was removed by changing the stroke color of the simple fill to “No Brush.”

Prince Edward Island’s hydro-network was entered as the next vector layer, and the lines changed to be blue befitting waterways.

Then I added the shapefile showing the landuse of Prince Edward Isalnd, e.g. where forests, wetlands, developed areas, etc. are, according to the 1935 inventory of the region on which the shapefile is based. The editing of symbology was more complicated here, so that the different categories would be distinguished in shades of green. From the symbology tab of the layer properties, I first had to select categorized instead of the default “single symbol,” then set the value to be categorized to “landuse,” and select the color ramp to the gradient of greens. 

using categorized option to configure the land-use vector layer

In order to remove the outlines between land sections, I selected “configure symbol for the symbol menu, and changed the stroke style of the simple fill to “No Pen.” 

map showing coastlines, hydro-network, and land-use of PEI.

Highways were added in the same way, again using the “categorized” option to make primary and secondary roads appear differently. 

Placenames followed, and were edited under the “Labels” tab of the Layer Properties window. A buffer was added so the names of cities would be legible against other things in the map. 

editing window for place name labels

Finally a raster layer was added, in much the same was vector layers were. This map image was then moved behind the other layers and the coastlines were bolded to finish the lesson.

final map of PEI made in QGIS
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