QGIS is a free and open source geographic information system (GIS) that allows you to create, edit, visualize, analyze and publish geospatial information. QGIS has a powerful tool called Print Composer that allows you to take your GIS layers and package them to create maps with standard map elements like map inset, grids, north arrow, scale bar and labels.
QGIS Map Design is a book by Anita Graser and Gretchen N. Peterson that provides step-by-step instructions for creating beautiful maps using QGIS. The book covers topics such as data preparation, symbology, labeling, layout, and exporting. You can download QGIS Map Design PDF from this link.
In this article, we will show you how to create a map of Japan using QGIS Map Design as a guide. You will learn how to:
Apply graduated symbol sizes to show population density
Change the projection to enhance the appearance of the map
Add a map inset to show the location of Japan in Asia
Add grids, north arrow, scale bar and labels to the map
Export the map as a PDF file
Let's get started!
Step 1: Download and install QGIS
If you don't have QGIS installed on your computer, you can download it from the official website. QGIS is available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Android. Follow the instructions on the website to install QGIS on your system.
Step 2: Download and unzip the data
The data for this tutorial is provided by Natural Earth, a public domain map dataset. You can download the data from this link. You will need the following files:
Unzip the files and save them in a folder on your computer.
Step 3: Load the data into QGIS
Open QGIS and click on the Add Vector Layer button on the left side of the toolbar. Browse to the folder where you saved the data and select ne_10m_admin_0_countries.shp. Click Open.
You should see a map of the world with country boundaries. Right-click on the layer name in the Layers panel and select Zoom to Layer.
Repeat the same process to add ne_10m_populated_places.shp and ne_10m_rivers_lake_centerlines.shp to QGIS. You should see something like this:
![Map of the world with country boundaries, populated places and rivers](https://i.imgur.com/9lX4Z4f.png)
Step 4: Apply graduated symbol sizes to show population density
We want to show the population density of Japan using graduated symbol sizes. To do this, we need to filter out all the other countries except Japan from ne_10m_admin_0_countries layer.
Right-click on ne_10m_admin_0_countries layer and select Filter. In the Query Builder window, type \"NAME = 'Japan'\" (without quotes) in the Provider specific filter expression box. Click OK.
![Query Builder window with filter expression](https://i.imgur.com/8Yy3w7y.png)
You should see only Japan on the map. Right-click on ne_10m_admin_0_countries layer again and select Properties. In the Layer Properties window, click on Symbology on the left side. Select Graduated from the drop-down menu next to Render type.
![Layer Properties window with Graduated symbology](https://i.imgur.com/6Zn6nZ 061ffe29dd