Википедиа:Graphics Lab/Resources/QGIS/Create a topographic background

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You already have a GIS file loaded in QGIS, we will now apply to it some nice colors, then output a PNG background for our area of interest and final map.

Step 4: Add some custom colors[вироиш]

Main page : Wikipedia:Graphic Lab/Resources/QGis mapcolor files - for more colormap files

The topographic GIS data you downloaded is by default displayed using a monochromatic palette (mapcolors) going from white to black; however, you have the option of using other colors. You can either load an existing mapcolor file, edit an existing mapcolor file or create your own mapcolors. To do this, you will need to edit the layer's properties.

Please note that per the Wikipedia map conventions, you should use the colors provided for all topographical shading.

Existing Wikipedia color palettes[вироиш]

The QGis mapcolor files page already has some palettes you can copy, save as .qml, and use.

Save your first color style .qml file
✔ Иҷро шуд— section updated (2012/01)

Copy-paste the following color code in an empty, plain text document (using something like Notepad or TextEdit), then save it in ./QGis/Mapcolors/ as Wikicarto_2.0.qml (the palette's name + .qml). We will frequently use it later.

More are available there.

Loading mapcolors[вироиш]

For this, you will be using the Wikicarto_2.0.qml file you created earlier in this tutorial.

In the Layers window > Right click on the layer name > Select Properties : the Layer Properties's window will pop up.
> Symbology tab > Load Style ... at the bottom of the window.
>> Find and select Wikicarto_2.0.qml > Open.
>>> OK. Your map should now be in color!

Editing mapcolors[вироиш]

The Colormap tab with colors already loaded.

If you would like to edit already loaded mapcolors, simply go to the Colormap tab. There, you can add or delete entries by selecting them and clicking the appropriate buttons. You can also edit the Value, Color, and Label fields of any entry by simply double clicking on the field you wish to change. Click Apply to see the changes.

Creating mapcolors[вироиш]

If you would like to create your own colors from scratch—this is advised against for topographical maps, which should follow the map conventions— you can do so by following these steps on a layer which has not had colors loaded onto it:

  1. Access the Layer Properties.
  2. Under the Symbology tab, change Single band properties > Color map from Grayscale to Colormap. This will enable the options in the Colormap tab.
  3. In the Colormap tab, use the Add entry button to add colors. They will all have default values.
  4. Double click on the Value, Color, or Label fields of the entries to change them. For topography, the Value will be the altitude (ex.: 100 for 100m, 250 for 250m, and so on).
  5. Apply or OK to see the changes.

Saving mapcolors[вироиш]

You can save edited or created mapcolors as a style file by clicking Save Style... at the bottom of the Layer Properties window. This will allow you to apply those mapcolors to another map. If you would like to make colors—whether loaded or created—the default colors for the map, click Save As Default. This will allow you to keep editing or loading different colors while having the option to Restore Default Style if you don't like the changes you've made.

Step 5: Add a plugin (100%)[вироиш]

Crystal Clear app clock-orange.svg — concept ok, screenshot welcome (Fetch python plugins' window).

The most convenient way to output a high quality topographic background is to use the SimpleSVG plugin.

Plugin in the repositories

Most plugin are in the repositories.

  1. QGis > Plugins > Fetch python plugins (a window pops up)
  2. > tab "Repositories" > Add 3rd party repositories > ok.
  3. > tab "Plugins" > Filter: [YourKeyWord] > (if you see your plugin: click) > Install plugin

Our important plugins: Shaded relief ; SimpleSvg, Raster Terrain Analysis (under test), OpenLayer (under test).

Plugin not in the repository

Step 6: Output my topographic background[вироиш]

SimpleSVG plugin[вироиш]

Export GIS topographic Raster layers to bitmap file (100%)[вироиш]

✔ Иҷро шуд - Done, awaiting your testing & feedbacks !
Setting to output well coded SVGs.
Акс:QGis SimpleSVG 02 - output bitmap & vector (png).png
What we want is this: a high quality topographic output. With QGis and experience, you can get this in about 5 to 10 minutes.

You are now working with QGis, your GIS data—namely, ETOPO1—and your customized palette. To output your first topographic background, don't use File > Save as Image, which is a simple screenshot. For better quality, use the SimpleSVG plugin.

Install the "SimpleSVG" plugin
QGis (1.7) > Plugins > Fetch Python plugins > (a window pop up)
>>Repositories tab > Add 3rd party repositories
>>Plugins tab > Filter : type "SVG" > "SimpleSVG" plugin appears > select > Install plugin.
Run SimpleSVG plugin (when installed)
QGIS (1.7) > Plugins > Save as SVG > Save as SVG > Choice your folder : a vector file AND a bitmap file are produced.
  1. To give a smooth, gradient-like appearance to the colors, go to Layer > Properties > Colormap > Color interpolation (at the top), and set it to Linear.
  2. By default, the canvas of QGIS (geographic area visible in QGis) will become the area printed out.

Export GIS Vectors & Raster layers to a well coded SVG (100%)[вироиш]

✔ Иҷро шуд - Done, awaiting testing & your feedback !
QGis SimpleSVG 01 - field for items names.png

Install the QGIS plugin named "SVGsimple" from the QGIS repository then you can export GIS layers, with both SVG and raster layers, and with a cleanly coded SVG file and its associated bitmap background.

Which information as item name ?

SVGsimple doesn't natively know which information should be used to name each group or vector item. You have to tell it:

QGIS (1.7) > right-click on a layer > Properties > tab "Labels" > check on "Display label" > Field containing labels > (choose your field, likely 'Name').
Check off "Display label"

SVGsimple will remember the field 'Name' and names the GIS items as such in the SVG. In example the GIS item with the field 'name' being 'Amazon river' in QGIS will now become the .xml/.svg item 'Amazon river' in Inkscape.

Export as SVG
QGIS (1.7) > Plugins > Save as SVG > Save as SVG > Choose the path > Save > ok.

An clean .svg file and .png background are produced, thus providing both the raster and vector layers.

Inkscape works!

It is now up to you and Inkscape to change the style of each svg group / item, and to add further content (icons, labels, legend, etc.)

Convert GIS Raster layer to true Vector layer (polygons) (0%)[вироиш]

ClockC → waiting for a volunteer

Concept: Use an elevation GIS file, a discrete black & white colormap, and the Print composer to output one 1500px/1500px black & white png for each altitude (0m, +200m, +500m, etc, name the png accordingly!). This by a cycle such as 1. editing the map color, 2. actualizing the Print composer, 3. outputting the new png. Then use Inkscape to vectorize : load all png, align them, vectorize each using 2 colors + delete background. Color each vector polygon level (0m, 200m, ...) as need.


QGis can convert raster polygons into vector polygons (raster > polygonizer). It does contours too, which have no fill, and so you must use vector > geometry > lines to polygons in order to fill them up.

QGis cycles
Inkscape cycles



The table above has links to various tutorials and resources which can help in the creation of Wikipedia maps from digital georeferenced data (GIS).