Education QGIS Tutorials

QGIS Tutorials


These tutorials pair with the open-source book Mapping for a Sustainable World. The book teaches principles of cartography through the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Mapping for a Sustainable World was developed as a collaboration between the United Nations and the International Cartographic Association with the University of Wisconsin Cartography Lab supporting creation of the book layout and all maps and graphics through National Science Foundation CAREER Grant #1555267.

All tutorials demonstrate map design using the open access mapping software QGIS. Thus, the objective of these tutorials is to enhance the cartographic design thinking described in Mapping for a Sustainable World with technical map software training, putting concepts into practice.

The tutorials were developed by Lily Houtman and Robert E. Roth of the University Wisconsin Cartography Lab under NSF #1555267 and are freely available for personal or classroom/workshop use following a CC BY-NC license.

How to Use These Tutorials

There are three sets of tutorials that follow the technical design and implementation of a choropleth, proportional symbol, and nominal map from Mapping for a Sustainable World. The tutorials are meant to be created sequentially and use a number 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, etc., to indicate the sequence.

The tutorials are meant to enhance but not replicate information from Mapping for a Sustainable World. Keywords from Mapping for a Sustainable World use bold and italics and are followed with the definition from the glossary offset witha reference to the relevant book section (Note: Mapping for a Sustainable World uses British English).

Table of Contents


Tutorial 1 - Choropleth Map

1.1 Overview and Project Planning
1.2 Download QGIS
1.3 Download Attribute and Location Data
1.4 Clean Attribute Data
1.5 Create a Project and Set the Projection
1.6 Add and Join the Attribute Data
1.7 Edit the Attribute Data
1.8 Classify Attributes
1.9 Visual Accenting
1.10 Labels and Leader Lines
1.11 Add Elements to the Layout View
1.12 Export the Map
1.13 Advanced Layout Styling

Tutorial 2 - Proportional Symbol Map

2.1 Overview and Setup
2.2 Project Map and Add Data
2.3 Extract European Countries and Centroids
2.4 Set Proportional Symbols
2.5 Adjust Style
2.6 Create the Legend
2.7 Advanced Layout Styling

Tutorial 3 - Nominal Map

3.1 Overview and Setup
3.2 Select and Style Data
3.3 Advanced Styling

Tutorial 4 - Future Directions

4.1 Recommendations on Gathering Data
4.2 Recommendations for Classroom Use