Map Decorations in Context

“A map is a collection of map elements, the most common map elements include the map frame with map layers, a scale bar, north arrow, title, descriptive text, and legend. ”

Map decorations allow users to add some of the basic elements of maps. The decorations are limited in terms of placement options and other finer details which are available in map composer. In map decorations, the elements available to include are the grid, the copyright label, the north arrow and the scale bar. Map decorations provide a simplified user interface to adding elements of maps than the whole process of making maps in QGIS. In this module, we explore how to do map decorations and build upon this knowledge in map composer

You try:

Goal: To explore map decorations

  • Load the layer from the exercise data.
  • Change the projection of the map to EPSG:3857
  • Zoom to the full extent of the layer.
  • Symbolise the loaded layer to make it look nice.
  • Navigate to View Menu > Decorations
  • Add the decoration according to the specification below. Also, include other elements even if they are not specified below.
  • Navigate to Project Menu > Import/Export and export your map as a PDF or Image

Name Expectation

Grid

X and Y interval

100000

Line Symbol Width

0.16

Scale Bar

Bar Style

Ticks Up

Fill colour

#ff0000

North Arrow

SVG

Custom SVG

Other Settings

Choose as desired

More about maps decorations and maps

The common elements of a map are legend, title, north arrow, scale, map credits. Other elements such as grid, overview map and borders can be added to maps to aid the viewer. When making a map the layer symbology should look nice so that it can portray a message to the person reading the map. The map decorations in QGIS provide users with an easy view to make simple maps with the basic elements of maps. In order to make sophisticated map users need to use the map composer which provides a lot of options and which can be customisable easily. In this module, we played with map decoration adding the basic elements and exporting our map into different formats.

Check your knowledge:

  1. Can you use the scale to make measurement from a map:
    1. Yes
    2. No
  2. Is it possible to add a legend whilst using map decorations:
    1. Yes
    2. No
  3. Which of the following statement about map decorations is false:
    1. Map decorations and map composer are identical in QGIS
    2. Map decoration provide a simplified user interface for adding map elements
    3. Legends are not listed as map decoration items

Further reading:

Click here to download the sample data for the lesson.