Adding a map layer in QGIS

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This article provides the basic steps required to add a map layer to a QGIS project.

  • 1. Click on the Add Raster Layer icon.
  • 2. Browse to the folder qgis_sample_data/raster/, select the ERDAS IMG file landcover.img and click [Open].
  • 3. If the file is not listed, check if the Files of type combo box at the bottom of the dialog is set on the right type, in this case “Erdas Imagine Images (*.img, *.IMG)”.
  • 4. Now click on the Add Vector Layer icon.
  • 5. File should be selected as Source Type in the new Add vector layer dialog. Now click [Browse] to select the vector layer.
  • 6. Browse to the folder qgis_sample_data/gml/, select ‘Geography Markup Language [GML] [OGR] (.gml,.GML)’ from the Filter combo box, then select the GML file lakes.gml and click [Open]. In the Add vector layer dialog, click [OK]. The Coordinate Reference System Selector dialog opens with NAD27 / Alaska Alberts selected, click [OK].
  • 7. Zoom in a bit to your favourite area with some lakes.
  • 8. Double click the lakes layer in the map legend to open the Properties dialog.
  • 9. Click on the Style tab and select a blue as fill color.
  • 10. Click on the Labels tab and check the Label this layer with checkbox to enable labelling. Choose the “NAMES” field as the field containing labels.
  • 11. To improve readability of labels, you can add a white buffer around them by clicking “Buffer” in the list on the left, checking Draw text buffer and choosing 3 as buffer size.
  • 12. Click [Apply]. Check if the result looks good, and finally click [OK].