symbols in qgis

Custom Icons and Symbols in QGIS

Icons and symbols are essential components of spatial data visualization in GIS. Symbols in QGIS are an essential component of spatial data visualization. This allows users to represent data in a visually appealing and informative way. QGIS provides a wide range of pre-defined symbols and icons, enabling users to create customized maps that effectively communicate complex spatial information.

In QGIS, users create symbols to represent geographic features like points, lines, and polygons. They combine shapes, colours, and sizes to make symbols. Users can access pre-defined symbols by selecting the ‘Symbol’ tab. They can customize symbols based on their preferences.

symbols in qgis
Sample symbols in QGIS

Point symbols represent landmarks, schools, or hospitals. For example, a hospital symbol can be a red cross, with the size of the symbol corresponding to the hospital’s importance. Line symbols represent roads, rivers, or railroads. For example, a road feature can be a dashed line with the colour corresponding to the road type. Polygon symbols represent land-use categories, administrative boundaries, or water bodies. For example, a water body can be a blue fill colour, with the boundary corresponding to its shape.

Choosing the right symbols is crucial for effective spatial data visualization. Symbols can significantly impact how well users communicate information. Users should consider their audience’s needs and preferences when choosing symbols. Consistency in symbol use is also important for creating a cohesive visualization that is easier to understand.

Remember, too much detail can clutter the map and make it harder to read, while too little detail can make the map appear bland. Users must find a balance between simplicity and clarity when choosing symbols.

icons and symbols in qgis
Custom symbols in QGIS

Here are some scenarios and examples of using symbols in QGIS:

  • Point symbols represent point features such as landmarks, schools, or hospitals. A red cross symbol can represent a hospital feature, with the size of the symbol indicating the importance of the hospital.
  • Line symbols represent line features such as roads, rivers, or railroads. A dashed line symbol can represent a road feature, with the colour of the symbol corresponding to the type of road.
  • Polygon symbols represent polygon features such as land-use categories, administrative boundaries, or water bodies. A blue fill colour symbol can represent a water body feature, with the boundary of the symbol matching the shape of the water body.

To demonstrate how to load more icons and symbols in QGIS, I have recorded the video below.

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Wanjohi Kibui

Passionate about harnessing the power of geospatial technology to create innovative solutions, I'm a GIS Consultant and Developer dedicated to building cutting-edge geospatial applications. With a keen eye for spatial analysis and a knack for problem-solving, I specialize in crafting solutions that seamlessly integrate technology and geography.

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