Creating Maps

Grasping the geography of Israel, the levant and surrounding regions is important, but something I find elusive. It really helps me to have, or create, good maps.

I recently had reason to put some maps together for my PhD, and will likely do so again in future when teaching.

Here’s some entirely free resources that can be used to create professional print-worthy maps:

  • QGIS is a Geographical Information System. You can use it to mark data points, and then output in a variety of ways to be used online or in print. It is open source, so entirely free, and you’re not therefore dependent on a web connection to make it work. I installed it in my Mac—which was a bit of a chore. You can see the installation instructions for all platforms here. But on my MacBook Pro High Sierra I found I needed to do the following:
    • Install Python 3.6 from python.org NB: not Python 3.7, and not installed via Homebrew. I made these errors at first and rolling back from them was… time consuming.
    • Download the QGIS installation dmg.
    • Install GDAL from the dmg—this is where I got stuck, as because I installed the wrong Python (twice!), I had to remove the GDAL installation by hand twice, which was non-trivial.
    • Install QGIS from the dmg—if you have any problems with the Python installation, you won’t get past a “QGIS needs Python 3.6” warning. But once you’re there, you’ve got an amazing piece of software.
  • Natural Earth is public domain high quality map data to use with QGIS produced by volunteers. The project is supported by the North American Cartographic Information Society.
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This work by pete is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International