Last time we downloaded and configured the software and data sources we needed to start adding data to the project. If you missed it, just visit Getting Started with GeoForst Lite.
If your familiar with GIS, this post won’t be worth much, but skimming through will get you familiar with some of the datasets. In this post we are focusing on adding data to the Land_Area table which acts as a container for properties.
Alternately, if you aren’t familiar with GIS, this will give you enough knowledge to add a property to the map. There are links to some QGIS tutorials in the post that are worth visiting.
There are a few things that your should have or know before you start, if possible. Here are a few that may help you on your project:
- The ability to find your property on a map.
- A platt map, or some other map of the boundaries and corners of your property.
- Intimate knowledge of your land.
Adding a property
The first thing we want to do is add the boundary of your property, so we have an area to work within. Before we do that we need to find the property somehow in the map. This is where the osmSearch plugin will help. To make the osmSearch panel visible go to the View menu View > Panel > osmSearch. You can dock this anywhere you like, or not, your choice.
For this turn on the Google Physical layer that we added through the OpenLayers plugin and type in the city and state of the location into the osmSearch panel and hit Search. The location will then appear in the results field. Clicking on the result will pan you to the location you chose. Unfortunately it will not zoom, so you’ll need to choose an appropriate scale, 1:500,000 is a good place to start.
Note: osmSearch will highlight the feature you searched for in red, which can be annoying once you’ve zoomed in to the location. Dismiss it by clicking the “x” in the right hand corner of the search text box.
At this point you should be able to find your property and zoom into so that the entire property is just visible. You probably want to turn off the Google Physical layer and turn on the Bing Aerial layer once you start zooming in, you’ll have to feel that transition out for yourself.
Adding a Property to the Map
Next will will edit the layer named “Land Areas” to add the property boundary. To do this select the layer, right click on it, and select toggle editing. At this point the layer is ready for editing.
Click on the add feature button on the editing toolbar and begin delineating your property by digitizing the boundaries. For more information on editing layers in QGIS, visit digitizing an existing layer.
Save the project before you close down QGIS and next post we will add some forest stands.