How to create a vintage map in QGIS

Hello world!! In this post you are going to take a look how to create vintage maps. Everyone  would like to have one, so why shouldn’t you make it on your own? At first you will need to download QGIS from the official site. It’s for all OS’s (Linux, Windows, Mac OS). QGIS is a free and open source GIS.

After you download QGIS, install it and take a look on the menu. In this tutorial we are going to use simple GIS and styling skills to create a simple vintage map.

My QGIS version is 2.14 Essen on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. So let’s start!!!

First of all, we have to download some data. In this article I will use some of the Natural Earth’s data. Also in the site’s menu you can find the Data & Sources page that contains useful links.

1:10m Cultural Vector Data from Natural Earth

Besides you must download some more useful images for an old map like a map compass, some ships and a background. The preferred format is either an *.png image format or a *.svg format.

Here are some searches I did:

Now, after downloading some useful data let’s start mapping!! Open QGIS!!

QGIS’s opening!!

Click on top-left the “New” button and a new project will start. I suggest to you to create a folder and drop all the downloaded data so you shouldn’t be confused finding the paths that the data are saved.

How to create a new project

There are two types of datasets “vector” and “raster“. In this case we are going to use both. To open vector data you click on the  QGIS_Vector  button, locate the downloaded vector data and open them.

How to open vector files

Now we have to open the raster data, that is going to be our background. To do that we have to georeference the background image. Click on the “Plugins” tab –> “Manage and Install Plugins” and search for Georeferencer GDAL. If it’s not installed, install it.

How to install Georeferencer GDAL
Georeferencer opened

Now click on “Raster” menu tab –> “Georeferencer” –> Georeferencer. Then on the QGIS_Raster  button (open raster) and load the background image.

Georeferencer GDAL opened
How to georeference an image 0

Create at least four points.

How to georeference an image 1


How to georeference an image 2

Now we have to set a transform, so click on the  Set_transform button and select:

Setting an transformation type
The result of the georeference

Lets make some styling updates to our map. Bellow are some suggestions I recommend.

Styling volume 0!

Some more styling and important updates!!!

Styling volume 1!

And this is our GIS map!!

GIS vintage map

Now we have to print the map and add some more elements like a map compass, some labels and ships.

Click on the menu –> “Project” –> “New Print Composer”

New Print Composer’s Menu

And here are the results:

I hope you enjoy it!! Let me know..


2 thoughts on “How to create a vintage map in QGIS

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