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Labeling map QGIS (or other program reccommendation)

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#1
lilly

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I am working on a project that includes mapping the data on the county level, using QGIS. I obtained the shapefile from the Tiger website. However, the labeling of the counties does not look 'nice' (example in the attachment).

I wonder if there is a shapefile that comes with the label formatted nicely like this one:
http://quickfacts.ce...fornia_map.html
, or if there's a software that automate the label formatting process so my map could look like the example?I would really appreciate your help.

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#2
Sab

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Are you using the new labeling tool (main menu > Layer > Labeling) or from Shapefile properties?

#3
Hans van der Maarel

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I wonder if there is a shapefile that comes with the label formatted nicely like this one:
http://quickfacts.ce...fornia_map.html


Actually, shapefiles don't support text labels, so what you see is software and/or a human cartographer labelling features based on attributes.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#4
Charles Syrett

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You may be surprised at how quickly and easily you can do this by hand. Really. Probably less than an hour. B)

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com

#5
lilly

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Hi,
Thank you for your suggestion. Yes, I have even tried the 'Advanced' Labeling option, but since the 'county' attribute is only a text, there's nothing I can change about it except for the size/buffering. If I want to make it multi-lined, I'd have to insert '/n' manually into the county name field.

Are you using the new labeling tool (main menu > Layer > Labeling) or from Shapefile properties?



#6
lilly

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Hi Hans,

Do you know if I can use another form of 'shapefile' that has nicely formatted labels (I'd be willing to purchase it)? Yes, I was afraid I will have to resort to buying MapText.

I wonder if there is a shapefile that comes with the label formatted nicely like this one:
http://quickfacts.ce...fornia_map.html


Actually, shapefiles don't support text labels, so what you see is software and/or a human cartographer labelling features based on attributes.



#7
lilly

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Hi Charles,

I really try not to do it by hand, since I will have to create this for several states (TX has >200 counties), several times for updated data :( . But thank you for your answer :) !


You may be surprised at how quickly and easily you can do this by hand. Really. Probably less than an hour. B)

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com



#8
Charles Syrett

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Hi Charles,
I really try not to do it by hand, since I will have to create this for several states (TX has >200 counties), several times for updated data :( . But thank you for your answer :) !


Street names on a dense street map can be placed by hand at a rate of 120 per hour. County names would be faster. Text placement apps are expensive, and you have to set up placement rules, and then check everything and tweak. I tested it once (on a street map) and found that manual placement is still faster and better. I'm sure that a business case could be made for automated text placement in certain situations, such as many thousands of labels with very simple rules and allowance for medium to low quality in the result. I'm not sure that your situation is like that, though.

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com

#9
Hans van der Maarel

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Do you know if I can use another form of 'shapefile' that has nicely formatted labels (I'd be willing to purchase it)? Yes, I was afraid I will have to resort to buying MapText.


There's other file formats that do support text to a certain degree, but I can't think of a reason why you should have to buy a dataset that has nicely formatted labels if you're only going to do counties (if there even is one available).

Your comment regarding updates piqued my interest, because US counties are not known to change all that often, once you've labelled them you can simply reuse those labels all the time. In order to make a better suggestion, I think it would help us if you could elaborate a bit more about the kind of maps you're making and exactly what is going to be updated over time.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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