Map design in QGIS

During the Applied Cartography course, we shortly stopped using ArcGIS Pro and were introduced to QGIS for a quick exercise. The exercise was mainly to get us acquainted with the interface of the free and open-source alternative. 

Specifically, the task was to use QGIS to create a reference map of a country of my own choice. The map had to display cultural features such as administrative boundaries and names, and physical features such as lakes and rivers. In addition, the map had to include a shaded relief as a basemap layer to portray elevation variations across your country (I chose Denmark for some strange reason). I also needed to create an overview map to show the location of my country in relation to neighboring countries.

In my map, I chose to show in a simple, and almost cartoonish way, the extent of Denmark's railway network and how it differs between its 5 regions: Hovedstaden, Midtjylland, Nordjylland, Sjælland, and Sydmark.

All of the landmass seen on the map has a shaded relief, but unsurprisingly, Denmark's highest peak of 147m, Himmelbjerget (eng. "The Sky Mountain" or "The Mountain of Heaven"), was unable to stand out. Although the country may be flat, a bit of bumps here and there did provide some depth to the whole map. In addition to this, drop shadows were also used for depth. Lastly, since QGIS wasn't always cooperative and at times quite glitchy, quite some post-processing went into the final layout of the map, especially with regard to creating the labels and legend list.

This introduction to QGIS firmly solidified my liking of ArcGIS Pro.