The first step before any map is created is to import the data into the GIS Project Environment.
We’ve provided you with the data that we have used in this tutorial in the Attachments Section below to get you started. The data contains Shapefiles of Zimbabwe Boundary, Provinces and Districts within the country. Its basically a data with nominal values since we are not going to be performing any analysis here.
This data is specific to Zimbabwe, but if you have your own data which you would like to map out that would be really great.
We are going to discuss both methods of how you can import your data into the project space.
via Layer Tools
As we discussed earlier on, we have a Layer tools option which is contained within our Navigation Bar. Click on the Layer option and hover over to Add Layer and finally click Vector Layer.
This will open up a New Window where you can get to select a few options based on what you want. It all depends on what you want to import as you can already see you have a few choices where we can select from.
In our case since we have a zipped file, we are going to be using the file option. On the source option, click the three dots (…) and navigate to the folder in which the data is contained in.
When you have selected the zipped file with the data click on Add. A list of the data contained in the zipped file will appear and it will prompt you to confirm if you want to add all the data which is currently highlighted in Blue (which is the usual color by default).
In our case we are just going to click on OK and import everything which is within the file.
Please note that, importing from the files option does not necessarily mean you have to get a zipped file. You can import shapefiles individually to your project using this option too but in the event you have more datasets that you need to utilize, it is wise enough and recommended to use the zip files.
If you have followed through correctly every step we just took, you should be able to see shapefiles loading in your project space from the background of the window that you are currently in like the image below.
As you can already see, the Layers Panel is automatically filled with the data of the project that we are working on.
You can watch the video tutorial to also get an understanding of how this can be done.