One aspect of GIS that wasn't covered in my training was the best way to manage shapefiles within a project.
In my hypothetical example I have a shapefile with a number of attributes. I want to produce a map comparing 4 different combinations of various attributes.
So I want 4 map windows in my print composer, I then have three options for how to set up the layers (that I have thought of):
A) 1 layer, 1 shapefile. I then use the 'lock layers' and 'lock styles' for each map window, adjusting the properties and styles of the shapefile for each desired attribute combination as I go. The problem is, there is no record of what rules or attributes I used if I come back to it in 6 months time.
B) 4 layers, 1 shapefile duplicated in each layer. I can set the propoerties and style for each layer to correspond with each submap but the shapefile itself still refers to the original .shp file.
C) 4 layers, 4 shapefiles. Duplicate the shapefile and load each separate shapefile into its own layer and set style and properties for each shapefile . This seems to cause performance issues for me.
So far, I tend to follow B, this lets me fine tune settings and styles with ease and also gives reasonable performance but I don't know whether this may give rise to other problems down the line. What is generally considered best practise in this situation for performance and stability?