I have been teaching myself GIS using QGIS for several weeks and I am looking for advice on how to structure my data in a way that is extensible and won't require me to constantly reorganize things. I have been working with the following types of data: topography (DEMS, Hill shades, contours), hydrography, roads, trails, political boundaries and some associated/joined data files.
Currently my data is in a mis-mash of file types and naming conventions based on the source I got the data from.
- should I use a database, and if so, what which one: SQLite, SpatiaLite or Postgres? Or should I simply use the file system?
- are there some rules of thumb for naming/structuring the data I have outlined above?
I realize this may not be the most crisp way of asking the question, but I am looking for a wholistic approach to organizing my data, since it is very painful to reorganize things across multiple projects on a regular basis. Looking for any hints/guidelines you can provide. It seems like many people must use the same general data types and have ways of organizing it in a way that is fairly standard?