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I'm a bit of GIS rookie but I seem to have found my way around most of the intermediate functions of QGIS that I need for my work over the last year or so. What I want is really simple, but multiple searches have returned nothing. I'm using a base map from quick map services and I want to be able to manually trace over all of the water courses in a certain area in order to highlight them as well as annotate a number of other features such as location of assets etc. I know this can be done in the print composer but I want to be able to add it as a layer so that I can produce multiple prints of different "zoom frames".

Is there a tool that I'm missing that allows you to manually annotate and add as a layer; essentially paint in GIS 2.14.2?

I'd also be interested to know if there is a layer already out there for mapped watercourses in the uk.

  • I think the unmarked question in your last paragraph would be better researched/asked at the Open Data Stack Exchange. – PolyGeo Nov 26 '18 at 19:37
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Instead of thinking of capturing this data as annotations / sketches, I would instead create new datasets (shapefiles, if you have nothing else like PostGIS), and begin capturing the polygon outlines and point locations of these features.

As you capture the features, polygons can be symbolized as you would otherwise want your sketches to look, and points can be labeled as you would want to call them out in a similar sketch.

This way, you can create multiple maps using these datasets, using the same symbols across all maps, and no time wasted when you want to have actual data for these features later on instead of having to go back and trace your annotations/sketches in order to turn them into data.

One thing to note is if you're using the QuickMapServices plugin and the Google satellite images, its not technically 'legal' to capture the images and turn it into data...

  • Hi, this is what I'm trying to achieve as it would be useful to use the .shp in future projects once they've been created. It's creating one in the first place I'm having trouble with. I want to be able to create a geo-referenced sketch essentially. I think my issue is with the terminology, I don't know what to search for. Is there a plugin or something? – Catch Nov 29 '18 at 14:01
  • Well what's the difference between a 'sketch' and a 'feature' - is it just how it looks when you've captured it? Otherwise, creating a new shapefile will get you started... – DPSSpatial Nov 29 '18 at 15:44
  • Simplest thing in the world I just didn't know what to search for. Many thanks I think I'm getting started now! Sorry for the ignorance. – Catch Nov 30 '18 at 15:23
  • @Catch no worries! I like to ask questions to get exactly to that place... good luck! – DPSSpatial Nov 30 '18 at 15:24

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