In 2007, when I was young and foolish and before I knew about OpenStreetMap, I started an urban historical map project. I was working in Illustrator, it was going to be an interactive Flash piece, and my process was to draw the maps first, with the thought that I'd label some, but not all, of the street later on.
As we know Flash was began to die about 2010 and I put the project away for a number of years. I picked it up again a couple years ago and continued my earlier practice of just drawing streets and water features, this time with the intention of making it a conventional web map. Now I'm pretty close to finishing the drawing of a five-layer (1871, 1903, 1932, 1952 and 2016) historical map of a medium-sized city, though it still lacks labels.
My problem now is how to add large numbers of labels, many of them duplicates. There could be as many as 10,000 for all five layers, though as a practical matter I may have to settle for a smallish fraction of that number. Based on web searches I gather my workflow is unusual and that mine is therefore an unusual problem.
I've exported my maps and brought them into QGIS and played with the software a little. The process of adding labels to objects doesn't seem terribly efficient or user-friendly, but that's probably due to my unfamiliarity with the program.
Are there any tricks to speed up the painful process of adding large numbers of duplicate labels in QGIS?
Since so many of the streets exist in all five layers, functionality like the ability to select multiple objects in different layers and edit their attributes simultaneously in the Attribute Table would be a godsend. (Doesn't seem possible.) So would the ability to copy the attributes from one object and paste them onto other objects. Or the ability to do either of these things in Illustrator via a plugin and then export the data along with the shapes to a GIS program.