This tutorial is designed so you can practice the skills you learned in the Programming Historian QGIS Tutorial “Geo-referencing in QGIS”

  1. [Note for future work: Each time you install a new version of QGIS, be sure to activate the Georeferencing toolbar in that installation]
  2. Open a new project; set the CRS by typing 3081 in the filter box and choosing “NAD83 / Texas State Mapping System”
  3. Set up your modern georeferencing ‘canvas’
  4. Add Vector and load StratMap_County_poly.shp [a modern shapefile] to serve as georeferencing canvas.
  5. Add Vector: txdot-2015-city-point_tx.shp
  6. Add Vector: txdot-2015-city-poly_tx.shp
  7. For all – change the “properties” so they are not solid. Turn “labels” on for one of the city files [you may have to use both of them]
  8. Download an 1800s map from UTA’s Cartographic Connections website:
  9. Use your image viewer software [ie Microsoft Picture Manager] to convert the JPG file to TIFF
  10. Use the georeferencer to add the TIFF version as a raster layer and add 6 or more control points
    • Use manmade boundaries, not coastline or rivers which can change
    • Use large cities, ports, or military bases that would have had precise lat/long readings in the 1800s
    • Have at least 3 in the western part of the state
    • Have more than 3 in the eastern part of the state, in heavily populated areas
  11. Specify transformation settings
  12. Compare geo-referenced map to modern shapefile
  13. Possible: create new vector layers to capture data on the old map

Data sources for this tutorial

  1. Basemaps: — search for political boundaries
  2. Historic maps: UTA’s Cartographic Connections:

How to Convert map-image files

  • From JPG to TIFF: Most image viewers will do this. For PC, use [pc] or Microsoft Picture Manager
  • From SID to TIFF; irfanview can do this; search the web for other utilities