QGIS Heat Map
Go to Settings > Options > Processing > General and change Invalid Features Filtering to "Ignore features with invalid geometries"
Project the map to Albers Equal Area
Go to Vector > Geometry Tools > Centroids to convert counties to points. Make sure to save the layer in your project folder as a shapefile called "centroids".
Choose an attribute field you would like to display.
Style using “heatmap”
- Find this option in the layer properties/symbology dialogue
- We want to represent percent of county populations, so click the Equation symbol next to the "weighted by" selector. Divide your selected column by the county population and multiply by 100. For example (WIDOWED_CY/TOTPOP_CY)*100
- Generate an appropriate heatmap for your distribution
- Colorize the heatmap, and style state outlines for an attractive map
- Export maps to PDF. Remember to reproject Alaska and Hawaii before exporting them.
- For the legend, change the symbology of the counties layer to match your heatmap. Set the classes to 10, use Equal Interval classification, and make sure the highest number and color value are at the top. Export your legend.
Clipping out the background in the map pdf
Select the map, go to Clipping Mask and select Release. Do this procedure until release is no longer an option
Select and delete excess states and neatlines until the only objects left are those that you need.
Open the layer palette and create a new layer with the menu that is accessible in the top right of the layer palette. Make sure that this layer is on top.
Select one of the state outlines. Then go to Select > Same > Stroke Weight. Now, all of the state outlines should be selected.
Copy just the outline of the state(s) and paste (paste in place) into the new layer. This outline will be the clipping path.
Convert this outline to a single path using Object>Compound Path>Make.
Select both the clipping path and the objects you want to mask. You can use Select All.
Choose Object > Clipping Mask > Make.
Select the outline and give it the proper stroke color.
Copy and paste into your map layout Illustrator canvas.
Create map layout in Illustrator. Add engaging design elements.