Today's map is a small tribute to Kiwicon 8 - New Zealand's hacker conference that I'm currently attending. The theme this year is "It's always 1989 in computer security". It's been an excellent conference so far and the crüe have put on an amazing show (a real life Delorean, for one!).
Aside from the usual hacks and cracks, it's been interesting to see some themes emerge - for example - a shift from the 'apparatus of security' to the security of people and their (non-technological) networks.
On to the map!
To create the New Zealand outline I first generated a regular 50 km point grid as a snapping guide. Then, with a new shapefile layer, I set the snapping options to 50,000 metres and started drawing. Creating the features is just a matter of getting a rough outline and tweaking until it looks visually appealing. The neon outline is a series of outline line symbolizers. The map is then exported to GIMP to add the text effects. The latest version of QGIS has some great improvements, but the print composer is still very limited when it comes to adding other elements.