QGIS is a free version of the more popular, ArcGIS. However, there is much to learn and I am just doing the tutorial. My file got corrupted for some reason so I started the “basic map” project again and here is what it looks like so far. The coloring and outlining is all done in QGIS to make the map appear more stylistic and captivating. There is much more to be done using these sample “vector layers” as they are called — for example, there is a roads layer and a buildings layer already ready to be added and they were already included with the exercise data set. The interface of QGIS is nice as well.
You can clearly see the river in light blue and the the roads in a very light yellow-brown color which will be changed later. More to come soon after I explore and continue on with the tutorial! Thanks for reading.