There are lots of digital tools to help you make a map today. For instance, if you create a new map in Google Maps, you’ll be directed to Google My Maps, which offers many easy mapmaking features. But if you need to do more advanced mapping and/or spatial analysis, you’ll need to use an advanced mapping application. Three mapping applications we recommend are ArcGIS, QGIS, and Google Earth (documented separately). To decide among all these mapping tools, see here. ArcGIS and QGIS are advanced applications for spatial data analysis as well as mapping, here’s a “gentle introduction” to GIS. While ArcGIS is the industry standard and often found in computer labs and the workplace, QGIS is a free, open source alternative you can install on your own computer, see here for QGIS installation. The table below should help you find the main functions you’ll need on ArcGIS or QGIS, for more specific help, click the ArcMap help button (?) at the upper right of many windows, or refer to the QGIS documentation. The recommended settings at top help you avoid certain problems in Arc or Q. Source.