Geospatial - GISQgis

Import coordinates from Excel to QGIS and create Polygons

One of the most common routines in the use of Geographic Information Systems is the construction of spatial layers from information from the field. Whether this represents coordinates, parcel vertices, or elevation grid, the information usually comes in comma separated files or Excel spreadsheets.

1. The geographic coordinates file in Excel.

In this case, I am trying to import the human settlements of the Republic of Cuba, which I have Diva-GIS, which by the way is one of the best sites to download geographic data from any country. As you can see, columns B and C contain the information regarding latitude and longitude in the form of Geographical coordinates.

  Lat long qgis excel

2. Import the file into QGIS

To import the coordinates of the Excel file, it is done:

Vector> XY tools> OpenExcele file as attribute table or Point layer

Lat long qgis excel

In case the file is saved with an .xlsx extension, the browser will not show it, as it only filters files with an .xls extension. It is not a problem, we can apply old DOS techniques and write in the name change, the filter: *. * (asterisk dot asterisk) and we do Enter; this will allow all the files in that location to be seen. We could have just written * .xls and it would have filtered only files with the .xls extension.

Lat long qgis excel

Then we have a panel in which we must indicate which column corresponds to the coordinate in X, in this case we choose the column of length, the column of latitude for the coordinate Y.

Lat long qgis excel

And there we have it. The query shows that the layer has been saved with the data contained in the Cuban human settlements file, which includes the name, latitude, longitude, classification, and administrative province.

Lat long qgis excel

3. Create polygons from coordinates

In case, we want not only to import the vertices but also to create a polygon in the order of these coordinates, we can use the plugin Points2One. This plugin allows you to identify how the destination layer will be called, if what we will import will be built as lines or as a polygon.


Lat long qgis excel



4. How to import coordinates from Excel to other CAD / GIS programs.

As you may recall, we have done this process with many other programs. As simple as QGIS, few. But here's how to do it with AutoCAD, Microstation, Manifold GIS, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Google Earth.

Golgi Alvarez

Writer, researcher, specialist in Land Management Models. He has participated in the conceptualization and implementation of models such as: National Property Administration System SINAP in Honduras, Management Model of Joint Municipalities in Honduras, Integrated Cadastre-Registry Management Model in Nicaragua, Territory Administration System SAT in Colombia . Editor of the Geofumadas knowledge blog since 2007 and creator of the AulaGEO Academy that includes more than 100 courses on GIS - CAD - BIM - Digital Twins topics.

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