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I have a polyline shapefile with about 20 kinds of roads.

I would like to know how can I create automatically a vector file for each one.

I am aware of how to do it using ArcGIS for Desktop - see Exporting feature class into multiple feature classes based on field values using ArcGIS for Desktop?

How do I do it using QGIS, GDAL, SAGA, etc?

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I posted an answer similar to your question before about this, see… – artwork21 May 18 '12 at 17:10
this isn't a complete duplicate, the Q linked to is ArcGIS only while this one is open to other platforms. An important difference for me today ;-) – matt wilkie Mar 12 '15 at 20:57
@mattwilkie To make this not be a duplicate then all that would appear to be needed is an edit that excludes ArcGIS for Desktop. If an alternative software is needed then I think that should be specifically stated so that the more focussed question can be researched/answered. – PolyGeo Mar 12 '15 at 21:49
@mattwilkie Unfortunately, editing this question to de-duplicate it has meant that a number of answers have been stranded. I'll ping their authors to suggest they delete them here and, if still relevant, post them to the Q&A that relates to ArcGIS for Desktop instead. – PolyGeo Mar 12 '15 at 22:56

In QGIS 2.8.1 there's a tool in the Vector menu that can split a dataset based on an attribute.

Look in Vector > Data Management Tools > Split Vector Layer...

split vector layer tool in QGIS 2.8.1

It's a basic tool that should work if you don't want to resort to plugins or tools in Processing; unless they offer additional functionality you need.

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Quantum GIS has a plugin called ShapefileSplitter which does this.

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You could consider saga gis (either directly or through sextante in qgis). It contains a module that will split a shape by attribute (shapes/tools/ split table/shape by attribute).

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On the processing toolbox of QGIS, if you go the example scripts of the Scripts section. You'll find the script called "Split vector layer by attribute". That'll do what you need.

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is this different from the plugin suggested by @oeon? – matt wilkie Mar 12 '15 at 21:00

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