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I'm a new QGIS user (and GIS technology in general) and I'm trying to learn its fundamental features. I have a big dilemma about vector shapefiles, and points in particular: basically, I don't understand what specifically is an 'attribute', and how it works with the related chart (I guess that the 'ID' is required for a search within that chart) Please help me! Sorry for my bad english.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

I think that the best way to think of an attribute is "some property or characteristic of the thing I care about". So for a point that represents a place, it could be the name of the place, the street address, the kind of place it is (e.g. a shop, or a house), or the properties of the soil that is present, or the height of the antennas.

Obviously what attributes you care about depends on what you are trying to do with your data. If you're working on disease spread, then the attributes will mostly be to do with the disease. If you're doing property marketing, then its more likely to be about building types and sale prices.

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Don't know what you're exact problem is. Maybe you could elaborate a bit with a practical example that you are struggling with?

I personally found this website quite useful with regard to learning the basics in QGIS. Contains some tutorials that provide a good introduction into GIS and QGIS.

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