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I have a shapefile that represents counties (admin 2) only, but I need to create a state level (admin 1) polygon file (I'm using QGIS). I will need to sum up (or average) the relevant data at each district level as well. There are far too many counties to do this manually, so does anyone know of an automated way to roll up to a higher administrative level like this? Kinda new to all of this, so any help would be greatly appreciated.


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I suppose your county shapefile contains a field(like "StateName") that indicates which counties belong to which state. Then it should be a simple task.

  1. From menu use Vector -> Geoprocessing Tools -> Dissolve
  2. Select your state field as dissolve field.
  3. Now your counties would aggregate to give a new state level shapefile.

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QGIS official repository has the Merge shapes plugin 0.1.19 available for use. There are a lot of math operations available using the QGIS 1.8.0 field calculator. Also, you could use Python for anything especially advanced or automated. I'd start by getting familiar with these, advancing toward Python as necessary to do what the simpler capabilities can't.

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