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Using the Atlas plugin for qGIS how do I set the coverage so that it will only highlight the feature(s) I want but still show the surrounding features as grayed out areas?

This would have been easy if I don't need to work with several thousand features.

I am not asking just how to mask neighboring features. I am asking how to to make Atlas dynamically mask neighboring features of the POI.

The idea is similar to this map here.

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marked as duplicate by underdark Apr 30 '14 at 17:29

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

Thank you Ryan. Yes, I think a mask is the correct term but I'm looking for a way to automatically applied a mask around the features not selected in the coverage layer of the Atlas plugin for qGIS. The link you provided, would require me to mask every feature I want manually - I got several thousands. – n1kn0k Mar 4 '13 at 23:47
There's a "margin around feature" which if I set it to 0%, I expect Atlas to put the whole feature without margin in the map window. Is this a bug? – n1kn0k Mar 5 '13 at 5:13
I heard back from the Atlas developer and was told that what I wanted to do is not currently possible. – n1kn0k Mar 6 '13 at 0:16
Have you seen – Jakob Dec 4 '14 at 13:28

You could do some fake styling as mentioned below if you need to apply it to only a couple of layers.

  1. Create a copy of your shapefile. This will act as a dummy layer.
  2. Add a new field to this shapefile and name it Hightlight.Add it to map. Select the required features and update this field value = 1.
  3. Right-click your original layer in map and copy style.
  4. Paste the style to your dummy layer. Move this layer above your original layer in table of contents.
  5. Right-click dummy layer and set query 'Highlight = 1' so only those features will be visible.
  6. Set a 90% transparency to your original layer(you may need to use old symbology in Qgis 1.8).

you would get something like below.

enter image description here

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I did mention I got several thousand features I need to work on. So, I can't accept this as an answer. Thanks for the tip though. – n1kn0k Mar 5 '13 at 4:31
@n1kn0k - how do you determine which features you want highlighted? will you be doing a selection on map? It does not matter really if you have thousands of features..once you have a selection you can update all attributes using field calculator in no time – vinayan Mar 5 '13 at 4:39
most of the features share common borders with each other. Atlas prints the feature in the center, but will also display neighboring features. I'm hoping to find a way to mask the neighboring features being shown on the map. – n1kn0k Mar 5 '13 at 4:46
let me clarify this a bit. in your example, let's say I have neighboring counties A,B,C,D,E with C in their center. If I use the counties as my coverage, it will print all the features found there but it will also displaying the neighboring features to C. I'm hoping to mask out/apply some transparency to features other than C. I hope I managed to explain myself. – n1kn0k Mar 5 '13 at 4:51
@n1kn0k - i updated the picture in this the type of result you want? – vinayan Mar 5 '13 at 5:03

This is currently not possible. The latest discussion I found about this is from September 2013:

The closest solution is this workaround by Nathan: How to produce multiple maps with same layout for different layers' extents?

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