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I have a map, in which each region is defined as an attribute of the map (I can select each region from the attribute table). I am trying to create new layers each one containing only 1 region using Python (quite like the gui command " save selection as..").

I have got so far (I am very new to Python, so forgive all the obvious errors I have made here):

from qgis.core import *
from qgis.gui import *
layer_Map = canvas.layer(0) #select the layer
provider = layer_Map.dataProvider()
fields = provider.fields()

writer = QgsVectorFileWriter("P:\Qgis\Output\Writer.shp", "CP1250", fields,provider.geometryType(),, "ESRI Shapefile")

Selection = #This selects the region of the map I want to write in the new layer

writer.addFeature(Selection) #this is clearly wrong, as I get an error
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2 Answers 2

You can't write the selection directly; you have to iterate over the selected features:

# write each feature to the shapefile
for feature in Selection:

# close the writer and flush features to disk
del writer
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thanks for the contribution gsherman, but that did not seem to solve the issue.. If I try to iterate on Selection as you suggest I get the following error: TypeError: 'NoneType' object is not iterable – Dom Mar 20 '13 at 15:51
That means your select statement didn't return any features. – gsherman Mar 20 '13 at 19:18
Right. But I still see the region of the map correctly highlighted.. – Dom Mar 21 '13 at 17:02

Try the Unique_values_saver plugin for QGIS. It allows you to save one vector layer for each unique value from a specific field.

enter image description here

For instance, for a layer with world countries and regions, I've generated 10 vector layers, each one corresponding to a different region.

enter image description here

If you need the way to do it in Python, just have a look at the source code of the plugin, specifically at the uniqueValues method:

# copyright            : (C) 2014 by Giuseppe De Marco
# email                :
# Snippet taken from the Unique_values_saver QGIS plugin
def uniquevalues (self):
    lay = self.choose_layer()
    fie = self.choose_field()
    uniquevalues = []
    progress = self.dlg.ui.progressbar
    if ((lay != "") and (fie != "")):
        for name, layer in QgsMapLayerRegistry.instance().mapLayers().iteritems():
            if == lay:
                uniqueprovider = layer.dataProvider()
                fields = uniqueprovider.fields()
                dir = self.get_dir()
                if dir==None:
                    QMessageBox.information(None, "Shapesaver","No output directory given: aborting...")
                    QMessageBox.information(None, "Shapesaver","output dir : "+str(dir))
                    for field in fields:
                        if == fie:
                            id = fields.indexFromName(fie)
                            if uniquevalues:
                                for uv in uniquevalues:
                                    for field in fields:
                                        if == fie:
                                            selectList =[]
                                            for f in layer.getFeatures():
                                                attrs = f.attributes()
                                                double = ""#checks for duplicates in case of null attr value
                                                for attr in attrs:
                                                    if str(attr) == str(uv):
                                                        if str(f)!= str(double):#checks for duplicates in case of null attr value
                                                            double = f 
                                            # writes matching features in a new shapefile
                                            if selectList:
                                                savname =".shp"
                                                savename = os.path.join(dir, savname)
                                                self.dlg.ui.txt.append("Saving "+str(savename))
                                                if len(savename) <= 0:
                                                    QMessageBox.information(None, "Shapesaver","No output filename given")
                                                    outfile = QgsVectorFileWriter(savename, "utf-8", fields, uniqueprovider.geometryType(),
                                                    for i in range(len(selectList)):
                                                        for sf in layer.getFeatures():
                                                            if == selectList[i]:
                                                                attributes = sf.attributes()
                                                                geometry = sf.geometry()
                                                                feature = QgsFeature()
                                                selectList =[]
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