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How can I produce a point shapefile (or simply point coordinates) that represent a systematic rectangular grid? At least three input variables would be required: distance between points, distance between rows of points and orientation (azimuth of rows). The purpose is creation of sample locations for natural resource surveys. I guess a fourth variable would be required as well: either a starting location or some definition of the area to be encompassed by the grid. Typically an area of interest can be defined by a polygon.

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It doesn't have all the criteria that you have listed, but the Regular Points tool (Vector > Research Tools > Regular points) would get you close. This does allow you to define the area of interest with a polygon, but it uses the minimum bounding box rather than the actual boundary. The picture below shows the implications of bounding box method.

Regular grid points

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Thanks. I have discovered several useful tools for regular spacing in square and hexagonal patterns, but none that allow for distributing points in a rectangular pattern. Though not a GIS professional or programmer I am not averse to solutions that involve scripting, but I don't know how to begin. I currently use primarily QGIS and SAGA, but don't mind tackling a more robust platform if necessary. I also have R Spatial but currently have zero proficiency in its use. Thank you for the response. –  L Fuller May 10 '13 at 16:50

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