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For a Python script, you could call tools such as Select by location from the Python console: import processing processing.runalg('qgis:selectbylocation', input_layer, intersect_layer, u'intersects', 0, output_layer) To see what parameters are required, you can call processing.alghelp("qgis:selectbylocation"): >>> ...


R's Spatial classes have select/extract idioms driven by the "[" operator - for extraction by index, number, name, logical map, or spatial overlay. I think this is close to what you mean. library(maptools) data(wrld_simpl) ## generate some random points n <- 5e4 d <- data.frame(lon = runif(n, -180, 180), lat = runif(n, -90, 90), x = seq(n)) ## ...


QGIS requires you to use vector analysis operations in order to do spatial queries. You can't do it dynamically, like you can in MapInfo, for example. Check out the vector menu, go to 'Vector' > 'Geoprocessing' > 'Intersects'. This will combine two files and write the result out to another file.

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