I have several shapefiles representing bus lines with different colors for each segment, however, because the lines are exactly superposed, only the shapefile on top can be seen. Is there a way to display the lines underneath for example side-by-side on these parts of segments where several lines converge (there might be 4 or 5 of them)? The polylines are made up of series of segments.

I know there are some tools in ArcGIS, but I'm using QGIS 2.8.0

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In QGIS 2.8.0 you can do that with the offset option in the Style Layer Properties. In my example with three polylines (they are exactly superposed too):

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Click in "Simple line" of line2 to display "Offset" option (I set 1 mm):

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Click in "Simple line" of line5 to display "Offset" option (I set -1 mm):

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The result obtained (Offset of line4 unchanged; 0 mm):

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Editing note (answering to alpha-beta-soup comment):

With the next code, executed in the Python Console of QGIS, I have the same result:

from PyQt4.QtGui import *


renderer = []

n = mc.layerCount()

symbol = range(n)

symbol[0] = QgsLineSymbolV2.createSimple({'color':'green',

symbol[1] = QgsLineSymbolV2.createSimple({'color':'red',

symbol[2] = QgsLineSymbolV2.createSimple({'color':'blue',

for i in range(n):

for layer in layers:

for i in range(n):


for layer in layers:
  • 2
    Problem I foresee with this is it is very manual, and bus routes are very many. Is there a way to access a field to control the offset? Ideally, there'd be a way to offset only in the presence of an overlap. It'd be possible to write code to consider such a condition - but it comes back to a need to use a field to control offset. – alphabetasoup Apr 7 '15 at 2:31
  • 1
    @alpha-beta-soup I wrote some code for using in the Python Console of QGIS. – xunilk Apr 7 '15 at 9:38

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