I have a polygon layer and a point layer (with coordinates for each point). The polygon layer got created using the MMQGIS plugin (Hexagonal Polygons). I want to select all the points inside each polygon.

I worked with ArcGIS before but I want to change to open source. Furthermore, I want to approach that through a Python script since I want to analyse the extracted data. I have QGIS 2.8 installed. I am a bit overwhelmed by all the GIS libraries there are for Python.

Can I approach that sort of selection with a GIS library that is already installed with QGIS? If so, could anyone pin point me into the right direction?


Assuming you want to run your script within QGIS (from a script file or Python console), you can use the following:

import processing

processing.runalg("qgis:selectbylocation", INPUT, INTERSECT, METHOD, OUTPUT)

Here is the help description provided by the Python console which defines each parameter:

ALGORITHM: Select by location
    INPUT <ParameterVector>
    INTERSECT <ParameterVector>
    METHOD <ParameterSelection>
    OUTPUT <OutputVector>

METHOD(Modify current selection by)
    0 - creating new selection
    1 - adding to current selection
    2 - removing from current selection

To create a script entirely from scratch which doesn't call on QGIS functions, the following links might help in developing similar functionality:


There are a couple of posts which might be of some use with writing scripts outside QGIS for Mac:

  • Hello Joseph. Thanks for your reply. I want to use QGis functions! But I think I do not want to make that in the QGis console but call a script from the console of my computer (OS X 10.10). Which library are you using there? Or which library is QGis providing and how can I access that API? Is there anything to read on that? – Stophface Apr 2 '15 at 13:23
  • No problem Stophface! I've edited my post to include links which describe how to use scripts outside QGIS for Mac. I use Windows :) In terms of scripting, I don't think there's much difference, the biggest being setting the PATHS I think (I'm also a beginner!). – Joseph Apr 2 '15 at 13:38
  • Yes, that path setting is something which wont work over here at all. But once thats fixed, it will save a lot of work later on :) Is there a documentation on the library QGis is using? That way I do not have to come back here but just look things there up. Is it PyQGis? – Stophface Apr 2 '15 at 13:40
  • Yes, it uses PyQGIS :) – Joseph Apr 2 '15 at 13:49
  • Most welcome buddy! – Joseph Apr 2 '15 at 14:13

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