I downloaded a building footprint shapefile for a city and imported it as a vector layer in QGIS. I was hoping to see street address information in the attribute table, but there was none. I subsequently downloaded and imported a shapefile containing the land parcels for the same city (which DO have street addresses), and it overlays nicely such that buildings appear within parcels.

I would like to join the attribute tables such that my building footprint file contains addresses; however, there is no common key on which I can join (I see a Shape_STAr and Shape_STLe but can't figure out what these are).

Is there a way for me to (programmatically via a framework or otherwise) determine which buildings fall inside a parcel based on the coordinates such that I could join the data in the manner I desire?

I've done some Google searches but can't figure out where to start.


1 Answer 1


Seeing as though you have no matching attributes to join you will need to perform a spatial join. This is under Vector>Data Management Tools>Join Attributes by Location

Spatial Join Example

  • 1
    Looks like the start of a good answer, could you expand a little explaining what a spatial join actually is, and perhaps give an example.
    – nmtoken
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 9:00
  • This proved very straightforward; I used an option that made the operation left-joinish. A cursory verification checks out. It seems that nearly all the buildings were able to find a parcel in which they live, and a few spot checks showed the right address for the building. Thanks!
    – nedblorf
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 13:35

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