I have two different shapefiles to work with: one of them has polygons representing tree canopy data and the other is a shapefile for census tracts in the area I am working on. I am trying to figure out what percent of each census tract's area is covered by tree canopy.

Is there a way that I can assign the polygons to the census tract they are in based on their location?

The attribute table for the polygons only has the object id, shape length, and shape area.

1 Answer 1


Dissolve the canopy layer into a single feature. Use a spatial union to separate the areas of tracts that are canopy covered and are not. Copy and paste the entire attribute table into excel if you have it, and use pivot tables from there.

  • In addition to @brokev03 answer, know that you can also make some useful statistics whilst remaining within Qgis, for example using Group Stats Module (which allows you to make group by / pivot tables) or loading R scripts via the Qgis Processing toolbox.
    – mgc
    Aug 7, 2015 at 22:31
  • Great, thank you @brokev03 and @mgc! I will try these methods out and see if they work with my data.
    – Ari
    Aug 10, 2015 at 15:12

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