This question is meant to be primarily on QGIS software but all other software solutions are welcome as far as it is possible to achieve it as easy as possible, preferably out of the box. Though the limitation is static map (to be printed) so no interactive web map solutions applicable here.

Is there a way how to create charts (tool / plugin in QGIS) for time series data / table for points (can be also lines / polygons) and display it next to features?

I am aware of simple diagram / histogram tool. I also got an idea to load charts as SVG but that means I need to export a lot of charts first and then link them as symbols manually. Is there some more profound out of the box solution?

What I tried so far looks like this:

enter image description here

What I would like to achieve looks like this:

enter image description here

  • 2
    Hi Miro, I recently posted this question (gis.stackexchange.com/questions/175299/…) - which looking back on, bears a strong resemblance to this one! Did you manage to find a solution to this problem? Commented Jan 2, 2016 at 5:54
  • 1
    @AndrewTice Nope, it was done in specific paid software. Unfortunately I have no idea how much it is possible to use python - matplotlib library from within QGIS and draw charts into canvas. Anyway I didn't found anything helpful like plugin or scripts on that topic. Otherwise generating SVG charts and linking them in QGIS to points could be also the way.
    – Miro
    Commented Jan 2, 2016 at 9:18
  • Check this post from Anita, I think it could be a good start: anitagraser.com/2016/03/19/creating-dynamic-icon-series
    – WKT
    Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 21:42
  • @Azimo Thank you, the option Anita describes in her article is mentioned in my question from the beginning. I was aware that in QGIS map canvas you can use SVG files and link them to features. Sure you need to have specific path to SVG for every feature and not the "case when" as Anita use it in her article. I am looking for something more advanced if possible.
    – Miro
    Commented Mar 26, 2016 at 5:22
  • This is something that comes up quite often - it would be a great addition to either QGIS or ArcGIS to be able to include sparklines or mini-charts as a label to a feature on the map.
    – kes
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 9:16

3 Answers 3


R would best suit your requirement.Try the below and experiment with it.

#Load rgdal library
#Load the shapefile specifying path in dsn and file name for layer
#Describe the columns of the layer
#Plot using spplot library with column values categorized into 30 classes
spplot(world_layer, z="POP_CNTRY", cuts= 30)

You should get a map and chart as shown below of course you could customize it in more than one ways.

enter image description here

There are plenty of links which teach at greater detail






  • Thank you but how is this related to my question "How to display charts next to features in the map?" Where are the charts next to feature for every feature in the map?
    – Miro
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 1:16

You could use ArcGIS if you access to it. This is an example of what i did with ArcMap and excel(sorry for the language, old map). You can create the graph in excel and insert it as an object. The thing with this method is, that if you want to use a large pallet of colors and you want them synchronized with those one the map, you'll have to do it manually. A tedious method, but it does the job.
Another option, also in ArcMap, is the Graph Toolset which can create temporal graphics. Personally, i don't like this tool and prefer to use Origin or Grapher for making professional graphs.

  • 1
    Thank you but how is this related to my question "How to display charts next to features in the map?" Where are the charts next to feature for every feature in the map?
    – Miro
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 1:17
  • In the map attached, which is a land cover map, the pie charts that are present there represent land cover percentage, for every type of land cover. You said that other software solutions are welcomed, hence my answer.
    – alecsx
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 7:19
  • Surely other software solutions are welcome. But the picture attached shows only pie charts as images added next to map frame - that is easy to do in all QGIS, Mapinfo, ArcGIS and other or graphics software post-processing. What I am after is to have chart for every feature directly in the map. You can think about it in similar way as labeling, except instead of text label there is chart. And I even do know how to do that with SVG or other image format in QGIS as stated in my question. I am asking if it is possible to have these charts 'Live' (sourced from database or table) instead of images.
    – Miro
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 7:50

I'm not quite sure whether UMS MapServer work as WMS layer in QGIS will fit your needs. I've tried it, but I'm no good in designing good chart with MapServer *.MAP file.

  • Would be please posssible to add some links to documentation part about charts and best some examples/turorials? I had a quick look and it seems it is possible to do also bar graphs and stacked bar graphs. Installing UMS MapServer and setting up WMS to have possibility of charts in the map sounds cumbersome but might be the only possible solution in some cases. Thank you.
    – Miro
    Commented Aug 7, 2016 at 2:28

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