I am new to GIS area and also new to any software that can modify the GIS.

I am currently working with South Australia map I have download from Australian census site. I am using QGIS to load the shapefile and also do any modification.

Here is a link to download the geo datasource from Australian Government Site


Adelaide Map My problem is when I have downloaded this south australia (SA - State of Australia), near the boundary of the state, I see there two polygons on top of each other fully overlapping. I reduced the fill opacity to 50% so where you see dark yellow colour those are overlapping polygons. It looks like some rectangle polygons on top of real suburb's outline. I dont know why it is like that ? And how can I get read of this.

Also I want to know how can merge (or dissolve) features (polygons) in same layer. Everytime I dissolve it create on new layer.

  • Do their attributes reliably differ? Is that Census Blocks? What are you after in the end.. ABS census blocks or localities? The square ones are SA_LOCAL_5 = H but the irregular are G, that can be used to separate them. Sep 21, 2015 at 23:03
  • I think you should ask your last question separately (i.e. one question per question as per the Tour). I suspect that you are looking for what ArcInfo Workstation called DROPLINE functionality but in QGIS.
    – PolyGeo
    Sep 21, 2015 at 23:08
  • @MichaelMiles-Stimson I want localities not ABS census blocks. Is there anyway in QGIS to remove ABS Census blocks Sep 21, 2015 at 23:12
  • @PolyGeo - I am sorry for posting two questions in one post. But thanks for the answer. By any chance do you know what is equivalent functionality of DROPLINE functionality in QGIS Sep 21, 2015 at 23:25
  • You'll see from that link that it was lost in the code translation to ArcGIS for Desktop (and I don't think I have checked ArcGIS Pro yet). I would be pleasantly surprised if it were in QGIS.
    – PolyGeo
    Sep 21, 2015 at 23:27

2 Answers 2


Something that will help here is a definition query or feature filter, here's a good post. so I wont repeat what was said before.

As you are new to GIS you probably need a bit of help to see how/when to use this powerful function. Firstly you need to find something that separates the features you want from the features you don't want (reliably), in this case the blocks have an attribute value of SA_LOCAL_5 = 'H' but the suburbs (the ones you want) have SA_LOCAL_5 = 'G':

enter image description here

This image is from ArcGis, QGIS is no different.

This does not modify the data but instructs the software (QGIS or ArcGis) to only use the features that match.

  • awesome ... thank you so much that worked for me ... Sep 22, 2015 at 0:09

In your case you can simply select features by attribute - column SA_Local_5 is divided into two classes: G and H.

So using Select features using an expression and selecting:

"SA_LOCAL_5" = 'G'

enter image description here

Will give you only one not overlapping set of polygons. You can right click on layer, use Save as.. and check Save only selected features...

If you want interactively merge selected polygons anyway for some reason, start editing layer, right click on top tool bar and check advanced digitizing - one of the tools is Merge selected features

enter image description here

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