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I'm new to QGIS, indeed fairly new to GIS systems in general. I have been asked to create about 20 small maps for a local historical society. The maps are for walkers to follow various routes passing locations of historic interest.

Each of the maps is to show numbered "points of interest" (POIs) - some maps have only 5, others have 12 or more. I have found and imported the symbols I want into QGIS. Each of the symbols consists of an integer enclosed in a circle.

My first attempt at getting the symbols onto the maps was to create a separate layer for each symbol. This seems to work OK but means that a large number of layers have to be created for each map - one for each POI. Is there a more efficient way of doing the job?


The POIs have only the 2 attributes, ID and the relevant integer. I was hoping to be able to just drag them to their correct location on the map.

I have SVG images of numbers 1 to 15 each in a circle. I want to be able to place them on my map at specific locations to indicate points of interest. How do I do this please?

  • Of course there is a way to use different point symbols in one layer but for this use case, it seems to be quite the overkill. Do you insist in using the symbols or would you be ok creating labels that look like your symbols? – underdark Dec 25 '15 at 21:55
  • Thanks for prompt reply, underdark. Labels similar to my symbols would be OK. – Bill C Dec 26 '15 at 22:45
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You need to create only one layer as described in http://docs.qgis.org/2.8/en/docs/user_manual/working_with_vector/editing_geometry_attributes.html#creating-a-new-shapefile-layer. Make sure to create one attribute to store the number you want to display.

Then you add the point features as described in http://docs.qgis.org/2.8/en/docs/user_manual/working_with_vector/editing_geometry_attributes.html#adding-features.

Instead of dealing with 15 different SVGs, I recommend to use labels: Assuming that the POIs have some attribute containing the number you want to display in the map, you can create labels with a circle background using the following settings:

enter image description here

Change the placement setting from around point to offset from point (on the center quadrant) to place the labels directly on top of the point locations if that is the look you are going for.

  • I think I've misunderstood what steps to take. I created a layer called POIs with attributes ID and NUMBER. The second field shows the number to be displayed in the circle. I populated the table with features numbered 1 to 12. Also followed the Background and Placement steps as I understood them. How do I go about positioning the POIs on the map? My lack of QGIS knowledge is showing, I fear! Thanks. – Bill C Dec 28 '15 at 2:33
  • Do you mean that your POI entries do not have point geometries yet? How did you create the POI layer? Do you want to place them approximately by hand or do you have exact coordinates to use? – underdark Dec 29 '15 at 11:03
  • Have been off the scene for a month but now back on deck.The POIs have only the 2 attributes, ID and the relevant integer. I was hoping to be able to just drag them to their correct location on the map. – Bill C Jan 25 '16 at 18:46
  • Just to recap on my problem. I have SVG images of numbers 1 to 15 each in a circle. I want to be able to place them on my map at specific locations to indicate points of interest. How do I do this please? – Bill C Jan 26 '16 at 2:11
  • The points of interest should already be placed on the map. The points have a geometry (x,y) you just can not see that in the attribute table. Since the points are already there all you need to do is label them how you want to. – ed.hank Jan 26 '16 at 18:27

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