enter image description hereI'm trying to connect data from two different layers to combine them in one new layer and continue working with them. Let me explain that a bit more detailed: The first layer contains data (and borders) from counties whereas the other layer contains operating areas of businesses units (with different borders than the counties). My aim is to compare revenues from the operating areas with county data (such as purchasing power). Is there such a function?

I'm new to QGIS.

I added a sketch to illustrate the problem. The operating areas are sometimes within two counties.

  • 1
    Are the borders of business units always wholly contained within a single county? Could you share an annotated sketch of the problem?
    – Simbamangu
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 9:32
  • 2
    Depending on your layers, you could try using Vector > Data Management Tools > Join attributes by location. As @Simbamangu asked, this could work if your operating areas are completely inside the county borders.
    – Joseph
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 9:49
  • thank you for your help! Unfortunately the operating areas within the county borders, but sometimes they are within two or more counties. I will try your suggestion as fast as possible though.
    – Hendrik
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 12:35
  • If an operating area is contained within two or more counties, how do you want to deal with the data? What do you want to 'compare' exactly? Click 'edit' to expand on your question with more information, including what you've tried already (this really helps towards getting an answer here!).
    – Simbamangu
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 5:43

1 Answer 1


If you are not interested in clipping by the boundaries of the counties or the business units, it sounds like the Union tool may be what you need.


If you are interested in clipping by boundaries, then something along the lines of Arc's Identity coverage may be useful. QGIS doesn't have the Identity tool in it's own Geoprocessing toolbox, so you'd have to use the SAGA Identity tool in the Processing toolbox or some related plugin.

  • The question is regarding QGIS but your answer (specifically your link) refers to ArcGIS Desktop
    – Midavalo
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 18:06
  • Yes, I personally find Arc's tool documentation much easier to understand and wanted to link to the page where I took the graphic from. QGIS offers the same Union functionality.
    – srha
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 21:15
  • 1
    your answer should outline how to do in QGIS, with supporting links if needed. You could use the ArcGIS link as reference source for your image but the answer should focus on how to do it in QGIS.
    – Midavalo
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 6:16

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