I have a number of line layers on which I need to perform the same task: add 4 columns with the start and end points of each line.

The expressions that I use to do this are:


However, I must create a new column and update it for every layer, but I am sure that it can be automated. Any ideas on how to perform the creation of 4 new columns on every layer in the layers panel in QGIS?

  • 1
    This can be done using pyqgis. To get answers to your question you will need to provide a code attempt for doing this task. Please edit your question and include your code attempt and let us know where you get stuck and you should receive feedback. – artwork21 Jun 24 '16 at 13:49
  • You could also achieve this by creating a model from the Processing Toolbox, this is useful if you don't know Python. Here's a couple of links which you might find helpful: Automating Complex Workflows using Processing Modeler, QGIS Quick Tip - Building a Processing Model. – Joseph Jun 24 '16 at 14:25

As mentioned in the comment, you could create a model from the Processing Toolbox but if you want to create a script, you could use the following which creates the start_lat field and updates it for each layer (comments are included which hopefully will help):

# Import required module to create field
from PyQt4.QtCore import QVariant

# For each layer in panel
for layer in QgsMapLayerRegistry.instance().mapLayers().values():
    # Add a real field (which uses decimal)
    layer.dataProvider().addAttributes( [ QgsField("start_lat", QVariant.Double) ] )
    # Update attribute table with new field
    # Begin editing of layer and finish loop with saving edits
    with edit(layer):
        # Let `idx` = field with name "start_lat"
        idx = layer.fieldNameIndex( "start_lat" )
        # Define expression
        e = QgsExpression( """ $x_at(0) """ )
        e.prepare( layer.pendingFields() )
        # For each feature in layer
        for f in layer.getFeatures():
            # Apply expression
            f[idx] = e.evaluate(f)
            # Update attribute table

You could then repeat the above by adapting it to create the other 3 fields or extend the loops and create all 4 fields at once.

  • the code runs without errors but creates an attribute field full of NULL values. However, manually entering same expression x_at(0) in the field calculator produces an attribute field filled with the right values.... – the_darkside Jun 27 '16 at 9:56
  • @the_darkside - Are you running it from the Python Console or from a script? – Joseph Jun 27 '16 at 10:01
  • I am running it from the Python Console in QGIS – the_darkside Jun 27 '16 at 10:12
  • Does this happen with other line layers also? I just tested this again (directly copying/pasting the code) and it works. I used QGIS 2.14.3-Essen. – Joseph Jun 27 '16 at 10:21
  • I am running the same version of QGIS, and the same thing happened with a different line layer... I am just getting blank columns – the_darkside Jun 27 '16 at 10:25

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