I'd like to compare geometries using DE-9IM patterns in my QGIS plugin written in Python. I've tried to instantiate QgsGeos but it seems there's no such module in qgis.core, as reported by the following Python exception :

> from qgis.core import QgsGeos
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<input>", line 1, in <module>
ImportError: cannot import name QgsGeos

I could also use shapely but I don't know if this module is included in all QGIS distributions.

Any suggestion ?

3 Answers 3


I've just found what I think is the good way to instantiate a QgsGeometryEngine (QgsGeos is a subclass of QgsGeometryEngine) :

my_geometry_engine = QgsGeometry.createGeometryEngine(a_geometry)

(see https://qgis.org/api/classQgsGeometry.html#a9d16b0eca18cf3a965d1a27e0b680004)

  • How would you run this on a layer to check if each polygon in the layer is contained within another polygon in the same layer? Jun 16, 2021 at 14:17

There's now a function called relate implemented in the expression editor which gives the DE-9IM matrix... just stumbled across it recently. I suspect it's fairly new, maybe new to 2.16?

QGIS relate function

You might want to look at the QgsExpression class - not tried this myself but it looks like that might be a way to do this.

  • Thank you for your answer. I've seen this but I have not yet found how to process geometries with QgsExpression.
    – bchartier
    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:21
  • I've just read the QgsExpression documentation. It would be a great solution if I wanted to evaluate expressions against features. In my case, I only have geometries (at this step of my process). Thank you again.
    – bchartier
    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:25

This works for me in Python console of QGIS 2.18.13. A bit hacky though.

a = QgsGeometry.fromWkt('LINESTRING(40 40,120 120)')
b = QgsGeometry.fromWkt('LINESTRING(40 40,60 120)')

assert(isinstance(a, QgsGeometry))
assert(isinstance(b, QgsGeometry))

expr = QgsExpression("relate( geom_from_wkt( '{0}' ), geom_from_wkt( '{1}' ) )".format(a.exportToWkt(), b.exportToWkt()))


u"relate( geom_from_wkt( 'LineString (40 40, 120 120)' ), geom_from_wkt( 'LineString (40 40, 60 120)' ) )"

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