I've downloaded some data sets (from http://sis.agr.gc.ca/cansis/nsdb/dss/v3/index.html) that each contain:

  • Shapefiles (SHP, DBF, SHX)
  • XML files associated with the SHP
  • DBF files of metadata
  • XML files associated with the DBF

In this case, the SHP files define geographic areas, and the metadata contain soil and other attributes.

How do I import the DBF information so that I can see specific attributes pertaining to a given feature?

I have used QGIS (2.16.1) to load the SHP file, and the Metatools plugin (0.3.1) to load the metadata.

  • I focussed your question to prevent it being too broad.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 20:48
  • Welcome to gis.stackexchange! Please edit the title of your question to include enough information for future visitors to be able to find this thread when looking for the same problem.
    – underdark
    Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 20:59

1 Answer 1


You can add the dbf files with drag and drop to the legend, which will add them as geometryless tables.

Then you can join the CMP and PRT databases on the POLY_ID field to the shapefile geometry. From the CMP fields, you get the SOIL_ID field to join the Soil layer and name tables as well.

  • OK it took some more searching online but I found the step I needed, to edit the shape layer properties, join panel. Thanks for the nudge.
    – Greg
    Commented Aug 21, 2016 at 20:28
  • The question also mentions "XML files associated with the SHP", is there any way to show the info in those files using QGIS? It appears that these files contain valueable metadata, it would be nice if I could see that info alongside the shapefile itself. Commented Jan 18 at 13:17

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