I have two vector layers (shapefile) with the same columns and layout in each. One comes from the county and is frequently updated, and the other is manual additions I've made. I'm looking for a way to get a virtual combined layer for all the parcels from both layers.

It looks like QGIS virtual layer would work but I'm not sure how to use the query box. (very new to sqlite)

So far I have both layers imported into 'embedded layers' and I can get the data from one with:

select geometry as geometry, pin as pin from parcel_address

the other layer is named parcel_manual.

How do I get the data from both?

  • actually I found my answer. I used two select queries with a union statement between. That being said, performance is very poor. Is there a better way to accomplish this?
    – user52245
    Nov 30, 2016 at 22:06
  • Could you edit your question to include the method you used and the statement please? This could help potential answerers improve your method :)
    – Joseph
    Dec 1, 2016 at 10:33
  • So your question is how you can combine both layers into one? Dec 15, 2016 at 14:24

1 Answer 1


If you are still looking for a way other than SQL, there is a Build virtual vector tool, available in the QGIS Processing Toolbox | QGIS geoalgorithms | Vector general tools now.

After selecting your layers (parcel_address and parcel_manual), proceed to Virtual vector and click on an ellipsis [...] button to Save it as a .vrt file. (Please note that nothing happens if we leave it as [Save to temporary file]).

When you load newly created vrt file into QGIS, it is dynamically linked to your original source layers. If you edit any of the layer, vrt layer is also changed. (Need to click Refresh button to see the change, though).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.