I'm using QGIS 2.18 Las Palmas, and I'm trying to build up a Distance Matrix of a series of points for a Mantel test. Specifically, I have a series of points and I want to calculate the distance of each of them to all the other ones. Now, when I use the 'Distance Matrix' tool in QGIS it gives me a three column table with all the distances, in this way:

InputID,C,254 TargetID,C,254 Distance,C,254 1 1 0 1 2 16.2788206 1 3 19.92485885 1 4 36.138622 1 5 69.23149572

This kind of output file contains all the information I need, but in the wrong format. What I'm looking for is a triangular distance matrix, as I need it as an input file for a Mantel test, like this one:

    1           2           3           4           5

1 0
2 16.2788206 0
3 19.92485885 23.84674 0
4 36.138622 29.4846735 55.68871 0
5 69.23149572 45.22356 66.254128 78.6542212 0

If it is possible to do this with QGIS, how do I do it?


If you don't mind a programmatic solution, you can do this easily in R with the dist function and the raster library. Example:

# make sure you have the raster library - you might also need rgdal
install.packages(c('raster', 'rgdal'))

# load the raster library

# define file path
shpFile <- "C:/path/to/shape/file.shp"

# load shapefile
shp <- shapefile(shpFile)

# convert SpatialPointsDataFrame to data.frame
shpDF <- as.data.frame(shp)

# get the distance matrix for coordinate sets
distMat <- dist(shpDF[,2:3])

# print results

          1         2         3
2 192801.33                    
3 261837.21 133653.67          
4 240095.52  60905.06  86724.96

By default it will return the euclidean distance between each point in the shapefile. This should be used for data in a projected coordinate system. If you are using a geographic coordinate system, then look into the distHaversine function in the geosphere library.

  • Thanks, I solved using a plugin on excel, but R would surely be fine! – Jacopo Bettin May 9 '18 at 10:31

QGIS Distance matrix tool has an option to choose Output matrix type. You have probably chosen default Linear (N*k x 3) type.

There is another type, Standard (N x T), which returns a common style Distance matrix.

It is not a triangle (lower half) one, so you may need to edit it using Excel or text editor.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.