I have two shapefiles that looks something like this:

enter image description here

One point file and one polyline file.

I want to find the points where the points and line would intersect if you drew a perpendicular line between them (the shortest distance). The next step is to mark these points on the polyline or a rasterized version of the polyline, but first I need to find a way to define them.


1 Answer 1


Because you have just two points and one line, so it's simple to implement what you need manually.

By start edit season on the line shapefile, create a feature (line).

start to draw line from the point 1 to the line (use right click>>prependicular). and draw another line from point 2 in the same way.

Then save and end the edit season.

If you would like to mark the result points, you can use (Add geometry attributes)

You can use also (Near tool) if you have advanced license.

  • Thank you for the answer. I have tried this method on one of the points and it does indeed let me draw a line prependicular to the polyline. It's unfortunate I have a lot more points in my real file ...
    – Linebeck
    Mar 28, 2018 at 16:25
  • I don't have Near unfortunately. Are you saying I can also use Spatial join to create prependicular lines between the points and the line?
    – Linebeck
    Mar 28, 2018 at 16:49
  • Unfortunately no, because you have many to many relation. BTW, near and spatial join gives you just the shortest distance between (e.g one point to the other features, or one line to the other features).
    – Moh
    Mar 28, 2018 at 17:06
  • 1
    @Linebeck QGIS has something similar to Near, if you like, I can update my answer for that
    – Moh
    Mar 28, 2018 at 17:23
  • I eventually went for a different solution involving Locate Features Along Routes to find the locations. It worked on some of the lines but unfortunately not all of them.
    – Linebeck
    Apr 5, 2018 at 11:08

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