I would like to merge 2 shapefiles to create just one:

1 - a shapefile for the 9 GOR English regions with 2 - a shapefile which has the rest of the UK: Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England

The aim is to end up with a shapefile with 12 parts (9 GOR + Scotland + Wales + NI) so I can see difference on certain factors across the UK.

Does anyone know how to do this?

Just to be clear, I don't want to overlay them, I want them to sit side by side so I can see all the parts at once.

Alternatively if anyone has a .shp file for the 9 GOR English regions + Scotland + Wales (NI not necessary), that would also be great.

I have tried to follow these instructions: https://www.statsilk.com/maps/merge-multiple-map-layers-single-shapefile-using-quantum-gis#shapefile-preparation but the "Merge shapefiles to one" is not in my vector menu and I can't seem to be able to download the Merge Shape plugin due to "bad gateway".

UK with England broken down in 9 GOR

  • What software package are you using? I am guessing its QGIS by the link in the question? If it is, please update the tags in the question. When you say "side-by-side" are you referring to the attribute table? If so, are the attribute tables of your spatial datasets the same (ie. have the same field names?). – Keagan Allan Jul 9 '18 at 1:03
  • Thanks Allan - Yes I am using QGIS so I have updated the tags. When I say "side-by-side", I mean, actually seeing all the polygons on the same map (i.e. Scotland and Wales as well as England's 9 GOR) rather than the attribute table. Once I get home tonight, I will do a quick example on QGIS and post the photo. Thanks for your help! – XavierFaux Jul 9 '18 at 9:49
  • I have included an example from QGIS with the two shapefiles in my main post. I would like to merge them into 1. – XavierFaux Jul 9 '18 at 17:57

There are several ways to merge vector layers in QGIS. While the ogr2ogr solution provided by Ian is perfectly viable, the need to use text commands can be a bit intimidating to the non-code oriented user (like me!). Here's another option.

The Processing Toolbox has two tools for merging vector layers. One is a core QGIS tool, the other is a SAGA tool.

  • The core QGIS tool provides the option to do a CRS transformation when merging the layers
  • The SAGA tool allows you to toggle two options: "Add source information" and "Merge fields by name"

Processing menu > Toolbox > type "merge" into the search bar in the Toolbox

enter image description here

Note: Different versions of QGIS have different tools available in the menus. Whenever you're trying to follow a tutorial and can't find a tool in the menu location mentioned, look for it in the Processing Toolbox.

Another Note: Layers should be in the same CRS before merging. (This is generally true for Geoprocessing tools.) To re-project a layer, right click on the layer name in the layers panel, choose Save as... and select the target CRS before saving as a new file.

The Merge Vector Layers tool can also be accessed through the Vector menu.

Vector menu > Data Management Tools > Merge Vector Layers...

enter image description here

Note: This answer was tested using QGIS 3.2.

  • Thanks - the 1st option worked. i had to get the CRS to match. I've now put the shapefile in Tableau so going to try and use it properly.Thanks!! – XavierFaux Jul 9 '18 at 20:08
  • Thanks for the feedback. I'll update my answer to mention that input layers should have matching CRS. – csk Jul 9 '18 at 20:46

For a simple task like this I would use ogr2ogr (it is in the OSGEO4W shell if you are on Windows).

To merge filename1.shp and filename2.shp into merge.shp you would do:

ogr2ogr -f ‘ESRI Shapefile’ merge.shp filename1.shp
ogr2ogr -f ‘ESRI Shapefile’ -update -append merge.shp filename2.shp -nln merge

Then just keep repeating the 2nd line for as many shapefiles as you want to merge.

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