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I have a shapefile containing a lot of lines which I'm trying to separate based on direction.

Is there any way to calculate the line bearing against a compass (in degrees or just as North / North-East / East etc.) add this calculated value as a column to the shapefile?

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Here's something simple that worked for me.

  1. Extract vertices from your line layer.
  2. Install Shape Tools Plugin. Use Create Shape function and create a "line of bearing". For the Azimuth Field input select ANGLE. For the distance field, nothing. Then specify a standard length for all the lines.
  3. Run it and you'll get a new line layer with the extended lines. If you need the lines to go the other way, reverse the azimuth values.

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