I work in an ecological consultancy and we would save money on mapping tiles if we could import DWG files into QGIS, they must be georeferenced however as we need to draw on various habitats accurately and be able to measure distances/ areas.

I have obviously managed to convert DWGs into DWF using Thienga and opening it into QGIS, but it loses the georefrence data.

I have also tried Project > import DWG/ DXF - but cannot find the 'geopackage' (whatever that is)?


2 Answers 2


To import DWG you don`t need to find geopackage, you need to create one to store data from DWG into.

Geopackage is data format similar to shapefile..

To import DWG select name and location of gepackage to be created, coordinate system of your data (CRS) and location of .dwg file. When DWG is loaded select layers to be imported: enter image description here

If data isnt georeferenced after using this step, you should check if original data is georeferenced.

Keep in mind on import, structure of your data will change. Data will be converted into several layers based on geometries. Text from dwg will be converted to points with text strings stored in attribute table, most geometries will be in lines layer..

In my expirience its better to save DWG into DXF, then you can just "drag & drop" it into QGIS, also most of the styling is preserved.


I use ODA File Converter to batch convert DWGs to DXFs, these can then be added to QGIS.

You give it an input folder and output folder and tell it the input file format and desired output format, '2018 ASCII DXF' in my case.

  • Hi TeddyTedTed - yes I did that, but the resulting file is not georeferenced - I need to open an aerial photo using Bing Maps behind it - it will not do this...any ideas? Mar 21, 2019 at 10:16
  • @DominicSheldon The original DWGs are georeferenced correct? The resulting DXFs won't have a coordinate system embedded in them but their geometry will be at the original coordinates. You will have to declare what coordinate system they were in originally when you import into QGIS. In QGIS go to Setting > Options > CRS and make sure that under 'CRS for new layers' you have 'Prompt for CRS' checked, this will make sure QGIS asks what CRS they are in. Mar 21, 2019 at 10:26
  • Hi Ted, the prompt for CRS is checked, but it still does not work. I assume that the CAD file is not geo-ref.... :s Mar 21, 2019 at 10:57
  • @DominicSheldon Do you know where one of the DWGs should be located? If you open the DWG in CAD does it show the data sitting at coordinates that make sense for the location that it should be at in the world? Mar 21, 2019 at 11:20
  • Yes, I know where it should be and I can see the coords, but no idea on the CRS. Topo maps are picked up in the field and are sometimes linked to international datums and sometimes not. Mar 21, 2019 at 12:44

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