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I have two polygon shapefiles which contain about 30 features. These features have different boundaries in both shapefiles so the areas are different too.

I want to calculate that difference in the area for each feature using QGIS. Shall I use the intersection tool for that?

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    you should use 'difference' instead of intersect. – eurojam Apr 15 at 20:27
  • @eurojam But how I can know difference between each feature if I use difference tool. That will just delete intersecting areas and keed the rest. – user122678 Apr 15 at 20:33
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    I would compute the areas, join the two datasets on your common key field, and then subtract that the two area columns from each other. – Paul H Apr 15 at 21:02
  • Do you have access to geopandas? This is very easy in geopandas. – Paul H Apr 15 at 21:04
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  1. Use the Field Calculator to calculate the area in each layer (we'll call them Layer 1 and Layer 2). Store these value as attributes, eg "L1_area" for the area of Layer 1, and "L2_area" for the area of Layer 2.
  2. Join the "L2_area" attribute to Layer 1.
    • If your layers have an attribute with shared values, you can achieve this with a table join.
    • If your layer doesn't have a shared attribute, AND corresponding features overlap each other (but not other features), you can do a spatial join instead (join attributes by location tool).
  3. Calculate the difference between "L1_area" and "L2_area"

    "L1_area" - "L2_area"
    

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