I am trying to put a default value of a field so that the value always updates once any change is make item. Either the expression builder or function editor are fine. I'm more familiar with the expression builder so I went that path. There should only ever be 1 pole within 5m of the start point so I can use concatenate but if there is a way to find the closest pole that would be best.

If I use the code below I get no info no matter how large I make the distance.

 aggregate( layer:='Poles', aggregate:=' concatenate' , expression:="Pole Id", filter:=buffer(start_point( geometry(@parent)) ,0.00005),',')

With this code I get every item no matter how small I make the distance.

aggregate( layer:='Poles', aggregate:=' concatenate' , expression:="Pole Id", filter:=geom_to_wkt(buffer(start_point( geometry(@parent)) ,0.00005)),',')

I tried to find an answer but this was the closest I could find. I don't have enough rep to add a comment so I had to post a new question. @csk Close but not quite answer

  • FYI, when you "at" someone in a question, they don't get a message or any kind of notification. @username only works in the comment section, when that user has previously commented on that same post. (SE is kindof an anti-social media website in that way.)
    – csk
    Commented Jun 27, 2019 at 19:58
  • 1
    For the filter input, you need a function that gives true/false as its output, but the output of the buffer function is a geometry. Try something along the lines of: intersects($geometry,buffer(start_point( geometry(@parent)) ,0.00005))
    – csk
    Commented Jun 27, 2019 at 20:02
  • I know the "at" function didn't work cause I had to manually do the link. There is also no way to message you either but I though it would get your attention that way. aggregate( 'lakeland_power_poles_2ea67cd7_23c8_42f9_92e8_564dc5d422cc', 'concatenate',"Pole Id",intersects($geometry,buffer(start_point( geometry(@parent)) ,0.00005))) seems to work
    – Andrew
    Commented Jun 28, 2019 at 13:08

2 Answers 2


When the Aggregate functions are getting you down, try RefFunctions.

  1. Install the RefFunctions plugin. This adds a variety of useful custom functions to the expression builder, including geomnearest.

    geomnearest function

    Retrieve target field value from the nearest target feature in target layer. Syntax: geomnearest(targetLayer,targetField)


    targetLayer → the name of a currently loaded layer, for example 'myLayer'.

    targetField → a field in target layer we want as result when source feature is within target feature, for example 'myField'. If targetField is equal to '$geometry' The WKT geometry of targetFeature willbe retrieved. If otherwise is equal to '$distance' the calculated distance between source and target features will be returned

  2. For the default field value, use geomnearest to auto-fill the field with the targetField of the nearest point, no matter how far away that point is. (note: I tested this expression, and it worked)

    geomnearest('Poles','Pole Id')

I tried to find a solution using geomdistance to auto-fill the field with the targetField of the nearest point, as long as that point is within a specified distance. However, I couldn't quite make it work. I'm including my best attempt; feel free to use it as a starting point. Comment if you find a solution, or feel free to post as a separate answer.

  if( distance( start_point($geometry), geomnearest('Poles',$geometry))<5, geomnearest('Poles','Pole Id'), NULL)

The error seems to come from using geomnearest to get a feature's geometry. I can get other RefFunctions to work with $geometry as a parameter, but not geomnearest. When I use the recommended syntax from the function description, geomnearest('Poles','$geometry'), I get this error:

Eval Error: 'QgsGeometry' object has no attribute 'exportToWkt'

But if I use the syntax that seems right to me, geomnearest('Poles',$geometry), I get this error:

Eval Error: error: targetFieldName not present.

You can probably get around this by adding the WKT geometry as a text field, using the field calculator and geom_to_WKT($geometry). Then substitute for the second parameter in the distance function above: geom_from_WKT(geomnearest('Poles','mygeometryfield'))

  • This definitely helps get me on the right path. Only issue is I can't pick start point and it seems just to take the nearest two features from all the poles and lines and only uses that point with geomnearest('Poles','Pole Id'). Is there a way you can specify geomneareast to use start_point?
    – Andrew
    Commented Jun 28, 2019 at 13:03

What ended up working thanks to @csk suggestion was

 aggregate( 'Poles', 'concatenate',"Pole Id",intersects($geometry,buffer(start_point( geometry(@parent)) ,0.00005)))

The nearest option would still be best but I can't seem to get that working with start_point.

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