I am working with spatial data stored in an MSSQL 2012 database as varbinary. I am able to view the spatial data in SSMS with the following query:

SELECT geometry::STGeomFromWKB([column_name], 4955) FROM table_name;

How can I view this data in QGIS? I have successfully connected to the database in QGIS and have tried to run a similar spatialite sql query on the table as a virtual layer, but it does not work.

I have also tried to add the table to the geometry_columns table. QGIS will recognize it as a spatial layer once I drag the table in from the database, but nothing renders. It still shows up as a nonspatial table in the MSSQL connection.

A user with a similar question created a view in MSSQL, but reported that it could not be imported to QGIS.

In SSMS the records look like '0x001110310...'etc., and in QGIS they are all 'BLOB'.

  • Your view will need an OBJECTID built on the row_number() function. What type of spatial data is it - geometry or geography? Jul 3, 2019 at 16:03
  • From what i understand the data is stored as varbinary instead of geometry or geography - the only way I can view the spatial results is using the query above. The data can also be viewed spatially in a GIS routing software that my company uses to connect to the database. In the database schema the column type is varbinary.
    – Andriy
    Jul 3, 2019 at 16:17
  • Thank you @DPSSpatial .... I used the unique objectid field to create a view using the SSMS and it shows up in QGIS!
    – Andriy
    Jul 3, 2019 at 16:31

1 Answer 1


I was able to create a view in sql server using the following:

CREATE VIEW new_table 
       geometry::STGeomFromWKB([column_name], 4955) AS geom 
FROM table_name

And it showed up in my MSSQL connection in QGIS as a spatial layer.

  • it worked?! can you see it on a map?? Jul 3, 2019 at 16:50
  • Yes, it worked but I just realized that I did not include the objectid in my answer. The actual query was: CREATE VIEW new_table AS SELECT ObjID, geometry::STGeomFromWKB([column_name], 4955) AS geom FROM table_name; I added that view to QGIS and it shows up on the map.
    – Andriy
    Jul 3, 2019 at 18:16
  • ok good stuff!! Jul 3, 2019 at 18:30

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