I am creating a map with airports, using an airplane symbology (svg). Instead of having all small plane symbols turned north, I would like to rotate them to be all turned to Paris. I have 28 airport points in one layer, and the point of Paris in another layer.

I assume I need to draw lines between each point to Paris, then calculate some rotation angle that I can then use in the symbology.

How is this best achieved?

2 Answers 2


I am making the following assumptions:

  1. You are using a projected coordinate system
  2. Your data is in two separate layers called cities and planes

This solution should also extend to the case of multiple cities

Onto the solution:

  1. Add a unique id field to planes called plane_id
  2. Add a unique id field to cities called city_id (it will just be one value in OP's case, but if you have multiple cities then this solution will extend to that case as well)
  3. Add a field to planes called city_id and set it equal to each plane's corresponding city's city_id value from cities (in OP's case, this will just be a single value)
  4. In the Toolbox, run Join by lines (hub lines), naming the output spokes with the following inputs:
    • Hub layer: cities
    • Hub id field: city_id
    • Spoke layer: planes
    • Spoke id field: city_id (This is actually where you determine to which hub each spoke will be connected to, not the unique id field of each spoke)
  5. Add a real/float/double field to spokes called angle and set it equal to angle_at_vertex(geometry:=$geometry,vertex:=0) (Source)
  6. Join spokes to planes using the field plane_id for both layers
  7. (Optional) Save planes as a new layer if you want to preserve the join
  8. Set the rotation angle of the planes symbol to the angle field which was just joined into plane (see pic)

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A one-step scenario :

you add a virtual field in your airports table using the following expression :

angle_at_vertex( make_line( centroid($geometry), centroid( geometry( get_feature( 'destinations', 'name', 'PARIS')))), 0)

And you use that angle value ("angle") as data-defined rotation as mentionned by @wfgeo

I assume your "PARIS" point layer is called 'destinations' and has a 'name' attribute.

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