I've been through some of the examples and solutions posted here for calculating chainage of a line or cumulative values. However, I am still unable to achieve the desired outcome.

What I am trying to do is to add the "Length" values by "row number". So the "Chg"(Chainage) i.e. a cumulative value of line section 1 = 7.69026, 2 = 14.83986, 3 = 22.69265 ... etc. Is there an expression I can use in field calculator to achieve this?

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2 Answers 2


+1 for the custom function, they are a good trick to have up your sleeve.

In this case you can do it with the built-in aggregate()function:

aggregate('Line_CHain', 'sum', "Length", "id"<=attribute(@parent, 'id'))
  • Thank you M Bain that worked a treat. Nice one! Thanks also Louis Cottereau. I didn't try the script but will at some point. Cheers
    – JohnF
    Aug 30, 2020 at 23:43

In your Field Calculator, go into the Function Editor, create a new file, insert this function:

Define new functions using @qgsfunction. feature and parent must always be the
last args. Use args=-1 to pass a list of values as arguments

from qgis.core import *
from qgis.gui import *
import sys
if sys.version_info.major == 3:
    layer_registry = QgsProject
    layer_registry = QgsMapLayerRegistry

@qgsfunction(args="auto", group='Custom')
def get_length_feature(layer_id, feature, parent):
    id = feature.id()
    len_tot = 0.
    for feat in layer_registry.instance().mapLayer(layer_id).getFeatures():
        if feat["id"] <= feature["id"]:
            len_tot += feat.geometry().length()
    return len_tot

Load it, return into the expression tab and insert the following: get_length_feature(@layer_id)

  • 1
    This will for each segment add all prevoius segments. That may not be a concern when your line has fewer than (say) a million segments, but runtime will grow exponentially (as far as i can math ;) ).
    – til_b
    Aug 28, 2020 at 12:23
  • 1
    True, so would the other answer also. However in that case i would definitely not do it like this, and i wouldn't use a million independant features also to do an incremental distance calcul. In that case i would do it programmaticaly with a single feature containing all the points as either a linestring or multilinestring Aug 28, 2020 at 12:29

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