I noticed that with at least QGIS 3.14 (maybe earlier too) all objects are exported to shapefile as multi-geometry ie. points are exported as multipoints, lines as multiLines, etc, even if objects are internally stored as single-part geometry (after running multipart to single part). I simply noticed that when some of my GDAL-based scripts stopped working with new data processed with this version of QGIS. I consider it a bug. But I'm afraid it is a feature with some narrow-targeted explanations.

  • 3
    Shapefile doesn't support the concept of multi-geometry in lines or polygons (all lines and polygons are always potentially multi-part). It does support point/multipoint, because the file format is different (XY vs bnd,count,array of XY). Please Edit your Question to contain a question.
    – Vince
    Sep 27, 2020 at 14:28
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    – Ian Turton
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  • The question is correct and is answered below
    – jarekj71
    Sep 28, 2020 at 20:39

1 Answer 1


@Jarekj1 yes, I also noticed it trying to change a plugin from QGIS2 to 3, in QGIS3.4. I could notice that in QGIS2 it accepted simple geometries, but in 3 all of them are "apparently" generated as multipart.

Just in case, I put a conditional in my code if feature.geometry().isMultipart(): to handle the case that a simple geometry arrives, but it has not happened yet.

If you are writing code I advise you to consider that conditional. At least, until we find such a specification in the API or a CORE developer manifests it

If you want to handle multiparts with python in QGIS, just make the queries and we will guide you.

  • Thanks, that explains. Unfortunaltey .isMulipart is not gdal/ogr api but qgis. For gdal there is a different workaround (check geometry type)
    – jarekj71
    Sep 28, 2020 at 20:44

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