I am trying to build a choropleth map for an assignment. This requires that I merge the shape files in the following compressed folders into a single shapefile.

I have just installed QGIS to get this done. My challenge is that I like to know the contents in these folders that are needed and those I should discard.

I am new to GIS.

  • 1
    If you use the Browser panel, you'll be able to see valid geometry files inside a zip file too, and if you drag-and-drop the zipfile you'll be presented with a list of the valid layers (without worrying about .shp, .prj, .shx, etc) to add.
    – Simbamangu
    Nov 1, 2020 at 7:23

1 Answer 1


Minimum requirement for shapefiles are .shp, .dbf and .shx files. Check https://desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/10.3/manage-data/shapefiles/shapefile-file-extensions.htm for further informations about this file format and its different extensions.

To merge them, just unpack your .zip and make sure all fileextensions of the same filename are in the same folder. Then just drag & drop the .shp files into QGIS. Run "merge vector layers" from processing toolbox and choose both as input.

By default, the processing toolbox is hidden. To show it, go to View --> Panels and check "Processing Toolbox". Then just type in the tool name "merge vector layers" into its search field and double click it:

enter image description here

Finally choose your both layers from "input layers" menu and hit run.


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