I have a simple SpatiaLite geodb loaded in QGIS with one table. There is a POINT geometry field and some alphanumeric data. In some cases I can record data about a specific site, but the coordinates are not available at this time and will be retrieved and recorded later. In some other cases I have the coordinates and I want to insert them right into the geometry field, preferably by clicking on the map canvas in the same way available for adding new features (having a separate text field for the coordinates and generating the geometry from that is a no-go).

How do I add a geometry to an existing feature that was created with a NULL geometry field?

2 Answers 2


If you're after a GUI solution, you can use the "Add Part" tool (QGIS >=2.2 only). First, make your layer editable. Then in an Attribute Table select a single row with a null geometry that you want to add a geometry to. Back in the map canvas, select the "Add Part" tool and draw your geometry. The null geometry will be replaced by your newly drawn shape.

  • 1
    In QGis 3.0.2, this tool is in Edit Menu.
    – kogexo
    Commented May 14, 2018 at 16:13
  • In 2.18 I had to make the tool visible by going to View > Toolbars > Advanced Digitizing Toolbar
    – Pocketsand
    Commented Aug 4, 2018 at 11:51

You can do this straight in spatialite. Run an UPDATE query each time you have the coordinates available like:

UPDATE point_table 
SET geometry=MakePoint(<your_new_x_coord>,<your_new_y_coord>, SRID)   
WHERE site_id=...;

This can be done from the spatialite_gui, or one of the QGIS database plugins. Does that help?

  • 1
    I should have explained that I need a GUI solution (e.g. click on a map) but maybe that can be done in one of the QGIS plugins?
    – steko
    Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 13:12
  • How ar eyou adding points to the table with a NULL geometry? I don't think that's possible in QGIS. On the other hand, you could implement a simple trigger to update the geometry column with the actual geometry whenever real x-y coordinates are added.
    – Micha
    Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 20:54
  • It is possible in some cases. See this other question that I posted right now.
    – steko
    Commented Dec 8, 2012 at 13:12

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