I have to point some pottery on QGIS. The thing is that each pot has a key number but it may be found in more that one broken pieces (example: P234 has 4 pieces).

Should I add them on my floorplan polygons as multipoint shapefile or as a point/ cluster point?

Also, one more parameter is that afterwards I will have to join the shapefile with an excelExcel table on which each pot only exist once

  • What do you mean by “point some pottery”?
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Jun 25, 2022 at 11:07
  • Hello, I meant that I need to put points for each pot on the map
    – Ermioni
    Commented Jun 25, 2022 at 11:10

1 Answer 1


If your pieces have individual (non-spatial) attributes, such as when the piece was found, an important number for the piece, or who found that piece, then you should use POINT geometry and then each POINT can have its own attributes.

Otherwise if the pieces are never going to have any individual characteristics that you want to put in your data, you can use MULTIPOINT. This would make it simpler to do a 1-point-to-1-row join between spatial data and a spreadsheet.

You can split MULTIPOINT to POINT with a QGIS process and I think it will replicate the MULTIPOINT attributes across each POINT created.

I've never really understood why the OGC SF standard has "MULTIPOINT" since it can always be equivalent to a POINT geometry and an N-points-to-1-row key to a database table to define the collection of points that would otherwise make up a MULTIPOINT, plus you can have individual POINT attributes too.

  • Thanks for your answer! Actually, each poit (so each pot) has its own attributes (like decoration, shape etc), but the thing is that one pot could be found in many pieces (even in different rooms sometimes). In that case what should I do?
    – Ermioni
    Commented Jun 26, 2022 at 7:39
  • Use POINT geometry, with one point per piece, and have a PIECE_ID field that is unique in the spatial data, and a POT_ID field in the spatial data that is the same for all pieces from the same pot. That POT_ID field should also exist in the Excel sheet. When you join, each piece will get the pot attributes from the Excel sheet and keep its individual attributes.
    – Spacedman
    Commented Jun 26, 2022 at 15:03

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