I have a layer with point data for the grave positions in our cemetery. We are gathering data from each headstone. If I enter the data to a spreadsheet can I later associate the spreadsheet with the point data layer.

Will I have to go back to the point data layer and add all the columns from the spreadsheet as attributes to make the point layer searchable by data from the headstones?

Would a better solution be to use a PostgreSQL to make a database to associate with the point layer?

Am I going about this the right way?

2 Answers 2


There are many ways to do this and yes, you will save yourself a lot of trouble by setting this up with a PostGIS backend. Data joins are simple if all data is loaded into a db.

But of course, you could also join an attribute file (eg. in CSV format) and point layer (eg. Shapefile) in QGIS - as long as it is a one-to-one join! (PostGIS doesn't have this limitation.)

  • Thanks underdark. You may have guessed that I am trying to get to grips with a lot of new stuff at the same time. I have a project, to map our cemetery AND make all the headstone data available using QGIS. Along the way I have realised the probable importance of a db product and have downloaded and installed PostgreSQL. I know nothing about relational databases except that they can be extremely useful! You probably understand better than I do the work I am facing. Stack Exchange is a great place to learn but I am trying not to be too much of a nuisance and put something back where I can :)
    – nigellaw
    Dec 29, 2012 at 20:03
  • Can you recommend a good PostgreSQL Forum please? Or is this The Place ?
    – nigellaw
    Dec 29, 2012 at 20:09
  • for Postgres-only questions, you can use dba.stackexchange.com. If it's a PostGIS question, I'd ask it here.
    – underdark
    Dec 29, 2012 at 20:50
  • 1
    You could always use Spatialite for a lighter solution then PostGIS
    – Nathan W
    Dec 29, 2012 at 23:14
  • @NigelLaw you are certainly not a nuisance. We enjoy answering questions, so ask away. Just keep upvoting/selecting answers and we'll keep answering. Someday soon you will be one of the ones answering questions!
    – katahdin
    Dec 30, 2012 at 14:04

Additional to underdark's answer, if you want to use your spreadsheet to capture your data about the graves, ensure that each 'row' of the spreadsheet has the unique identifier of the grave site / point (by convention in postgis databases usually called 'gid' but could be called anything).

Once you have entered all your spreadsheet data, you can import the spreadsheet to POSTGIS and link the point data to the other data on the unique identifier value, which is how you get the 'join' in the database.


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