I have a road network shapefile that I want to use to create multiple maps from it, each based on some selection of original shapefile. For example, I want to show all highways with some custom symbology and all bike paths with a different symbology both based on the road shapefile( so they are automatically updated whenever network is modified).

I don't want to create a new shapefile for each of them, as the whole purpose is to map these selections and see the changes as road network is updated. I think I was able to do this in ArcGIS by creating a new layer, but at least I can't find it in QGIS.

Thanks in advance.

  • Can't you just style the layer with different styles for each road type?
    – Nathan W
    Jan 23, 2013 at 4:00
  • @NathanW I need to have some coffee, i guess! Thanks! though, I can't accept ur answer since it's posted as comment, so if you want please post it as answer. otherwise, I'll delete this question as I don't think it's helpful to others.
    – Alex
    Jan 23, 2013 at 4:29
  • @Nathan W : what if my selection is based on a complex query, so it doesn't correspond to an existing column. then I'll want to visualize different queries on a single shapefile...
    – Alex
    Jan 23, 2013 at 4:34
  • Depends on what the queries are. See if my answer helps.
    – Nathan W
    Jan 23, 2013 at 4:44

1 Answer 1


The simple answer is to style you layer with an attribute to show the difference.

If you need to do anything more complicated you can do two things.

  1. Use the rule based rendering


  2. Open the layer more then once and set the query/filter for each layer to something different.

    enter image description here

The first option is best if you want to show everything but based on more then one attribute. The second is good if you need to turn layers on and off to see only one or n types at a time.

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