Shapefile I am referring to is 'NUTS_RG_03M_2010' which is together with several other shapefiles available in a ZIP file on the Eurostat web site.

the ZIP file

the available map sets at Eurostat

I am importing NUTS_RG_03M_2010.shp as a vector layer.

enter image description here

Actually I am interested in the NUTS 2 or 3 level - not the here displayed national level. Now I print this map in a PDF and when I open it I can see the different layers in short intervals displayed - from very fine grained to the national level. The screen shot shows one intermediate level:

enter image description here

My conclusion is that those levels, layers or whatever it is called are "hidden" somewhere and must be displayable and editable in QGIS. How do I access them?

My ultimate goal is to convert a NUTS 3 level layer to GeoJSON or SVG.


1 Answer 1


This shapefile contains multilevel geometries, which means that there is NUTS 1, 2 and 3 in this layer. To get only NUTS 3, you got to select only those. In QGIS, right-click on the layer, and click on Query Then, in the SQL where clause" field, enter :

"STAT_LEVL_" = 3

This way, only the NUTS3 will be displayed :)

You can then export this layer to GeoJSON using the Save As dialog by right-clicking on the layer. Or to SVG by using the Print Composer

  • That did the trick - thanks a lot! Two more questions: 1) What SQL (dialect) is this? 2) How do I find out how many levels are available?
    – Raffael
    Jan 23, 2013 at 22:33
  • 1
    1) It's a custom SQL-like query language, not offering all the features of a standard SQL DBMS. 2) You can check those levels by looking at the Attribute Table, which displays the data associated to geometries. For this, right-click on the layer and click on Open Attribute Table
    – RobinC
    Jan 23, 2013 at 22:38
  • And a third one :) Saving the layer as SVG works (I find it odd to considers this conversion as "printing") but the <path>s are lacking IDs / attributes. So I don't know what polygon represents which geographic entity and also cannot programmtically reference it. Do you know how to deal with this issue?
    – Raffael
    Jan 23, 2013 at 22:40
  • 1
    You can get those ids by using the SimpleSVG plugin : Go to Plugins -> Fetch Python Plugins Search for SimpleSVG and install it. It should appear on your Plugin Toolbar, and you ca then use it. But note that only the ID will be exported into the SVG, not the attributes
    – RobinC
    Jan 23, 2013 at 22:55
  • 3
    @RobinC The Query (now called Filter in dev) function is the SQL dialect of the provider not a QGIS custom one. If you are using PostGIS then anything you can do in a PostGIS WHERE you can do in there, using a ogr based layer and it will use OGR SQL syntax, MS SQL layers use T-SQL.
    – Nathan W
    Jan 24, 2013 at 0:59

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