I am trying to open a shp file from the EEA (Urban Atlas), and with some of the shp files qgis keeps crashing as soon as I try to load it. QGIS 1.8.0 is running on Windows 7; I reinstalled QGIS, reloaded the shp file from the EEA website. Metadata of the shp file is:

Geometry type of the features in this layer: Polygon The number of features in this layer: 15271 Editing capabilities of this layer: Add Features, Delete Features, Change Attribute Values, Add Attributes, Delete Attributes, Create Spatial Index, Fast Access to Features at ID, Change Geometries Extents: In layer spatial reference system units : xMin,yMin 4208112.15,2360649.92 : xMax,yMax 4271746.52,2392865.69 Layer Spatial Reference System: +proj=laea +lat_0=52 +lon_0=10 +x_0=4321000 +y_0=3210000 +ellps=GRS80 +towgs84=0,0,0,0,0,0,0 +units=m +no_defs

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    Can you point us to the actual file? Which QGis-Version did you install? The Standalone or the OSGEO4W-Package for Windows?
    – Curlew
    Commented Feb 28, 2013 at 9:37
  • What is the size of the shape file ? Did you try to open in other GIS software ? Did you try to open different shape file in QGIS ?
    – Sunil
    Commented Feb 28, 2013 at 9:51
  • Does QGIS crash or just turn unresponsive? A work-around could be to load the data in PostGIS and visualize/analyze in QGIS from there.
    – underdark
    Commented Feb 28, 2013 at 11:19

1 Answer 1


From the extent, I guess it should be the city of Genova from http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/data/urban-atlas, second page.

These shapefiles are rather big, so you better load without drawing, then zoom to a small scale, and enable rendering. It actually works for me with 2GB of RAM.

  • (1) yes, it's the Genva file, other italian cities actually work (I tried Bari) with my QGIS windows stand-alone installation; (2) and ARCGIS has no problems with any of these files (I am trying to shift my whole GIS analysis to QGIS, but ...)
    – Maggie
    Commented Feb 28, 2013 at 10:44
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    For large datasets like that maybe a spatialite database is better suited. You can use the spatialite_gui to import shapefiles. Then add the data with Add vector layer, not Add spatialite layer.
    – AndreJ
    Commented Feb 28, 2013 at 10:52

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