How can I get line features to appear as great circles on a map, instead of straight lines?

  • You want to display a line as a circle? Considered computing the centroid of the line and buffer/increase it to your liking?
    – Curlew
    Commented Mar 4, 2013 at 13:08
  • 2
    You need to give more information, in order to answer your question. What software are you using? How are you drawing these lines? How did you generate the lines? Commented Mar 4, 2013 at 15:13
  • if you are interested in doing your mapping in R, check out this blog post: flowingdata.com/2011/05/11/…
    – jed.a.long
    Commented Mar 4, 2013 at 19:10
  • I'm using Quantum GIS, and what I was hoping to get is when I draw a line between two points on a map, it would show as a great circle line (a curved line, depending on the current projection), and not as a straight line on the screen.
    – user15749
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 7:06
  • 2
    You might find either of these posts helpful: gis.stackexchange.com/questions/84443/… or gis.stackexchange.com/questions/5204/…
    – Amanda
    Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 20:44

1 Answer 1


All comments look great but let me draw your attention to new Beeline plugin (Oct.2017~).

Probably no explanations are needed. Enjoy!

enter image description here

  • 2
    Actually, I find the Shape Tools plugin to better suite my needs, as it converts line features to great circle arcs.
    – user15749
    Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 10:22
  • 1
    @user15749 thanks for Shape Tools mention. Saved me a lot of time. Commented Dec 25, 2018 at 6:46

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