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This question already has an answer here:

Using the Atlas plugin for qGIS how do I set the coverage so that it will only highlight the feature(s) I want but still show the surrounding features as grayed out areas?

This would have been easy if I don't need to work with several thousand features.

I am not asking just how to mask neighboring features. I am asking how to to make Atlas dynamically mask neighboring features of the POI.

The idea is similar to this map here.

marked as duplicate by underdark Apr 30 '14 at 17:29

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Thank you Ryan. Yes, I think a mask is the correct term but I'm looking for a way to automatically applied a mask around the features not selected in the coverage layer of the Atlas plugin for qGIS. The link you provided, would require me to mask every feature I want manually - I got several thousands. – n1kn0k Mar 4 '13 at 23:47
  • There's a "margin around feature" which if I set it to 0%, I expect Atlas to put the whole feature without margin in the map window. Is this a bug? – n1kn0k Mar 5 '13 at 5:13
  • I heard back from the Atlas developer and was told that what I wanted to do is not currently possible. – n1kn0k Mar 6 '13 at 0:16
  • Have you seen oslandia.com/masking-features-in-qgis-24-en.html – Jakob Dec 4 '14 at 13:28
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You could do some fake styling as mentioned below if you need to apply it to only a couple of layers.

  1. Create a copy of your shapefile. This will act as a dummy layer.
  2. Add a new field to this shapefile and name it Hightlight.Add it to map. Select the required features and update this field value = 1.
  3. Right-click your original layer in map and copy style.
  4. Paste the style to your dummy layer. Move this layer above your original layer in table of contents.
  5. Right-click dummy layer and set query 'Highlight = 1' so only those features will be visible.
  6. Set a 90% transparency to your original layer(you may need to use old symbology in Qgis 1.8).

you would get something like below.

enter image description here

  • I did mention I got several thousand features I need to work on. So, I can't accept this as an answer. Thanks for the tip though. – n1kn0k Mar 5 '13 at 4:31
  • @n1kn0k - how do you determine which features you want highlighted? will you be doing a selection on map? It does not matter really if you have thousands of features..once you have a selection you can update all attributes using field calculator in no time – vinayan Mar 5 '13 at 4:39
  • most of the features share common borders with each other. Atlas prints the feature in the center, but will also display neighboring features. I'm hoping to find a way to mask the neighboring features being shown on the map. – n1kn0k Mar 5 '13 at 4:46
  • let me clarify this a bit. in your example, let's say I have neighboring counties A,B,C,D,E with C in their center. If I use the counties as my coverage, it will print all the features found there but it will also displaying the neighboring features to C. I'm hoping to mask out/apply some transparency to features other than C. I hope I managed to explain myself. – n1kn0k Mar 5 '13 at 4:51
  • @n1kn0k - i updated the picture in answer..is this the type of result you want? – vinayan Mar 5 '13 at 5:03
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This is currently not possible. The latest discussion I found about this is from September 2013: http://osgeo-org.1560.x6.nabble.com/Atlas-feature-filtering-td5079184.html

The closest solution is this workaround by Nathan: How to produce multiple maps with same layout for different layers' extents?

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