I have multiple line layers that represent bus routes and many of the routes overlap (i.e. near terminals, transfer locations, etc.) Is there a function in QGIS which will display both features next/parallel to each other?

In the example link, the Red and Purple lines are two separate routes, they both utilize the same roads. The purple line overlaps the red line and the red line is not visible.


  • 1
    Offset was without doubt the best answer here. Thanks!
    – user53489
    Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 22:25

4 Answers 4


You can use an offset for one of the two routes. You find the option for each line style.


Read your request already at the mailing list. As none of the geeks really answered, i'm not sure if my propsal is the right one.

In GRASS, there is the v.generalize function with a displacement. As far as i understood from reading a while ago, it is meant for separation of overlapping or very close lines.

v.generalize input=roads_dr output=roads_dr_disp method=displacement alpha=0.01 beta=0.01 threshold=100 iterations=35

Better read the whole (not really extensive) thing yourself. http://grasswiki.osgeo.org/wiki/V.generalize_tutorial#Displacement

I tried it once through the toolbox, but somehow i never reached my goal. So the trick will be to find proper parameter settings, i guess


The only thing that comes to my mind is to change a thickness and transparency of the red line to be thicker and more transparent than purple line.
If these two lines belonging to the same layer,

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    I do not think that Qgis have a function that will display both features parallel to each other unless you do it manually
    – hapa
    Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 15:37

I changed the rendering order to show the lines that I wanted to emphasize first.

down the bottom of the Properties|Symbology dialogue there is an option to change the order of rendering of lines. This allows you to control which one is drawn first. I used "Field_Heading" = 'Field_Value' as my formula render the layer I wanted first, then left the remainder blank.

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