I would like to extract a number of features from a ShapeFile which match with specific latitude/longitude values. I am interested if/how this can be done with QGIS and ogr2ogr. The output should be a ShapeFile as well; for QGIS a layer is sufficient.

I assume the command for ogr2ogr could be something like:

ogr2ogr -f "ESRI Shapefile" -where "Y = 40.752459 AND X = -73.983521" output.shp input.shp

However I am having difficulties finding out what the attributes for lat/lon are named.

Optional: Also, is there an option for a fuzzy query where I can configure a radius around the coordinates?

I am running Ubuntu 12.04. with QGIS 1.9.0 via ubuntugis-nightly and GDAL 1.10.0.

2 Answers 2


I would not recommend using a single coordinate pair for accuracy reasons. For the fuzzy query, you can better create a buffer around that point.

Using QGIS, you can create points with the Numerical Digitize Plugin by coordinates, then create a buffer circle around the point with Vector -> Geoprocessing tools -> Buffer(s), and clip the shapefile layer to that buffer layer.

  • Sounds good. But how can I select a coordinate by typing in the latitude/longitude values?
    – JJD
    Jul 25, 2013 at 10:17
  • The Numerical Digitize Plugin allows entering coordinates in a simple way.
    – AndreJ
    Jul 25, 2013 at 11:06
  • I extracted NumericalDigitize 0.1.4 into .qgis2/python/plugins. It appears in the plugins list however it cannot be activated for QGIS 1.9.0. -- "This plugin is incompatible with this version of QGIS. Plugin designed for QGIS 1.5 - 1.99"
    – JJD
    Jul 26, 2013 at 8:41
  • I managed to activate NumericalDigitize 0.1.4. by editing the version tag in metadata.txt and (optionally) __init.py__. It set qgisMinimumVersion=2.0. QGIS must be restarted to reload the modified plugin.
    – JJD
    Jul 26, 2013 at 9:11
  • It worked for me in QGIS 1.8.0. You stumbled on the new plugin policy, which leads to problems until QGIS 2.0 is finally released.
    – AndreJ
    Jul 26, 2013 at 10:10

An early solution with a PostGIS database (local installation).

If you want a radius you can use the ST_buffer function. 2 commands with ogr2ogr allow you to obtain your output shapefile :

1 -- load into PostGIS :

ogr2ogr -f "PostgreSQL" -a_srs "EPSG:4326" \
    PG:"host= user=postgres dbname=mydb password=mypwd" \
    input.shp -nln newtablename -nlt geometry -overwrite

2 -- execute query and export result with a radius --> st_buffer() 500 is the radius :

ogr2ogr -f  "Esri Shapefile" output.shp -a_srs "EPSG:4326" -s_srs "EPSG:4326" \
    PG:"host= user=postgres dbname=mydb password=mypwd" \
    -sql "select id_1, id_1 as name_field, id_1 as value_1_field, wkb_geometry \
    from newtablename, ( select  'id_x' as id, \
    setsrid(ST_buffer(ST_MakePoint(40.752459 , -73.98352),500),4326) as geom ) \
    as mypoint_with_radius where \
    st_intersects(newtablename.wkb_geometry, mypoint_with_radius.geom)" \

I work on Windows 7 with FWTools but I can't test it on another machine.
I hope it will be useful ...

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