I'm new in QGis and I already have a big Problem with the speed of this Program. Till now I have only worked with ArcGIS and have never had a problem like this. Everytime I start QGIS and add Layers it already takes a lot of time to load which I could get over, but the whorst thing about is even when I try to drag the card a little bit with the cursor it takes ages till the progam has finished loading just to move the card a little bit to the site. Is that normal? Has anybody ever had problems like this or maybe a conclusion how I can solve this problem?? As I said I have already worked a lot with ArcGIS and never had any problems like that, I was also told that QGIS is usually faster than other GIS Programs. Please help me. Thanks. Ps. I have already tried several versions of QGIS.

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    What Operating System? RAM, CPU? What version of QGIS? had the odd issue with 1.9 on windows 8 but still fast enough.
    – Mapperz
    Aug 2, 2013 at 16:24
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    What kind of dataprovider are you using (database/shapefile...)? Is it just a simple design or complex symbology? Aug 2, 2013 at 16:29
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    Whats do you mean by a card?
    – DPierce
    Aug 2, 2013 at 16:52
  • My guess: carte (french) can translate to map or card.
    – mkennedy
    Aug 2, 2013 at 19:06
  • Hey there, my OS is Windows 7 i have 8 GB Ram and my CPU is a Intel Core I-5 3210M @ 2.5 GHZ. My data is from here: >>download.geofabrik.de/asia/indonesialatest.shp.zip. But I have also tried other datas and was always the same.
    – Daniel
    Aug 3, 2013 at 10:18

1 Answer 1


I'm using 1.8 QGIS and downloaded the shapefile(s) for this area. The building shapefile is 148 mb and has close to 1.1 million polygons in it - so it's going to be slow. My suggestion would be to add everything to qgis and go get a beer. Once you get back set the properties for the buildings layer (get to that by right clicking the layer adn then clicking on Properties) set a scale for rendering (in the general tab). I can't imagine the building layer will be much use beyond a 1:12000 or a 1:24000 scale. That will greatly speed up your data display. Maybe you should do that for some of the other layers also (like the points/places shapefile).

I would also build a spatial index for the data (Vector -> Data Management -> Create Spatial Index)

The best thing to do with this much data would be to load it into PostGIS (in my opinion) - but that's a whole other topic of discussion.

Good Luck!

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    One thing you can do to speed up access to the layer properties dialog is to untick render (towards the bottom right of the GUI next to the EPSG code). If you open the layer with this unticked, the layer will load quickly as it doesn't need to render it. You can then access the layer properties dialog quicker to set zoom levels and build a spatial index. Then turn rendering back on.
    – James S
    Aug 5, 2013 at 12:16
  • Another thing would be to save the style of the layer in a qml file (Save Style... on the Layer properties dialog) and save it in the same folder as your shapefile with the same name. Then QGIS will load this style each time you open the shapefile.
    – James S
    Aug 5, 2013 at 12:18

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