I currently have a coordinate based map of the US and it's states for topojson (https://github.com/mbostock/topojson).

The coordinates are a JSON array (as topojson works), data looks like this:

[-123.233256,42.006186], [-122.378853,42.011663]...

Now what I'd like to do is combine states into regions, outside of doing this by hand (and that idea makes me feel sick), are there any tools which I can use to accomplish this?

I have QGIS but have no clue where to even start (let alone how to combine states in QGIS).

  • 1
    So it sounds like you are trying to "merge features", but with a source topojson file, correct? Sep 12, 2013 at 19:42
  • Correct! I can do this in inkscape with the SVG, but obviously that is post-projection. :( I'm assuming I may have to get the original maps for QGIS and do it there? I can't seem to go from topojson > QGIS. Sep 12, 2013 at 20:12

2 Answers 2


You can use topojson.merge to do this, as shown in bl.ocks.org/5416405:

merging states

There are a few limitations to this approach (such as its dependence on an exact topology and lack of detection of holes), but it might for you as-is or with a few adjustments.

There is also the simpler approach of drawing the set of polygons for each region twice, once with a stroke and once with a fill, as shown in bl.ocks.org/5416440:

merging states ii

See also a very similar question on Stack Overflow.

  • Awesome, got this implemented in very little amount of time. Thanks and works fine without adjustments. Guess I need to dig at topojson's docs more, it's quite powerful. Sep 13, 2013 at 18:41

The problem is that, for the moment, QGIS does not recognize the TopoJSON format (too recent). The solution is to transform the TopoJSON file into GeoJSON format:

and you can import the GeoJSON file in QGIS

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