Is there a QGIS Python binding for generating a grid programmatically without using the GUI?

  • grid of points or grid of polygons ?
    – gene
    Dec 9, 2013 at 17:25
  • @gene Preferably grid of polygons. Dec 10, 2013 at 12:44
  • "without GUI" do you mean "using the QGIS API from command line without having to start QGIS itself"?
    – underdark
    Dec 14, 2013 at 15:21
  • @underdark Yes, exactly. Dec 16, 2013 at 15:06

2 Answers 2


From an existing layer:

enter image description here

1) you can use processing with the algorithm "qgis:creategrid" as in the "Hex grid from layer bounds" in Processing/Scripts/Example scripts. (look at Processing-Help / qgis / creategrid.rst)

squared grid

import processing
layer = canvas.layer(0)
cellsize = 1000
input = processing.getobject(layer.name())
centerx = (input.extent().xMinimum() + input.extent().xMaximum()) / 2
centery = (input.extent().yMinimum() + input.extent().yMaximum()) / 2
width = (input.extent().xMaximum() - input.extent().xMinimum())
height = (input.extent().yMaximum() - input.extent().yMinimum())
processing.runandload("qgis:creategrid", cellsize, cellsize, width, height, centerx, centery, 1, input.crs().authid(), grid)

enter image description here

rectangular grid

cellsizex = 500
cellsizey = 1000
processing.runandload("qgis:creategrid", cellsizex, cellsizey, width, height, centerx, centery, 1, input.crs().authid(), grid)

enter image description here

For other types of grids change the value in runalg (0,1,2,3 = Rectangle (line), Rectangle (polygon), Diamond (polygon), Hexagon (polygon)):

For Hexagonal grid

processing.runandload("qgis:creategrid", cellsize, cellsize, width, height, centerx, centery, 3, input.crs().authid(), grid)

enter image description here

2) You can adapt the script of ustroetz in Create a square grid polygon shapefile with python

part of my class to create a memory layer limited here to the geometry of Polygons:

class Crea_layer(object):
    def __init__(self,name,type):
        self.name = name
        self.layer =  QgsVectorLayer(self.type, self.name , "memory")
        self.pr =self.layer.dataProvider() 
    def create_poly(self,points):
        self.seg = QgsFeature()  
        self.pr.addFeatures( [self.seg] )
    def disp_layer(self):

The script to create a squared grid layer from an existing layer:

from math import ceil
canvas= qgis.utils.iface.mapCanvas()
# first layer
layer = canvas.layer(0)
xmin,ymin,xmax,ymax = layer.extent().toRectF().getCoords()
gridWidth = 1000
gridHeight = 1000
rows = ceil((ymax-ymin)/gridHeight)
cols = ceil((xmax-xmin)/gridWidth)
ringXleftOrigin = xmin
ringXrightOrigin = xmin + gridWidth
ringYtopOrigin = ymax
ringYbottomOrigin = ymax-gridHeight
pol = Crea_layer("grid", "Polygon")
for i in range(int(cols)):
    # reset envelope for rows
    ringYtop = ringYtopOrigin
    ringYbottom =ringYbottomOrigin
    for j in range(int(rows)):
        poly = [QgsPoint(ringXleftOrigin, ringYtop),QgsPoint(ringXrightOrigin, ringYtop),QgsPoint(ringXrightOrigin, ringYbottom),QgsPoint(ringXleftOrigin, ringYbottom),QgsPoint(ringXleftOrigin, ringYtop)] 
        ringYtop = ringYtop - gridHeight
        ringYbottom = ringYbottom - gridHeight
    ringXleftOrigin = ringXleftOrigin + gridWidth
    ringXrightOrigin = ringXrightOrigin + gridWidth



enter image description here

But you can modify the script using numpy in place of math ceil and int

import numpy as np
rows = (ymax-ymin)/gridHeight
cols = (xmax-xmin)/gridWidth
for i in np.arange(cols):
    for j in np.arange(rows):

and if you don't understand xmin,ymin,xmax,ymax = layer.extent().toRectF().getCoords()

xmin = layer.extent().xMinimum()
xmax = layer.extent().xMaximum()
ymin = layer.extent().yMinimum()
ymax = layer.extent().yMaximum()
# = in one line
xmin,ymin,xmax,ymax = layer.extent().toRectF().getCoords()

and to go faster, you can even use the gridding functions of numpy


You can also create a Vector Grid

To Create the Vector Grid using the extents of the Vector Layer, we use:

processing.runalg('qgis:vectorgrid', extent, step_x, step_y, type, output)

from https://docs.qgis.org/2.8/en/docs/user_manual/processing_algs/qgis/vector_creation_tools.html#create-grid

Here is the code on how to achieve the desired result, please note this will work on all vector layers, not just point vector Layers

cellsize = 0.0001 #Cell Size in WGS 84 will be 10 x 10 meters 
crs = "EPSG:4326" #WGS 84 System 
input = processing.getObject(gridbh.name()) #Use the processing.getObject to get information from our vector layer
xmin = (input.extent().xMinimum()) #extract the minimum x coord from our layer
xmax =  (input.extent().xMaximum()) #extract our maximum x coord from our layer
ymin = (input.extent().yMinimum()) #extract our minimum y coord from our layer
ymax = (input.extent().yMaximum()) #extract our maximum y coord from our layer
#prepare the extent in a format the VectorGrid tool can interpret (xmin,xmax,ymin,ymax)
extent = str(xmin)+ ',' + str(xmax)+ ',' +str(ymin)+ ',' +str(ymax)  
processing.runalg('qgis:vectorgrid',  extent, cellsize, cellsize,  0, grid)

enter image description here

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