So I've got these tornado .csv files that have two latitude & longitude entries with the left-most in the table being the beginning point and the right-most being the ending point of the tornado, as is described here. I'm wondering, how can I link these two points in QGIS, so I get a line?

  • How might you represent change in direction over time? There are multiple .csv files for quite a few years back. What technique might you suggest to capture this temporal change in tornado patterns?
    – Trancot
    Dec 10, 2013 at 23:09
  • 1
    Once you have figured out the answer to your first question, it is better to ask the 2nd & 3rd questions (in your comment) as separate questions. Dec 10, 2013 at 23:50

1 Answer 1


The simple way to do this, without writing any Python, would be to translate the start and end to a WKT version of the line:

  1. Open the csv in Excel or Open Office, or whatever you use
  2. Create a new column with the formula:

    ="LINESTRING(" & A1 & " " & B1 & "," & C1 & " " & D1 & ")"

    Replacing A1, etc, with your start and end points.

  3. That should give you something like this:

    enter image description here

  4. Save the file and open it in QGIS using the Add Delimited Text File

    enter image description here

    Note: If you tick Watch file any time the file changes the map will auto update.

  5. Magic!

    enter image description here

  • that's brilliant! The best part is that one can generalize this approach to create all sorts of interesting geometry from a csv file via WKT. Thanks.
    – Llaves
    Dec 11, 2013 at 3:33
  • Indeed one can. And in the next version of QGIS you will just be able to copy and paste WKT into QGIS (no attributes yet)
    – Nathan W
    Dec 11, 2013 at 3:38

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