I am attempting to establish what spatial relationship exists (if any) between two layers.

I have two layers - one is a road network with a buffer of 500m, and the other is a collection of polygons relating to environmental features.

The road network buffer layer comprises of multiple roads and I would like to know what envrironmental features intersect what roads. Or more specifically I would like a column in the environmental layer attribute table which describes what road it interacts with?

Apart from using the 'select by location' spatial tool and then manually populating an empty column in the environmental layer, is there another spatial tool or method that I haven't considered?

The data itself is being stored in PostGIS and used in QGIS, but it would be possible to use ArcGIS if necessary.

Thanks for your time.

  • 1
    why isn't the intersect tool doing the job ? Could you please give more details about your expected output ?
    – radouxju
    Dec 20, 2013 at 13:03

1 Answer 1


You can use the intersect tool in QGIS or ArcGIS to create a new layer with the attributes of both polygons.

In QGIS>Vector Menu> Geoprocessing Tools> Intersect from there select the appropriate layers and determine where to save the data. In QGIS once the process is complete you will have to manually add the data where you saved it.

In ArcMap Geoprocessing Menu> Intersect


In ArcMap> ArcToolbox> Analysis Tools> Overlay> Intersect

See also This Post


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