In google maps, and more recently in Google Maps Engine Lite, you can create a Track/LineString by clicking with the mouse along a route, delete some intermediate point, drag the midpoint of a segment to decompose it in two subsegments, and so on.

This is pretty much what the "Nodes" tool can make in drawing programs like CorelDraw, Inkscape and Illustrator.

Is there a way to have such functionality in QGIS?

My typical use-case would be to open a KML file with pre-existing tracks, modify those tracks by adding, moving and deleting points (and ideally by joining and splitting tracks), and save it back to the original file.

I am very new to QGIS, and if I can make this it would be the perfect software to my needs.

  • I don't really see your question here? Have you tried it out at least? Yes, it is possible. Just load in the kml as vector layer and click the node-tool button in the toolbox while being in editing mode. Pretty straight-forward... – Curlew Jan 24 '14 at 13:43
  • The node tool is not available when editing a KML file – MappaGnosis Jan 24 '14 at 13:55
  • @Curlew I could not create a node in the middle of a segment and move it arould, to start with... – heltonbiker Jan 24 '14 at 16:59

QGIS (like any decent GIS) has a vast slew of vector creation and editing tools. These tools work well with most OGR vector formats but there are some limitation for some formats. Unfortunately, KML is one such format. You will be able to do a lot of the editing tasks on a KML directly such as add new features and use some of the Editing and Advanced Editing tools (plus a number of other plugins such as the CAD tools - check the Plugins repository).

So, to get full access to editing tools and to be able to edit individual nodes, you will need to convert your KML to another format (such as a shapefile).

  • Agree - Edit in Shape file format and export to KML/KMZ that what have been doing for years... – Mapperz Jan 24 '14 at 15:07
  • I'm gonna try it. I have no sentimental affection by the KML format itself, but I would like to have a set of vector files that I could improve over time (although with the advances of Google Earth this is almost unnecessary anymore, not like it was in the past). – heltonbiker Jan 24 '14 at 17:01

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