Using QGIS Atlas to show single items

Don’t go away – this is not as boring as it seems!

I was asked the other day if I could provide a small overview map for each page of a document containing 30+ individual photos. But, the rub was, that each map had to have only the location symbol relating to that individual photo showing where it was taken from.  The answer was of course, yes.  Then I thought about it and, yes it could be done, with the Atlas feature of QGIS, but I wasn’t sure if I could get only the individual feature on the map, so like all these things the best place to start was a Google search and after a lot of digging I found a number of ideas.  It turned out to be very simple in the end!

Below is the process for achieving the desired result:

I’m using QGIS 2.12 Lyon but it should work in 2.10 Pisa not sure about previous versions – try it.

The map is a basic OS raster and I’ve just created 6 points, each has an ID and Direction attribute,  the direction is to the focal point – it doesn’t really matter for this exercise as the objective is to show how we can produce a map with individual objects, even when they are close together.

I want to produce each map at 1:10,000 scale but this means that all the points will show.

First I create the map in the Composer, add a table (just because I want the information for each point, it isn’t needed for the process though).

Fig1The first setting in the composer is for the map – make sure the ‘Controlled by Atlas’ is checked in the map Item Properties.

If you are using a table to sync data for each object then you need to set a filter ($id = $atlasfeatureid) on the table (see below)

Fig2This results in the appropriate record being shown for each map object.  You can click the ‘Attributes…’ button to restrict which fields are shown, change the header text or set the columns to a fixed size.

In the map, open the layer properties of the layer you are using for the Atlas and set the style to ‘Rule Based’ and set the rule to the same as the filter ($id = $atlasfeatureid).

Back to the composer and select the ‘Preview Atlas’ button on the toolbar – you should now have an individual symbol (works for any map object in fact) in the centre of your map.








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