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Symbology and Metadata in a GeoPackage in QGIS

Mastering GeoPackage in QGIS: A Comprehensive Guide to Saving Symbology and Metadata

Dive deep into the world of GeoPackages with our comprehensive guide tailored for QGIS enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned GIS professional or just starting out, understanding how to effectively save symbology and metadata in a GeoPackage is crucial. In this post, we’ll unravel the steps, benefits, and common queries associated with this process, ensuring you harness the full potential of QGIS and GeoPackages.

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Understanding the GeoPackage:

GeoPackage is a versatile format that allows you to store data, symbology, layer properties, and even entire QGIS projects in a single database file. This makes it easy to share and distribute your GIS data.

Saving Layer Styles to a GeoPackage:

  • Open the layer in QGIS.
  • Right-click on the layer and select Properties.
  • Navigate to the Symbology tab.
  • At the bottom, click on Style > Save Style.
  • In the popup window, choose the option In Database (Geopackage).
  • Optionally, you can select the option Use as default style for this layer if you wish to save multiple styles for a single layer.
  • Note: As of now, it seems that saving symbology and other properties for raster layers directly to a GeoPackage is not supported. The metadata for these layers is typically saved in the project file.

Saving Metadata to a GeoPackage:

  • Right-click on the layer in QGIS.
  • Choose Export > Save As.
  • Ensure you select the option Persist layer metadata.
  • Alternatively, you can use the Package layers function in the Processing toolbox to save multiple layers simultaneously to a GeoPackage. Here, ensure you select the option Save layer metadata into Geopackage.
  • Note: Currently, it appears that only the metadata of vector layers can be saved directly to a GeoPackage. For raster layers, you might need to save the metadata as a QMD file separately.

Storing an Entire QGIS Project in a GeoPackage:

  • This method allows you to save not only the data and its associated styling but also the entire project settings and information.
  • If you have an existing QGIS project, navigate to the Project menu.
  • Select Save to > GeoPackage.
  • To open a project stored in a GeoPackage later, go to the Project menu and choose Open From > Geopackage.
  • It’s worth noting that a single GeoPackage can store multiple QGIS projects. This is useful if you have different projects with varying styles or settings tailored for different purposes or audiences.

Sharing the GeoPackage:

  • Once you’ve saved your data, styles, metadata, and projects to a GeoPackage, you can easily share this single file with others. They can then open it in QGIS and have immediate access to all the information and settings you’ve saved.

By following this guide, you can effectively utilize the GeoPackage format in QGIS to save, store, and share your GIS data, styles, metadata, and projects.

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About the Author
I'm Daniel O'Donohue, the voice and creator behind The MapScaping Podcast ( A podcast for the geospatial community ). With a professional background as a geospatial specialist, I've spent years harnessing the power of spatial to unravel the complexities of our world, one layer at a time.

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