Splitting a single region into multiple regions

It is often that a state or country could be split up into multiple territories.  If there is no specific hierarchy, or the general area is more important than a pixel perfect representation, you can easily split a single region (state, country, etc) into multiple regions, allowing you to assign data within your dashboard or mobile app.

1. Obtain Quantum GIS 

Obtain Quantum GIS from: http://www.qgis.org/

2. Obtain and Copy Shapefiles

Before importing your shapefile, make sure you make a copy. Once you start editing a shapefile, you are modifying the contents of the file and want to have the original on-hand.
Free Shapefile Resources from Centigon Solutions

3. Import a Shapefile
Select Layer>Add Vector Layer or click on the add layer icon add layer
You will browse to a file location on your computer and select a .SHP file. You are required to also have the .DBF and .SHX files together to successfully import your shape file.

4. Edit the Shapefile
Toggle edit mode on for the shape file by selecting Layer>Toggle Editing or click on the edit icon edit

NOTE: Prior to editing a shapefile, we highly recommend saving a copy. Learn how to save a new shapefile

5. Selecting individual shapes

There are two ways that you can select shapes from a shapefile:

1. Selecting from the map imagery: Choose the select type for how you will pick shapes from your map. You can either manually click on each shape or select with a bounding box to choose multiple shapes.


6. Select the Split Features Option

In the main menu select Edit>Split Features, or click on the split features iconCapture2


7. Trace the area where you would like to split the shape

Starting outside of the shape, click and draw the polygon.

Note: You can scroll in and out using your mouse wheel to get as detailed as you like.

Note: If you make an error, simply right click to close the polygon and use the “Undo” Edit>Undo (CTRL+Z) to revert back.


8. Close the polygon

Once you would like to close the polygon, click with the right mouse button.


9. Reshaping the polygon

If you want to make minor tweaks to your polygon after it is split, you can utilize the node tool Edit>Node Tool  Capture4


10. Naming your new Polygon Shapes


To ensure you have correctly named your new polygon, you can open the attributes table.
Layer>Open Attribute Table



11. Save your changes- Toggle Editing mode off 
Toggle edit mode off, which will save all of your changes back to the original file. In the main menu, select  Layer>Toggle Editing or click on the edit icon edit