Trace digitising in QGIS

FEBRUARY 16, 2016 qgis

Following the popularity of the AutoTrace plugin, we received a number of requests for additional features and to incorporate the tool into the main Advanced Digitising tools in QGIS.

Funding for the work was generously raised with the help of the community in 2015 and the feature landed in QGIS 2.14

How to use Trace Digitising

Check out the Trace Digitising in QGIS for detailed instructions on how to use the tool.

Key features

The trace tool:

  • uses Dijkstra’s shortest path algorithm to find traceable routes
  • can trace routes over multiple distinct features
  • can be used with Advanced Digitising tools (e.g. reshaping)
  • can be enabled and disabled by pressing T on your keyboard while digitising
  • is fast and easy to use

The following video demonstrates how to use the tracing tool:

This video shows how you can make use of tracing while reshaping a polygon:


The project was kindly sponsored by the QGIS community. Special thanks to all those who contributed towards the development of this tool:

  • The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
  • Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council
  • Ujaval Gandhi
  • Surrey Heath Borough Council
  • Matias Arnold
  • Northumberland National Park Authority
  • Buccleuch Estates Limited
  • Countryscape

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Posted by Saber Razmjooei, Martin Dobias