Add a Shapefile or KML Layer

Learn how to add extra layer information to your Places map using a shapefile or a KML file.

Vishwas Prasad avatar
Written by Vishwas Prasad
Updated over a week ago

You can use Shapefile or KML files to display extra information on your map. This can be information relevant to your location-based consultation, such as:

  • Electoral boundaries

  • Transport routes

  • Green wedge zones

  • Infrastructure

Once you have created the Places tool, you can upload up to 30 shapefile or kml files, but please note that uploading many or large files can impact your loading times.

Your shapefile must be a zipped file, containing all your shapefile information, including the .shp file with the layer information. If you add your files into a folder before zipping it, it will not work.

Your kml file should be an independent file with a .kml extension; you cannot upload a .kmz file. We recommend consulting your GIS team to create your shapefile or kml file.

How to add a Shapefile or KML layer

  1. In the Add Map Layer of your Places tool, use the App a map layer dropdown menu to select Shapefile or KML.

  2. Give your layer a Name and select Choose file to select and upload your file.

  3. Select your Target SRS, if the default value is incorrect. The SRS is the Spatial Reference System (also known as the Coordinate Reference System) and it helps the map render the shapefile. You can find the SRS in the GIS library from which you downloaded the shapefile, or you could ask your GIS team if they created it. If your SRS is not listed, please contact our support team and we can add it.

  4. Select Save layer and you will see it on the map.

  5. Select the layer again to change the Color, Opacity, Width (in px), or Restrict Pins within Boundary.

  6. Use the Properties dropdown menu to select the metadata options that you want the pins to display.

  7. Use the eye icon to Hide your layer, or the bin icon to Delete it

  8. Save when you’re finished and configure any remaining tabs for the Places tool.

If the shapefile doesn't appear, you can try using the other SRS numbers in the dropdown. If your layer information still fails to appear in the places map, check to make sure you have uploaded the correct file type and that the folder containing your files is zipped. A Shapefile is more than just the actual .shp file; it is a combination of the file types listed below:

  • .cpg

  • .dbf

  • .prj

  • .qpj

  • .shp

  • .shx

  • .xml

If you need to add colors or data to the shapefile layer, convert it to a .wms file and add it there.

The Shapefile used in the example is taken from Open Data SA ( Many cities and states around the world now have open data sets for you to use with EngagementHQ.

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