Adding a layer to your Places activity is a great way to show extra information on your map. Typically, this will allow you to show electoral boundaries, transport routes, green wedge zones, infrastructure and other information that is relevant to your place based consultation.

To add a Shapefile/KML file to your places map follow the below steps;

  • Ensure you have activated the Places tool on your selected project page. Read through our article Engage with Places to learn how to activate and setup the Places tool.
  • Go to the Places tool on the project page and click on Edit Map.
  • Click on Add Layer.
  • Select the Shapefile option from the Type dropdown.
  • Provide a Name and click on Choose file to select your Shapefile. Remember, this must be a zipped folder containing all your shapefile information, including the shapefile (.shp) with the layer information. Select your file and click on Open in your file browser to attach the file. 
  • Update the Target SRS from 'Default' if required. SRS stands for Spatial Reference System (also known as Coordinate Reference System) and it essentially tells a map how to render a shapefile exactly. Start with 'Default', which will work in most cases. NOTE: The Target SRS can be found in the GIS library from where you downloaded your Shapefile. If you have received the file from your GIS team or a consultant, we recommend you simply ask them to tell you the SRS number. If the Target SRS is not available in EHQ, please get in touch with our support team and we can add it for you.
  • Click on Save & Close. You can now view your new layer on the map.

NOTE: If the shapefile doesn't appear, you can try using the other EPSG 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 contains much more than just the actual Shapefile (.shp) itself, but it a combination of the file types listed below:

  • .cpg
  • .dbf
  • .prj
  • .qpj
  • .shp
  • .shx
  • .xml
  • Only once saved, click the edit button to open the layer again and click the Properties black button on the map to select the meta data options that you would like to be displayed on the pins. Click Save once done.
  • Click the Styles button to change the color of the layer, opacity, marker size in pixels and choose to restrict pins within the boundary. Click Save once done.

Note: To add different colours or other data to a shapefile, convert it into a WMS layer and add the content there. 

Note - The points in the shapefile appear with a default color of pink. You can then customise the color, opacity and size of the points from this "Layer Styles" section.

  • Update the remaining fields for your activity, including your Pin Categories and Participation Settings as detailed in the article on Engage with Places.

Note - EHQ Layers are not compatible with geopackage format, so try converting to shapefile for use here.

Contact our support team if you need any further assistance.

Note: 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 EHQ. 

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