Adding a Shapefile layer to Places

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

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.

  • Click on Add Map Layer.

  • Select the Shapefile option from the 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 the default value selected, 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. The default value 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 EngagementHQ, please get in touch with our support team and we can add it for you.

  • Click on Save Layer. 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, it is a combination of the file types listed below:

  • .cpg

  • .dbf

  • .prj

  • .qpj

  • .shp

  • .shx

  • .xml

Ensure the above files are zipped together and not added into a folder. If they are first added to a folder and then zipped, it will not work on your site.

Note: A KML file should be an independent file with .kml extension.

  • Only once saved, click the shapefile to open the layer again and select the Properties option to select the metadata options that you would like to be displayed on the pins. Click Save once done.

  • You can change the color of the layer, opacity, marker size in pixels and choose to restrict pins within the boundary. Click Save once done.

To add different colors or other data to a shapefile, convert it into a WMS layer and add the content there. The points in the shapefile appear with a default color of orange. You can then customize the color, opacity, and size of the points from this "Layer Styles" section. EngagementHQ Layers are not compatible with geo package format, so try converting to shapefile for use here.

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

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 EngagementHQ

Contact our support team via chat or email at if you need any further assistance.

Did this answer your question?