Add GeoJSON content in QGIS: short recipes

Add simply GeoJSON dataset from QGIS

Recipe 1: add QGIS built-in data

You can reuse the QGIS contributors map dataset directly from QGIS without any downloading using PyQGIS. It's a GeoJSON file available within your installed program.

Just run in QGIS Python console the following

import os
from qgis.core import QgsApplication

geojson_contributors = os.path.join(

print geojson_contributors

iface.addVectorLayer(geojson_contributors, 'QGIS contributors', 'ogr')

Recipe 2: add remote GeoJSON

This is quite handy to get the remote data. You need to be aware that it's a good solution when remote content change or for demo. However, it's not always a good idea for production where your data can stop being available.

  • Try to do it by going to the website to get an URL data source.

The data are coming from Natural Earth Data, the main advantage here is the fact GeoJSON file are delivered via a CDN (Content Delivery Network) whose goal is according to Wikipedia definition

to serve content to end-users with high availability and high performance

  • Choose a layer source
  • Copy it URL

Now, you've got an URL to a remote GeoJSON, you can add the GeoJSON from the UI or via PyQGIS.

From the GUI

The following screencast illustrates the way to add remote GeoJSON from GUI

Add remote GeoJSON from QGIS

You can't choose the layer name when you load the data source: it's the default one.

From the QGIS Python console

The solution throught the QGIS Python console is just this one liner. You just need to change the URL.

iface.addVectorLayer('', 'Populated places', 'ogr')