Help with a new Map


I am trying to start my own GIS project by creating a map of Protected Areas in Malta but I am already struggling with downloading the first Vector Layer! When I try adding the shp file it doesn’t allow me to and give the message ‘not a valid or recognized data source’. The source of the shp files is Natura 2000 - Malta - 27 September 2019 (Natura 2000 sites).

I have also been sent the following link for further data but I do not understand what I can add to the map from here… CDDA 2021 (Nationally Designated Sites).

Can anyone help me please?


For your first problem, here is your solution:

  1. Shape files is not just one file, you need to download all the files. in order for you gis software to open them.
  2. In your case, if you want the data for Sites of Community Interest thane you need to download MT_SCI_2019.dbf,MT_SCI_2019.prj,MT_SCI_2019.shp AND MT_SCI_2019.shx.
  3. Put them in the same folder and you will be able to open the map by opening the.shp . It worked for me.
  4. If you want to plot the Ptrotected areas for Birds than you open the MT_SPA ones and you have a third option of both SCI and SPA.

For the second probelm,You have to download the .gml file and open it just as you would do in the case of shape file(s).

With me it worked an you can see the National Designed Sites have a greater area. Also there are some inland.

Hope this helped!

Hi Cosmin,

Thank you so much for your help! And apologies for the delay in replying - I get so caught up in too many things sometimes!

Your advice was great as I am half way there now but am struggling with the second set of data - I know I need to add it as a delimited text layer but I am not sure what to select under ’ Geometry Definition’ as it does not seem to have any coordinates…

And also, how do I select the right SRS system for everything?

Thank you so much for your help!


@tcar82 HI Tamsin, If you would like some one-to-one tution on how to import data files into QGIS and how to select the right SRS/CRS, then do get in contact with me direct at I can guide you thorugh using the data files you have and point you in the right directtion.

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