Using QGIS to view cnHeat coverage polygons

The Export → Coverage (477/BDC) feature in cnHeat allows the user to generate polygon coverage maps.

To view the Geopackage or Shapefile (.zip) coverage polygons in QGIS please follow these instructions.

Setting up QGIS

  • Open QGIS. (For this walkthrough we are using QGIS 3.26.1.)

  • Confirm that your Coordinate Reference System (CRS) is to EPSG:4326:

Adding layers to QGIS

Note: cnHeat has four steps under the Export > Coverage (477/BDC) feature. Steps 3 and 4 offer the ability to download coverage polygons. Unzipping these files will present a .gpkg and a .zip (shapefile) of polygon coverage. These are identical. You can load either. The process is identical.

Load the cnHeat coverage polygon

  • Open the Data Source Manager with either Ctrl+L or by clicking this icon in the toolbar:


  • Make sure Vector is selected from the left and load either the .gpkg file or the .zip (shapefile) from the zip file downloaded in Step 3 or 4 of the cnHeat Coverage Export tool.

  • Click Add.

  • Click Add Layers.


  • Click Close to close the Data Source Manager dialogue to be taken to the map view.

Results should look something like this:

Adding an OpenStreetMap layer

  • Under the browser dialogue on the left navigate to “XYZ Tiles”. Expand to show OpenStreetMap.

  • Right-click OpenStreetMap and select Add Layer to Project.

  • In the Layers window, left-click and drag the OpenStreetMap to the bottom of the list so that the
    broadband_coverage displays on top of OpenStreetMaps.

Change Styling

  • To change the styling of a coverage layer, right-click on the layer in the Layers window and choose

  • Select Symbology. From here the Color and Opacity can be adjusted along with many other settings.