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Stetl provides transformation for spatial data

Project description

Stetl, streaming ETL, pronounced “staedl”, is a lightweight ETL-framework for the conversion of rich (as GML) geospatial data conversion. Stetl is Open Source (GNU GPL v3).

The main website and documentation can be found on (or Read a 5-minute introduction here: and a longer presentation here: Stetl was presented at FOSS4G 2013 in Nottingham (sat sept 21).

Stetl originated in the INSPIRE-FOSS project ( and was created by Just van den Broecke. Since Stetl evolved into a wider use like transforming Dutch GML-based datasets such as IMGEO/BGT (Large Scale Topography) and IMKAD/BRK (Cadastral Data) it has now a repo of its own.

Stetl basically glues together existing parsing and transformation tools like GDAL/OGR (ogr2ogr) and XSLT. By using native tools like libxml and libxslt (via Python lxml) Stetl is speed-optimized.

So why en when to use Stetl.

  • when ogr2ogr or XSLT alone cannot do the job
  • when having to deal with complex GML as source or destination

So Stetl is in particularly useful for INSPIRE-related transformations and other complex GML-related ETL.

Stetl has a similar design as Spring (Java) and other modern frameworks based on IoC (Inversion of Control, A configuration file (in Python config format) specifies your chain of ETL steps. This chain is formed by a series of Python modules/objects and their parameters. These are symbolically specified in the config file. You just invoke the main program with a config file. The config file specifies the input modules (e.g. PostGIS), transformers (e.g. XSLT) and outputs (e.g. a GML file or even WFS-T a geospatial protocol to publish GML to a server).

There is special support now for output to the deegree WFS server (, either directly in a so called GML Blobstore, via deegree “FSLoader” tool or via WFS-T publishing. The latter is in theory supported for other WFS server products like GeoServer and MapServer.

Stetl has been proven to handle 10’s of millions of objects without any memory issues. This is achieved through a technique called “streaming and splitting”. For example: using the OgrPostgisInput module an GML stream can be generated from the database. A component called the GmlSplitter can split this stream into managable chunks (like 20000 features) and feed this upstream into the ETL chain.

See examples under the examples dir.

Another example in (Dutch Addresses (BAG) to INSPIRE Addresses)

Finally, the word “stetl” is also an alternative writing for “shtetl”: : “…Material things were neither disdained nor extremely praised in the shtetl. Learning and education were the ultimate measures of worth in the eyes of the community, while money was secondary to status…”


v1.0.5 - 19 feb 2014

v1.0.4 - 23 sept 2013

  • more documention
  • Dutch BGT (Basis Registratie Grootschalige Topografie) example
  • Ordnance Survey Mastermap example
  • strip XML namespaces option to XmlElementStreamerFileInput

v1.0.1 v1.0.3 - aug/sept 2013

Minor changes to enable distribution.

v1.0.0 - june 2013

  • First version
  • Add to Python Package Index (#3).


Stetl is written by:

This project would not be possible without the great work of Frank Warmerdam and other GDAL/OGR developers (

Plus the people that brought Python, PostGIS (like Paul Ramsey), lxml and the libs like GEOS, Proj, libxml2 and libxslt.

We are mainly standing on the shoulders of these giants.

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