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Import geographic and spatial data from files into a SpatiaLite DB

Project description


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Import geographic and spatial data from files into a SpatiaLite DB.

This project is primarily useful for browsing and publishing geographic and spatial data with datasette and datasette-leaflet-geojson. It is inspired by csvs-to-sqlite and provides a similar interface.


pip install geometry-to-spatialite

You'll need python >=3.6 and the SpatiaLite module for SQLite.

Install SpatiaLite on Debian/Ubuntu

apt install spatialite-bin libsqlite3-mod-spatialite

Install SpatiaLite on Mac

brew update
brew install spatialite-tools


On the console

Geometry-to-spatialite installs two commands: shapefile-to-spatialite and geojson-to-spatialite. Both provide the same arguments.

Basic usage

shapefile-to-spatialite myfile.shp mydatabase.db

This will create a new SQLite database called mydatabase.db containing a single table, myfile

You can provide multiple files:

shapefile-to-spatialite one.shp two.shp bundle.db

The bundle.db database will contain two tables, one and two.

This means you can use wildcards:

shapefile-to-spatialite ~/Downloads/*.shp mydownloads.db

If you pass a path to one or more directories, the script will recursively search those directories for files and create tables for each one:

shapefile-to-spatialite ~/path/to/directory all-my-shapefiles.db

For more help on usage and arguments, run shapefile-to-spatialite --help or geojson-to-spatialite --help

As a library

from shapefile_to_spatialite import (

# Use the defaults
    geojson_to_spatialite('mydatabase.db', 'myfile.geojson')
except DataImportError:

# With optional params
# geojson_to_spatialite() and shp_to_spatialite() support the same argument list
        table_name='custom',  # set a custom table name (defaults to the filename)
        srid=3857,            # specify a custom SRID (default is 4326)
        pk='id',              # field to use as a primary key (default is no primary key)

        # In most cases the spatialite extension will be automatically detected and loaded
        # If not you can manully pass a path to the .so .dylib or .dll file
except DataImportError:


Failed to load the SpatiaLite extension

Geometry-to-spatialite requires SpatiaLite to be installed. See Setup. Geometry-to-spatialite will attempt to automatically load the extension. If you've installed the extension and you're still seeing this error, you can use the --spatialite-extension flag (using on the console) or spatialite_extension (using as a library) to manually specify the path to the SpatiaLite extension.

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