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Draw geodata in SVG

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Create SVG drawings from vector geodata files (SHP, geoJSON, etc).

SVGIS is great for: creating small multiples, combining lots of datasets in a sensible projection, and drawing styled based on classes in the source data. It's perfect for creating base maps for editing in a drawing program, and its CSS-based styling gives great flexibility for styling.

svgis draw input.shp -o out.svg
svgis draw south_dakota.shp north_dakota.geojson -o dakota.svg
svgis draw england.shp scotland.shp wales.shp --style gb.css -o great_britain.svg



Requires fiona, which in turn requires GDAL.

To instal GDAL:

On OS X: brew install gdal (requires Homebrew)

On Linux: sudo apt-get install libgdal1-dev

On Windows: see OSGeo4W


pip install svgis

An option feature of svgis is clipping polygons to a bounding box. This will speed things up if you need to draw only part of a very complex feature.

To support clipping output shapes, you'll need the GEOS library:

  • OS X: brew install geos
  • Linux: sudo apt-get install geos
  • Windows: GEOS is part of OSGeo4W, so you have it!

Then, install svgis with a slightly different command:

pip install svgis[clip]


The svgis command line tool includes several utilities. The most important is svgis draw, which draws SVG maps based on input geodata layers.

Additional commands:

  • svgis bounds: get the bounding box for a layer in a given projection
  • svgis graticule: create a graticule (grid) within a given bounds
  • svgis project: determine what projection svgis draw will (optionally) generate for given bounding box
  • svgis scale: change the scale of an existing SVG
  • svgis style: add css styles to an existing SVG

Read the docs for complete information on these commands and their options.


Draw the outline of the contiguous United States, projected in Albers:

curl -O
svgis draw cb_2014_us_nation_20m.shp --crs EPSG:5070 --scale 1000 --bounds -124 20.5 -64 49 -o us.svg

The next two examples use the Natural Earth admin-0 data set.

Draw upper income countries in green, low-income countries in blue:

/* style.css */
.income_grp_5_Low_income {
    fill: blue;
.income_grp_3_Upper_middle_income {
    fill: green
.ne_110m_lakes {
    fill: #09d;
    stroke: none;
svgis draw --style style.css --class-fields income_grp ne_110m_admin_0_countries.shp ne_110m_lakes.shp -o out.svg

Draw national boundaries and lakes in Europe using an Albers projection, simplifying the output polygons, and draw Germany in purple.

svgis draw ne_110m_admin_0_countries.shp ne_110m_lakes.shp \
    --crs EPSG:102013 \ 
    --scale 1000 \ 
    --simplify 90 \ 
    --style '.ne_110m_admin_0_countries { fill: tan } .Germany { fill: purple }' \
    --style '.ne_110m_lakes { fill: #09d; stroke: none; }' \ 
    --class-fields name \ 
    --bounds -10 30 40 65 \ 
    -o out.svg

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