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Geojson to GPKG

Free Options for Converting Geojson to GPKG!

Converting GeoJSON to GPKG (GeoPackage) involves a process where you transform spatial data stored in the GeoJSON format, which is a text-based format widely used for representing simple geographical features, to the GPKG format, a more efficient and SQLite-based storage format designed for a wide range of spatial data types. This conversion can be beneficial for optimizing storage, improving performance, and enhancing interoperability in GIS (Geographic Information System) applications.

There are several tools and libraries capable of performing this conversion, but one of the most common and versatile tools is GDAL (Geospatial Data Abstraction Library), a translator library for raster and vector geospatial data formats that’s available as a command-line utility (ogr2ogr) or can be used within various programming environments.

Using GDAL’s ogr2ogr Command

To convert a GeoJSON file to a GPKG file using GDAL’s ogr2ogr command, follow these steps:

  1. First, ensure GDAL is installed on your system. GDAL can be downloaded and installed from
  2. Once GDAL is installed, open your command-line interface.
  3. Use the following ogr2ogr command to convert the GeoJSON to GPKG:
   ogr2ogr -f GPKG output.gpkg input.geojson
  • Replace output.gpkg with the desired output file name for your GeoPackage file.
  • Replace input.geojson with the path to your input GeoJSON file.

Using Python with GDAL Bindings

If you prefer to perform the conversion programmatically within a Python script, you can use the GDAL bindings for Python. Here’s a simple script that accomplishes the conversion:

from osgeo import ogr

# Define input and output files
input_geojson = 'input.geojson'
output_gpkg = 'output.gpkg'

# Open the input GeoJSON file
ds = ogr.Open(input_geojson)
lyr = ds.GetLayer()

# Create the output GPKG file
drv = ogr.GetDriverByName('GPKG')
out_ds = drv.CreateDataSource(output_gpkg)
out_lyr = out_ds.CopyLayer(lyr, 'layer_name') # 'layer_name' is the desired name of your layer in the GPKG

# Cleanup
del ds, out_ds

This script loads a GeoJSON file, then creates a new GPKG file and copies the data from the GeoJSON into it. Note that you’ll need the GDAL Python bindings installed, which you can install with pip (pip install GDAL), though the installation might require additional steps depending on your system.

Remember to adjust the file paths and names as necessary for your specific use case.

Converting a GeoJSON file to a GeoPackage (GPKG) format using QGIS

Converting a GeoJSON file to a GeoPackage (GPKG) format using QGIS is a straightforward process thanks to QGIS’s user-friendly interface and its support for a wide range of geospatial formats. QGIS (Quantum GIS) is an open-source Geographic Information System that allows you to create, edit, visualize, analyze, and publish geospatial information on Windows, Mac, Linux, and BSD. Here’s how you can convert a GeoJSON to GPKG using QGIS:

Step 1: Install QGIS

If you haven’t already, download and install QGIS from the official QGIS website. Follow the installation instructions appropriate for your operating system.

Step 2: Open QGIS

Launch QGIS on your computer.

Step 3: Load the GeoJSON File

  1. Using the Browser Panel: Navigate to your GeoJSON file in the QGIS Browser Panel, which is usually on the left side of the screen. Drag the GeoJSON file from the browser into your QGIS Layers Panel or the main map view.
  2. Using the Menu: Alternatively, you can add your GeoJSON file by going to Layer > Add Layer > Add Vector Layer…. In the dialog that opens, set the source type to “File”, click on the “…” button to browse to your GeoJSON file, select it, and click “Open”. Then click “Add” in the bottom right corner of the dialog and close the dialog.

Step 4: Export the Layer to GeoPackage

  1. Right-click on the layer representing your GeoJSON file in the Layers Panel.
  2. Select Export > Save Features As….
  3. In the “Save Vector Layer As…” dialog, set the Format to “GeoPackage”.
  4. Click on the “…” button next to the “File name” field to choose where to save the output GPKG file and enter a name for it.
  5. Optionally, you can rename the layer under the “Layer name” field. This will be the name of the layer inside the GeoPackage.
  6. Check the options according to your needs. You can usually leave these at their default settings.
  7. Click “OK” to start the conversion.

Once the process completes, you will have your GeoJSON data converted to a GeoPackage. You can now use this GPKG file in QGIS or any other GIS software that supports the GeoPackage format. GeoPackage is a more compact and efficient format for storing and sharing geospatial data, especially when working with large datasets or multiple layers.

Convert GeoJSON to GPKG (GeoPackage) using Python

To convert GeoJSON to GPKG (GeoPackage) using Python, you can utilize the geopandas library, which simplifies handling and converting spatial data. GeoPandas builds upon the Pandas library, providing a high-level interface for geospatial data manipulation. It internally relies on fiona for file access and can directly read from and write to various formats including GeoJSON and GPKG.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to perform the conversion:

Step 1: Install GeoPandas and Dependencies

If you haven’t installed GeoPandas or its dependencies, you can do so using pip. It’s often recommended to use a virtual environment for Python projects to manage dependencies efficiently.

pip install geopandas

This command should also install fiona, which is required for file format handling.

Step 2: Convert GeoJSON to GPKG with Python

The following Python script demonstrates how to read a GeoJSON file and then write it to a GPKG file using GeoPandas:

import geopandas as gpd

# Define the file paths
geojson_file = 'path/to/your/input_file.geojson'
gpkg_file = 'path/to/your/output_file.gpkg'

# Load the GeoJSON file
gdf = gpd.read_file(geojson_file)

# Write the GeoDataFrame to a GPKG file
gdf.to_file(gpkg_file, driver="GPKG")

In this script, replace 'path/to/your/input_file.geojson' with the actual path to your GeoJSON file and 'path/to/your/output_file.gpkg' with the desired path for the output GPKG file.

Additional Notes

  • GeoPandas DataFrames: gdf in the script is a GeoDataFrame, which is the primary data structure in GeoPandas for storing and manipulating spatial data. GeoDataFrames are similar to Pandas DataFrames but include additional functionality for spatial data.
  • Projection Information: If your GeoJSON file contains projection information (CRS: Coordinate Reference System), GeoPandas will attempt to preserve this information when writing to a new file format. However, it’s always a good idea to verify the CRS of your output file, especially if it will be used in conjunction with other spatial datasets. You can check and set the CRS in GeoPandas using the .crs attribute of a GeoDataFrame.
  • Dependencies: If you encounter any issues installing GeoPandas or its dependencies (like GDAL or Fiona), consider consulting the GeoPandas documentation or the installation guides for those specific libraries, as they sometimes require additional steps or system dependencies.

This method provides a high-level and Pythonic approach to converting between GeoJSON and GPKG, making it suitable for integration into larger Python scripts or applications that process spatial data.

Frequently asked questions about converting GeoJSON to GPKG (GeoPackage):

1. What is the difference between GeoJSON and GPKG formats?

GeoJSON is a lightweight, text-based format designed for representing simple geographical features, along with their non-spatial attributes, using JavaScript Object Notation (JSON). It’s widely supported and easy to use in web applications. GPKG (GeoPackage) is an open, standards-based, platform-independent, portable, self-describing, compact format for transferring geospatial information. It is based on SQLite and supports a wide range of features, including vector and raster data, making it more suitable for complex GIS applications. GPKG tends to be more efficient for storing and querying large datasets compared to GeoJSON.

2. How can I convert GeoJSON to GPKG without losing spatial reference information?

Most modern GIS software and libraries, like GDAL, automatically handle the spatial reference information during conversion. Ensure that your GeoJSON file correctly specifies the CRS (Coordinate Reference System) in its metadata. When using tools like GDAL’s ogr2ogr for conversion, the CRS is preserved in the output GPKG file. Additionally, GeoPandas in Python retains the CRS information when reading GeoJSON and writing to GPKG.

3. Are there any free tools or libraries available for converting GeoJSON to GPKG?

Yes, several free tools and libraries support this conversion:

  • GDAL: A powerful command-line utility for data conversion and processing.
  • GeoPandas: A Python library that extends Pandas to allow spatial operations on geometric types.
  • QGIS: A free, open-source GIS application that provides GUI-based tools for conversion.

These tools are widely used in the geospatial community for various data manipulation tasks, including format conversion.

4. Can I convert GeoJSON to GPKG using GDAL, and how?

Yes, you can use the ogr2ogr command from GDAL to convert GeoJSON to GPKG. The basic syntax is:

ogr2ogr -f GPKG output.gpkg input.geojson

This command reads the input.geojson file and writes its contents to output.gpkg, preserving spatial data and attributes.

5. How do I convert a large GeoJSON file to GPKG without running out of memory?

For large files, it’s important to manage resources efficiently. Using GDAL’s ogr2ogr command is generally memory-efficient. However, if you encounter issues, consider splitting your GeoJSON file into smaller chunks, converting them individually, and then merging the GPKG files if necessary. Some tools and libraries allow for streaming data from the source to the destination, reducing memory footprint.

6. Is it possible to convert multiple GeoJSON files to a single GPKG?

Yes, you can convert multiple GeoJSON files into a single GPKG. With GDAL’s ogr2ogr, you can append data to an existing GPKG using the -append flag. Make sure to specify the correct layer name if you want to merge them into a single layer:

ogr2ogr -f GPKG output.gpkg input1.geojson -nln my_layer
ogr2ogr -f GPKG -append -update output.gpkg input2.geojson -nln my_layer

This will combine input1.geojson and input2.geojson into output.gpkg under the layer my_layer.

7. Can I perform GeoJSON to GPKG conversion directly in QGIS?

Yes, QGIS supports direct conversion through its GUI. You can do this by:

  • Loading your GeoJSON file into QGIS.
  • Right-clicking the layer in the Layers panel.
  • Selecting “Export” and then “Save Features As…”
  • Choosing “GPKG” as the format and specifying the file path and name for your output.

8. How do I preserve attribute data and geometry types when converting from GeoJSON to GPKG?

Most conversion tools and libraries, like GDAL, GeoPandas, and QGIS, automatically preserve attribute data and geometry types during the conversion process. Ensure that the source GeoJSON is well-formed and complies with the GeoJSON specification to avoid issues.

9. What are the benefits of converting GeoJSON to GPKG?

Converting GeoJSON to GPKG can offer several benefits, including:

  • Efficiency: GPKG is more space- and query-efficient, especially for large datasets.
  • Functionality: GPKG supports advanced geospatial features, including spatial indexing, which can significantly improve performance for certain operations.
  • Compatibility: GPKG is widely supported across various GIS software and tools, enhancing interoperability.

About the Author
I'm Daniel O'Donohue, the voice and creator behind The MapScaping Podcast ( A podcast for the geospatial community ). With a professional background as a geospatial specialist, I've spent years harnessing the power of spatial to unravel the complexities of our world, one layer at a time.