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Geopackage to PostgreSQL

How to Upload a Geopackage to PostgreSQL: A Step-by-Step Guide

Geopackages are becoming increasingly popular in the GIS community as a replacement for traditional shapefiles. They offer a more compact, efficient, and comprehensive way to store spatial data. If you’re using PostgreSQL with the PostGIS extension, you might be wondering how to upload your Geopackage data into it. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you achieve that:

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1. Prerequisites:

  • Ensure you have PostgreSQL installed with the PostGIS extension.
  • Install GDAL/OGR, a powerful toolset used for converting and managing geospatial data.

2. Open the Command Line or Terminal:

Depending on your operating system, you’ll either open the Command Prompt (Windows) or Terminal (macOS and Linux).

3. Navigate to the Directory:

Use the cd command to navigate to the directory where your Geopackage file is located.

4. Use the ogr2ogr Tool:

The ogr2ogr tool from the GDAL suite is what you’ll use to upload the Geopackage to PostgreSQL. The basic syntax is:

ogr2ogr -f PostgreSQL "PG:dbname=YOUR_DB_NAME user=YOUR_USER password=YOUR_PASSWORD" YOUR_FILE.gpkg

Replace YOUR_DB_NAME, YOUR_USER, YOUR_PASSWORD, and YOUR_FILE.gpkg with your PostgreSQL database name, user, password, and the name of your Geopackage file, respectively.

5. Case Sensitivity (Optional):

By default, the field names from your Geopackage will be converted to lowercase in PostgreSQL. If you want to maintain the original case, use the -lco LAUNDER=NO option:

ogr2ogr -f PostgreSQL "PG:dbname=YOUR_DB_NAME user=YOUR_USER password=YOUR_PASSWORD" YOUR_FILE.gpkg -lco LAUNDER=NO

6. Check Your Database:

After running the command, log into your PostgreSQL database to ensure that the data from the Geopackage has been uploaded correctly.

7. Troubleshooting:

If you encounter any errors:

  • Ensure that your PostgreSQL server is running.
  • Check that you have the necessary permissions to upload data to the database.
  • Make sure the GDAL/OGR tools are correctly installed and accessible from the command line.


Uploading a Geopackage to PostgreSQL is a straightforward process with the right tools. The GDAL/OGR suite makes it easy to manage and convert geospatial data between different formats. With this guide, you should be able to seamlessly integrate your Geopackage data into a PostgreSQL database, allowing for more efficient data management and analysis.

Frequently asked questions about uploading a geopackage to PostgreSQL

Do I need any special extensions or plugins in PostgreSQL to handle Geopackages?

  • While PostgreSQL can store the data, the PostGIS extension is required to handle and query spatial data effectively. PostGIS adds support for geographic objects, allowing location queries to be run in SQL.

How do I ensure that my data’s integrity is maintained during the upload?

  • Always backup your data before any upload.
  • Use reliable and tested tools like ogr2ogr.
  • Validate the Geopackage before uploading.
  • After uploading, run integrity checks and compare the uploaded data with the original to ensure consistency.

Can I upload multiple Geopackages to PostgreSQL at once?

  • Yes, with scripting, you can automate the process to upload multiple Geopackages. However, each Geopackage would typically be uploaded one at a time in sequence.

What if my Geopackage has multiple layers?

  • Tools like ogr2ogr can handle Geopackages with multiple layers. Each layer will be uploaded as a separate table in PostgreSQL.

Are there size limitations to the Geopackages I can upload?

  • PostgreSQL itself doesn’t have a strict size limit for databases, but practical limitations might arise from system resources (RAM, disk space). Geopackages also don’t have a file size limit, unlike shapefiles.

How do I handle errors or issues during the upload process?

  • Most tools, including ogr2ogr, will provide error messages. It’s crucial to read and understand these messages as they often give insights into what went wrong, such as connection issues, data integrity problems, or format mismatches.

Can I automate the process of uploading Geopackages to PostgreSQL?

  • Yes, using scripts (e.g., bash or Python) combined with tools like ogr2ogr, you can automate the upload process, especially if you have multiple files or regular uploads.

Is there a way to export my data from PostgreSQL back into a Geopackage format?

  • Yes, using tools like ogr2ogr, you can export data from PostgreSQL to a Geopackage or other formats.

Are there licensing or proprietary issues with using Geopackages?

  • No, the Geopackage format is an open standard, free from licensing or proprietary constraints.

How do I handle spatial reference systems (SRS) when uploading a Geopackage?

  • ogr2ogr and similar tools typically handle the SRS automatically. However, always ensure that the SRS of your Geopackage matches what you intend in PostgreSQL. If needed, you can reproject your data during the upload process.

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.