Parsing .shp files in Julia
44 Stars
Updated Last
28 Days Ago
Started In
January 2014



This library supports reading ESRI Shapefiles in pure Julia.

Quick Start

Basic example of reading a shapefile from test cases:

using Shapefile

path = joinpath(dirname(pathof(Shapefile)),"..","test","shapelib_testcases","test.shp")
table = Shapefile.Table(path)

# if you only want the geometries and not the metadata in the DBF file
geoms = Shapefile.shapes(table)

# whole columns can be retrieved by their name
table.Descriptio  # => Union{String, Missing}["Square with triangle missing", "Smaller triangle", missing]

# example function that iterates over the rows and gathers shapes that meet specific criteria
function selectshapes(table)
    geoms = empty(Shapefile.shapes(table))
    for row in table
        if !ismissing(row.TestDouble) && row.TestDouble < 2000.0
            push!(geoms, Shapefile.shape(row))
    return geoms

# the metadata can be converted to other Tables such as DataFrame
using DataFrames
df = DataFrame(table)

Shapefiles can contain multiple parts for each shape entity. Use GeoInterface.coordinates to fully decompose the shape data into parts.

# Example of converting the 1st shape of the file into parts (array of coordinates)
julia> GeoInterface.coordinates(Shapefile.shape(first(table)))
2-element Array{Array{Array{Array{Float64,1},1},1},1}:
 Array{Array{Float64,1},1}[Array{Float64,1}[[20.0, 20.0], ...]]
 Array{Array{Float64,1},1}[Array{Float64,1}[[0.0, 0.0], ...]]

Alternative packages

If you want another lightweight pure Julia package for reading feature files, consider also GeoJSON.jl.

For much more fully featured support for reading and writing geospatial data, at the cost of a larger binary dependency, look at GDAL.jl or ArchGDAL.jl packages. The latter builds a higher level API on top of GDAL.jl.