I am using fiona to read a shapefile, but not sure about how to get field aliases. Is this possible using this great library?

  • 2
    Shapefiles don't have field aliases. GIS software can generate documents which contain aliases, but you'd have to specify which software in the question.
    – Vince
    Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 17:47
  • Ahh ok, that was my worry, obviously I'm coming from an ArcGIS background. Thanks.
    – bcollins
    Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 18:50

1 Answer 1


No, there is no SQL-ish select field as alias feature in Fiona. Fiona maps a shapefile's schema to a Python dict and dicts have exactly one key per value. But you can sort of alias by binding new Python names to key values.

>>> a = {'long long key': 1}
>>> a['long long key']
>>> mykey = 'long long key'
>>> a[mykey]

That's as close as you can get.

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