I have no idea why I get the following error:

Unable to open datasource `Sydney2.shp' with the following drivers.

I have already checked successfully the shape with ogrinfo.

I am using the following command:

ogr2ogr -f "ESRI Shapefile" Sydney.shp Sydney2.shp -s_srs EPSG:32656 -t_srs EPSG:4326

Any ideas?


1 Answer 1


It looks like you're expecting to convert data in Sydney.shp to Sydney2.shp with a different SRS. However that isn't what you're doing.

   Usage: ogr2ogr [--help-general] [-skipfailures] [-append] [-update]
                  [-select field_list] [-where restricted_where]
                  [-progress] [-sql <sql statement>] [-dialect dialect]
                  [-preserve_fid] [-fid FID]
                  [-spat xmin ymin xmax ymax]
                  [-a_srs srs_def] [-t_srs srs_def] [-s_srs srs_def]
                  [-f format_name] [-overwrite] [[-dsco NAME=VALUE] ...]
                  dst_datasource_name src_datasource_name
                  [-lco NAME=VALUE] [-nln name] [-nlt type] [-dim 2|3] [layer [layer ...]]

Note that the destination comes first, so you're asking it to copy from Sydney2.shp to Sydney.shp. You probably wanted:

ogr2ogr -f "ESRI Shapefile" Sydney2.shp Sydney.shp -s_srs EPSG:32656 -t_srs EPSG:4326
  • 1
    Thanx, thats it. I have to change the position of the source and destination file. Quite easy, i better read the syntax more closely next time :-E Commented Nov 14, 2014 at 11:07
  • 4
    You are not the only one. GDAL is using target-source order in most vector tools but source-target in raster tools.
    – user30184
    Commented Nov 14, 2014 at 11:35
  • 1
    Indeed its a problem that some of us have seen before :-)
    – BradHards
    Commented Nov 14, 2014 at 22:14
  • I was almost struggling for half an hour with a stupid bug. I was putting the input and ouput the other way around. Thanks buddy! you saved my morning! :D Commented Mar 18, 2021 at 11:07

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