I'm using gdal_grid for the first time and get this issue:

gdal_grid -zfield field_3 -l layer0 OLEX-LAT-190952014.vrt OLEX-LAT-190952014.tiff
ERROR 1: Failed to find layer 'layer0' on datasource 'OLEX-LAT-190952014.short.csv'.
Failed to find field field_3 on layer layer0, skipping.

Here is what my vrt file looks like:

<OGRVRTLayer name="layer0">
<GeometryField separator=" " encoding="PointFromColumns" x="field_1" y="field_2" z="field_3"/>

And my data file:

  1. The first error mesage indicates that gdal_grid looks for a layer in the csv file - but how can a csv file contain a layer?
  2. The next error message indicates that gdal_grid has read the csv file and can't find field_3 although it is clearly there?

Any ideas what I'm doing wrong?

GDAL version 1.10.1

  • Try ogrinfo OLEX-LAT-190952014.vrt. Report will list the layer names which are found from the vrt (and csv). ogrinfo -al -so will list the attribute names.
    – user30184
    Feb 2, 2015 at 5:46
  • Thanks, ogrinfo didn't give any error messages. I figured it out, though - see below.
    – jollege
    Feb 2, 2015 at 9:31

1 Answer 1


Use ogrinfo as a handy debugging tool. I see:

$ ogrinfo OLEX-LAT-190952014.vrt
INFO: Open of `OLEX-LAT-190952014.vrt'
      using driver `VRT' successful.
1: layer0ERROR 1: Failed to find layer 'layer0' on datasource 'OLEX-LAT-190952014.short.csv'. (Point)

According to the documentation, SrcLayer is optional, but should be defined (unless in SrcSQL). Add this after SrcDataSource:


Alternatively, use OLEX-LAT-190952014.short for the layer name (line 2) in place of layer0.

  • 2
    Using the same name for .csv, .vrt and layer is always a good idea.
    – AndreJ
    Feb 2, 2015 at 6:53
  • 1
    Thanks. What worked out in the end was to rename everyting to have exactly the same name - the layer, the csv file and the vrt file - all of them "OLEX-LAT-190952014_short". The <SrcLayer> had no effect. The output tiff is blank though? The suffix "short" is for testing using only 1000 points, the real data contains nearly 2 million points. I'm afraid that x and y fields have been swapped in the csv file.
    – jollege
    Feb 2, 2015 at 8:59
  • Indeed, the first field in the csv file was Y/northing. I made it work by chaning the labels in the vrt file to '<GeometryField separator=" " encoding="PointFromColumns" x="easting" y="northing" z="z"/>' and the field names accordingly in the csv file. It looks correct now when I add it to my map!
    – jollege
    Feb 2, 2015 at 9:30

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