So I have a 'cpg' file with my 'in_file' shapefile data (definitely set to 'utf-8'). I was using 'meta' to create the same schema/crs as 'in_file'...though it runs, my text fields are borked on anything that isn't ascii (note the cjk - 'ZH_CN' - is coming back as codepoints).


    {'geometry': {'type': 'MultiPoint', 'coordinates':
    [(13531245.475704141, 2886003.2689278126)]}, 'type': 'Feature', 'id':
    '0', 'properties': OrderedDict([(u'EN_US', u'Taipei City'), (u'ZH_CN',
    u'\u53f0\u5317\u5e02'), (u'ID', 1668338.0), (u'DE_DE', u'Taipei
    City'), (u'ES_ES', u'Taipei City'), (u'FR_FR', u'Taipei City'),
    (u'JA_JP', u'Taipei City'), (u'KO_KR', u'Taipei City'), (u'PT_BR',
    u'Taipei City')])}

My first thought was to change:

with fiona.open(in_file, 'r') as input:


with fiona.open(in_file, 'r', encoding='utf-8') as input:

...but that resulted in:

UnicodeEncodeError: 'latin-1' codec can't encode characters in
position 0-2: ordinal not in range(256)

Reading it without the encoding seems to be the start of my problem...however I was surprised that the error message arose when I did the above.

def process_file(self, in_file, out_file, compare_file, dist):
    # open input file and compare file
    # loop over each
    with fiona.open(in_file, 'r') as input:
        meta = input.meta
        # The outFile has the same crs, schema as inFile
        with fiona.open(out_file, 'w', **meta) as output:
            with fiona.open(compare_file, 'r') as compare:
            # Read shapely geometries from file
            # Loop through all shapely objects
            # type(item) = 'dict'
                for item in input:
                    geom = item['geometry']
                    my_shape = shape(geom)

                    # check if it is a multipoint or point
                    if geom['type'] == 'MultiPoint':
                        # break Multipoints into points
                        # i.e. <class 'shapely.geometry.multipoint.MultiPoint'>

                        for pt in my_shape:
                            single_point = self.move_point(pt, compare, dist)
                            mpoint = MultiPoint([(single_point.x, single_point.y)])
                            mpoint_for_merge = shape(mapping(mpoint))
                            # write to outfile - WHERE EVERYTHING NOW WORKS
                            output.write({'geometry':mapping(mpoint_for_merge), 'properties': item['properties']})

                    elif geom['type'] == 'Point':
                        # return of move_point is a shapely geom
                        # i.e. <class 'shapely.geometry.point.Point'>
                        my_shape = self.move_point(my_shape, compare, dist)
                        # write to outfile
                        output.write({'geometry':mapping(my_shape), 'properties': item['properties']})

                        raise ValueError('unhandled geometry type: ' + repr(geom.type))

2 Answers 2


Fiona read ok utf-8 files without add nothing.

Try encoding='utf-8' only when output with fiona.

So change...

with fiona.open(out_file, 'w', **meta) as output:


with fiona.open(out_file, 'w', encoding='utf-8', **meta) as output:

And all must go OK.


Same problem occured to me when working with GeoPandas. The solution @Juanma Font has written works with GeoPandas as well:

geodataframe.to_file(filename, driver='GeoJSON', encoding='utf-8')

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