I'm trying to use ogrinfo to get some details on a shapefile. Now, the only way that I know is using orginfo:

ogrinfo -ro -so -al  BRA_001.shp

But its display all information about the shape:

INFO: Open of `.\BRA_001.shp'
      using driver `ESRI Shapefile' successful.

Layer name: BRA_001
Geometry: 3D Polygon
Feature Count: 273
Extent: (-42.645514, -22.360532) - (-42.321728, -22.198300)
Layer SRS WKT:
        SPHEROID["WGS 84",6378137,298.257223563,
Name: String (0.0)
description: String (0.0)
timestamp: String (0.0)
begin: String (0.0)
end: String (0.0)
altitudeMode: String (0.0)
tessellate: Integer (0.0)
extrude: Integer (0.0)
visibility: Integer (0.0)
drawOrder: String (0.0)
icon: String (0.0)

It's very useful by the way, but what I need is get only metadata names with types, e.g.:

Name: String (0.0)
description: String (0.0)
timestamp: String (0.0)
begin: String (0.0)
end: String (0.0)
altitudeMode: String (0.0)
tessellate: Integer (0.0)
extrude: Integer (0.0)
visibility: Integer (0.0)
drawOrder: String (0.0)
icon: String (0.0)

Can someone help me out?

  • Welcome. Please take the tour here: gis.stackexchange.com/tour. I'm a little unclear on the question--Are you saying that you only want to return what is in the second box? Not everything that is included in the first?
    – MaryBeth
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 18:58
  • Thanks. Sorry if it wasn't clear enougth. Yes, I need only the second box removing all information about Geometry, Features, Layers, etc. Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 19:03
  • I guess that with some python you could get the schema with OGRLayer::GetLayerDefn () gdal.org/classOGRLayer.html#a80473bcfd11341e70dd35bebe94026cf
    – user30184
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 19:04

2 Answers 2


A very quick way would be to use the linux command line utility tail as follows:

ogrinfo -ro -so -al  BRA_001.shp | tail -n + 20 

However, this won't always be reprocible if the SRS is different. As user30184 mentioned, you would need to use the OGR API. The following example is in Python:

from osgeo import ogr
shpFile = r"./BRA_001.shp"

dataSource = ogr.Open(shpFile)
layer = dataSource.GetLayer(0)
layerDefn = layer.GetLayerDefn()

for i in range(layerDefn.GetFieldCount()):
    fieldName = layerDefn.GetFieldDefn(i).GetName()
    fieldTypeCode = layerDefn.GetFieldDefn(i).GetType()
    fieldType = layerDefn.GetFieldDefn(i).GetFieldTypeName(fieldTypeCode)
    fieldWidth =  layerDefn.GetFieldDefn(i).GetPrecision()

    print str(fieldName) + ": " + str(fieldType) + " (" + str(fieldWidth) + ")"

Here is an example that prints the output as a JSON Array:

import sys
    from osgeo import ogr, gdal
    sys.exit('[ ERROR ]: cannot find GDAL/OGR modules')

def printMetadata(daShapefile):
    dataSource = ogr.Open(daShapefile)
    daLayer  = dataSource.GetLayer(0)
    layerDefinition = daLayer.GetLayerDefn()

    c = layerDefinition.GetFieldCount()
        print "["
    for i in range(c):
        fieldName =  layerDefinition.GetFieldDefn(i).GetName()
        fieldTypeCode = layerDefinition.GetFieldDefn(i).GetType()
        fieldType = layerDefinition.GetFieldDefn(i).GetFieldTypeName(fieldTypeCode)
        fieldWidth = layerDefinition.GetFieldDefn(i).GetWidth()
        GetPrecision = layerDefinition.GetFieldDefn(i).GetPrecision()

        if((c - 1) != i):
            scape  = ','
            scape  = ""

        print("{\"name\":\"%s\",\"type\":\"%s\",\"length\":%s,\"precision\":%s}%s" % (fieldName,fieldType,str(fieldWidth),str(GetPrecision),scape))

    print "]"

if len( sys.argv ) < 2:
    sys.exit('[ ERROR ]: You must define a file ')
    file_path_name = sys.argv[1]
  • 1
    Hi, with when the file is a KML or a GeoJSON (exported from KML) I aways receive this metadata attributes: Name, description, timestamp, begin, end, altitudeMode, tessellate, extrude, visibility, drawnOrder,icon, but on schema there is not metadata with this name. Did you know whats is happening? How to don't include this attributes? Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 10:50

If you want to stay in the command line here is an example using the OGR wrapper fiona and the JSON parser jq.

>fio info BRA_001.shp | jq '.["schema"]["properties"]'
"Name": "str:0"
"description": "str:0"
"timestamp": "str:0"
"begin": "str:0"
"end": "str:0"
"altitudeMode": "str:0"
"tessellate": "int:0"
"extrude": "int:0"
"visibility": "int:0"
"drawOrder": "str:0"
"icon": "str:0"

fio info returns a JSON of the ogrinfo output. This is easier and more reliable to parse than pure text output. With jq you just select the information you want to see - the properties in your case.


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