I have a .csv file with hundreds of rows pulled out via PostGIS.

The geospatial information is in "the_geom" field which seems to be in WKB-format.

How can I convert this to shapefile using simple free tools?

  • 2
    did u try QGIS...?
    – Ade'l
    May 27, 2016 at 11:18
  • 1
    Any chance of a sample for download?
    – Spacedman
    May 27, 2016 at 11:19
  • 3
    I'm slightly worried about WKB in a CSV file, because CSV should be text, and WKB is Binary, so could have stray commas and quotemarks and zero-characters and line-ends that could mess up any text-parser. However if its WKT, the Text format, in your data then its trivial.
    – Spacedman
    May 27, 2016 at 11:44
  • @Spacedman makes a good point. OP, can you copy/paste a couple rows of the csv data into your question? Make sure to click the edit link below your question rather than adding them as a comment :)
    – elrobis
    May 27, 2016 at 14:59

2 Answers 2


You can skip the CSV step and just go straight to shapefile using pgsql2shp, which is installed a part of PostGIS.

You could also use ogr2ogr.


As a free on-line solution for the conversion of CSV with WKB data you can use MyGeodata Converter. Just name your column with WKB data as "wkb" - like this example:

1,Point 1,010100000000000000000048400000000000003340
2,Point 2,010100000000000000000046400000000000002E40

The WKB data will be automatically recognized based on the occurence of "wkb" string in a CSV column. Any geometry type is supported - point, linestring, polygon, ... If you have WKT, use name "wkt" of the column... Hope it helps - for me it works. It is based on GDAL/OGR VRT driver. Most of GIS/CAD formats are supported - both input and output data.

  • That's a hexadecimal string representation of WKB. I reckon that's probably what the OP has, rather than raw WKB bytes.
    – Spacedman
    May 27, 2016 at 15:51

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