I'm trying to write a Script, which will download an entire WFS layer to Disk. The output format could be GeoJSON, Spatilite or even Shapefile.

I know how to do this using ogr2ogr, but I need to use the Python Bindings, since this is part of a larger Python script.

How do I download the entire layer using the GDAL bindings?

I've managed to write the following code:

import sys
from osgeo import ogr

#I'm stuck here
#I need to save this entire Layer to disk, in any format that GDAL understands
  • 1
    What did try so far? pcjericks.github.io/py-gdalogr-cookbook/vector_layers.html describes CopyLayer for example to save geodata from one format to another (see: Load data to memory). Aug 25, 2016 at 7:30
  • Be aware that WFS usually has a limit to the number of features you can get in a single call. You might need to "paginate" through results. Aug 25, 2016 at 8:55
  • @bugmenot123: In my tests, using the accepted answer, files were saved with over 5000+ records. Even the Docs for CopyLayer says that all features will be duplicated. Aug 25, 2016 at 9:19
  • Yeah, it depends on the server. Iirc ArcGIS Server is really low, in the FOSS world it is in the tens of thousands. Still easy to reach if you find a nice WFS with interesting data. ;) CopyLayer will copy all you got, but the WFS might have just served you a subset. Aug 25, 2016 at 9:59

1 Answer 1


You can save the Data to GeoJSON by using CreateDataSource and CopyLayer function. Here is some sample code:

dr = ogr.GetDriverByName( 'GeoJSON' )
ds = dr.CreateDataSource( 'test.json' )
ds.CopyLayer(layer, 'local_copy')

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