I am trying to select lines from a shapefile using an IN statement, then dissolve these lines into one feature, and then export.

A simplified version of my script is here. It is not producing any output in the output shapefile, but I don't know why!

from osgeo import ogr
from shapely.wkb import loads
from shapely.ops import cascaded_union

# Input line shapefile
links_shapefile = workspace + r"/Input/Links.shp"
driver = ogr.GetDriverByName("ESRI Shapefile")
links_ds = driver.Open(links_shapefile)
links_layer = links_ds.GetLayer(0)

# Output shapefile
output_file = workspace + r"/Output/Output_test.shp"
output_ds = ogr.Open(output_file)
output_layer = output_ds.GetLayer(0)

# Query input shapefile to a list of link IDs
link_attributes = ['1001_10002', '1002_1003', '1003_1004']
file_name = links_shapefile[:-4].split('/')[-1]
sql = "SELECT A_B FROM " + file_name + " WHERE A_B IN " + str(tuple(link_attributes))
selection_layer = links_ds.ExecuteSQL(sql)

# Loop selected lines and append geometry to a list
selection_feature_count = selection_layer.GetFeatureCount()
lines = [] #list to store line geometry
for index in range(0, selection_feature_count):
      feature = selection_layer.GetFeature(index)
      geometry = feature.geometry()

#Dissolve list of lines
u = cascaded_union(lines)

#Export dissolved lines to output shapefile
defn = output_layer.GetLayerDefn()
feat = ogr.Feature(defn)
feat.SetField('UniqID', 9999)
geom = ogr.CreateGeometryFromWkb(u.wkb)

Please let me know if you see any issues with this script or if there is a better way to do something! I am new to using Python.

  • 1
    Check your input file links_shapefile = "".
    – swatchai
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 15:32
  • Thanks @swatchai I have it correct in the code I was running but simplified it for this post. Have added a path in now so as not to confuse!
    – Andy
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 15:41
  • 2
    With Shapely, it is easier to use Fiona in place of ogr. For LineStrings, use Shapely unary_union ( The unary union function can operate on different geometry types, not only polygons as is the case for the older cascaded unions)
    – gene
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 15:49
  • Thanks, I just gave this a go (using Fiona instead of OGR) but it seems a lot slower and I have 100,000's records to loop!
    – Andy
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 17:57

1 Answer 1


The issue was I was using GetFeature, rather than GetNextFeature.

This looped through the features in the layer, rather than features in queried/selected layer.

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