Does ogrinfo support a GROUP BY clauses? I could not find any good documentation of all the SQL syntax features it supports.

I tried the following:

ogrinfo . -geom=no -sql 'SELECT lsad FROM tl_2011_us_county GROUP BY lsad'

And got the following error:

ERROR 1: SQL: Failed to parse SELECT statement, extra input at BY token.
INFO: Open of `.'
      using driver `ESRI Shapefile' successful.

What I really want to do:

SELECT lsad, count(*)
FROM tl_2011_us_county

What I can do:

FROM tl_2011_us_county

And then:

SELECT count(*)
FROM tl_2011_us_county
WHERE lsad = 'foo'

... but that is annoying.

2 Answers 2


Depends on the datasource - if OGR needs to fall back to OGR SQL (like when using shapefiles) then no. But if you are using PostGIS for instance you can use GROUP BY.

  • I am in a catch 22 then. I wanted to inspect the shapefiles before I insert them in my postgis table, but to do it conveniently, I must insert them into a postgis table. Oh well. thanks!
    – kzh
    Commented Jun 24, 2012 at 16:13

For those who are looking at group by clause in ogrinfo/ogr2ogr try using -dialect sqlite option:

For example:

ogr2ogr -dialect sqlite -f CSV "output.csv" "input.shp" -sql "select field1,sum(field2) from input group by field1 order by field1" -lco SEPARATOR=SEMICOLON

Above will convert shape file to csv (without geometry), separated by SEMICOLON and using group by clause of sql.

  • This is the correct anwer. It works when querying a shapefile (of course really a dBaseIII + geometry) and that is what the OP wanted; I happen also to be helped by this answer.
    – Jan
    Commented Mar 8, 2022 at 15:24

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