I am trying to get an overlay (intersection) of two geodataframes of polygons, but it returns me a ValueError: The truth value of an array with more than one element is ambiguous. Use a.any() or a.all()

It's weird as far as I did an intersection some lines before without issue.

clip = gpd.overlay(result_join, concave_hull, how='intersection')
# ^^This one works well
clip.crs = {'init': 'epsg:3857'}

parc = gpd.read_file(parcellaire)
parc = gpd.GeoDataFrame(parc).drop(['name'], axis=1)
parc = parc.set_geometry('geometry')
parc = parc.explode()
parc = parc.buffer(0)
parc.crs = {'init': 'epsg:4326'}
parc = parc.to_crs({'init': 'epsg:3857'})
parc = gpd.GeoDataFrame(parc).rename(columns={0:'geometry'}).set_geometry('geometry')

zonage = gpd.overlay(clip, parc, how='intersection') # This one crashes

Full traceback :

File "/Tim/Google Drive/Fruition Sciences/Dev/Geomatic/Scripts/Zonage/Zonage_standalone.py", line 278, in <module>
  File "/Tim/Google Drive/Fruition Sciences/Dev/Geomatic/Scripts/Zonage/Zonage_standalone.py", line 225, in zonage
    zonage = gpd.overlay(clip, parc, how='intersection') # Intersection du zonage par le parcellaire
  File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/geopandas/tools/overlay.py", line 175, in overlay
  File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/pandas/core/reshape/concat.py", line 213, in concat
    return op.get_result()
  File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/pandas/core/reshape/concat.py", line 372, in get_result
    name = com._consensus_name_attr(self.objs)
  File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/pandas/core/common.py", line 130, in _consensus_name_attr
    if obj.name != name:
ValueError: The truth value of an array with more than one element is ambiguous. Use a.any() or a.all()

To reproduce it ---> files

Command: python .../Zonage_standalone.py .../shpdetest 10 .../block.shp

  • Can you provide some more information? (ideally a reproducible example, or the full traceback, info() on the dataframes, ...). I think this would also suitable to open an issue on the tracker, as it is either a bug or the error report should be better: github.com/geopandas/geopandas/issues
    – joris
    May 11, 2018 at 9:33
  • Ok, I put all I can ^^. For information, I run it in a docker with python 2.7
    – Tim C.
    May 11, 2018 at 9:53
  • What version of pandas are you using? It runs fine for me with geopandas 0.3.0 and pandas 0.22.0 (but on Python 3)
    – joris
    May 11, 2018 at 12:05
  • I have Pandas 0.22.0 and Geopandas 0.3.0 on Python 2.7
    – Tim C.
    May 11, 2018 at 13:56
  • Not sure yet why it comes up in python 2 and not 3, but the bug in pandas is this: github.com/pandas-dev/pandas/issues/21015. The "cause" in your code is the explode call, which results in a MultiIndex, and then geopandas.overlay fails on that due to the pandas bug.
    – joris
    May 12, 2018 at 14:21

1 Answer 1


Effectively, your original script works in Python 3.6 but not in Python 2.7. I still don't understand why but if you change the processing of parc:

parc = gpd.read_file(parcellaire)

parc is already a GeoDataFrame with a geometry column, so why

#parc = gpd.GeoDataFrame(parc).drop(['name'], axis=1)
#parc = parc.set_geometry('geometry')
#parc = parc.explode()
#parc = parc.buffer(0)
#parc = gpd.GeoDataFrame(parc).rename(columns={0:'geometry'}).set_geometry('geometry')

Therefore the solution

parc = gpd.read_file(parcellaire)
parc = parc.drop('name', axis=1) # parc is already a GeoDataFrame with a geometry column
parc.crs = {'init': 'epsg:4326'}
parc = parc.to_crs({'init': 'epsg:3857'})
zonage = gpd.overlay(clip, parc, how='intersection')

works for me with Python 2.7 and 3.6 with GeoPandas 3.0 and Pandas 0.19, 0.21 or 0.22

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