I want to copy a raster file into SQLite database. Previously, I did the same with vector data like this:

def store_vector_output(self, file_name, identifier):
    from osgeo import ogr
    drv = ogr.GetDriverByName("SQLite")
    dsc_out = drv.CreateDataSource(self.dblocation)
    layer = dsc_out.CopyLayer(dsc_in.GetLayer(), identifier,


With raster data, I expected it to be similar:

def store_raster_output(self, file_name, identifier):
    from osgeo import gdal

    dsc_in = gdal.Open(file_name)
    drv = gdal.GetDriverByName("SQLite")
    dsc_out = drv.Create(self.dblocation, xsize=30, ysize=30)
    layer = dsc_out.CopyLayer(dsc_in.GetLayer(), identifier,


However, in store_raster_output, dsc_in.GetLayer() is None. There are no layers in dsc_in (its datatype is <class 'osgeo.gdal.Dataset'>)

So, I tried to use dsc_in.CreateLayer("some_name") but that resulted in this:

ERROR 6: CreateLayer() not supported by this dataset.

Therer is also a method ReadRaster() but since I am using CopyLayer the argument must be of datatype layer.

How do I write a raster file to SQLite?

Perhaps using a different command than CopyLayer?

I didn't find any such command here but maybe I just didn't know where to look.

  • 1
    The raster driver of the SpatiaLite family is "rasterlite". Find examples from github.com/OSGeo/gdal/blob/master/autotest/gdrivers/…. GeoPackege raster could be a better choise at the moment, rasterlite is under development and unstable.
    – user30184
    Jun 21, 2018 at 19:38
  • I am sorry but I don't entirely understand what you are suggesting. I don't explicitly use RasterLite, or do I? If I am to use GeoPackage instead, where do I say so? Could you please explain it a little bit more in detail?
    – Jan Pisl
    Jun 21, 2018 at 21:46
  • 3
    SQLite driver is a vector driver and you can't use it for rasters. Select some raster driver that stores data into SQlite: rasterlite, gpkg, or mbtiles.
    – user30184
    Jun 22, 2018 at 6:38

2 Answers 2


Use gdal_translate to create an mbtiles (tns),or gpkg (XYZ) tiles then use gdaladdo to add ZOOM LEVELS. Or use gdal2tiles_parallel and mbutil


You can do that with GDAL Compiled binaries (.exe) no python. Just have binaries somewhere and open a CMD there and write command.

CMD for translate to Spatialite:

"C:\path\to\gdal_translate_exe\gdal_translate" -of Rasterlite C:\job\data\MNT_Ombre_32E03SO.tif C:/job/data/test.sqlite"

Exemple CMD to translate in Geopackage:

"C:\OSGeo4W\bin\gdal_translate" -of GPKG MNT.tif test.gpkg -co APPEND_SUBDATASET=YES -co RASTER_TABLE=MNT_TEST

GDAL binaries can come with OSGEO install: https://trac.osgeo.org/osgeo4w/wiki or can be find here http://www.gisinternals.com/release.php

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