Geopandas read_file reads my time field with less precision. How can I make it the same as my file?

I created a file with geopandas to_file(filename, driver='GeoJSON') and it is something like this:

{ "type": "Feature", "properties": { "LineaRuta": "A", "Time": "2018-06-25 11:57:55.537" }, "geometry": { "type": "Point", "coordinates": [ 505529.0, 4788595.0 ] }

I read it with read_file(filename, driver='GeoJSON') and the time (datetime) losses its millisecond precision:

LineaRuta Time geometry 0 A 2018-06-25T11:48:09 POINT (506375 4790366)

I tried to see if it is changing the format with:

schema = gpd.io.file.infer_schema(data2) print(schema)

But the output says that it is string type. Then why it reads like a datetime? Output: {'geometry': 'Point', 'properties': OrderedDict([('LineaRuta', 'str'), ('Time', 'str')])}

I need the millisecond precision in the time field, is there any easy way to do it? For example with fiona's read?

1 Answer 1


when you write or read your file the time column is considered as a string. You can use strptime from datetime library to convert it as a datetime object

gdf = gpd.read_file(your_file, driver='GeoJSON')
gdf['date'] = gdf['your_date'].apply(lambda x: datetime.strptime(x, '%d-%m-%Y %H:%M:%S.%f'))

Here is a reference to datetime formats http://strftime.org/

  • But this is to format it to the way I want, but the information of milliseconds is already lost in read_file, right? What I would like is to read it maintaining all the info of the strings (also with milliseconds). Question edited for better understanding Commented Jun 25, 2018 at 12:45
  • @AurelieNavir Does it behave the same way if you replace '.' by ',' for the miliseconds before saving the file ? Commented Jun 25, 2018 at 13:06
  • Yes, it cuts the milliseconds too. Maybe if I change completely the format geopandas will not know? Also, there is not an easier way to define the time format reading the file? Commented Jun 25, 2018 at 14:33
  • @AurelieNavir What if you switch to a csv file ? to force it read the time column as a string Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 8:27
  • 1
    I tried to change the datime format a little bit more and it works. The format I tried: %Y_%m_%d_%H:%M:%S.%f. I guess you can also use csv format, but from what I read, it is not implemented to use directly with geopandas right? Thx for all Commented Jun 27, 2018 at 8:49

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