Given a Shapely MultiPolygon, how can I extract the biggest Polygon?

For example, given a MultiPolygon as follows:

from shapely.geometry import Polygon, MultiPolygon

multipolygon = MultiPolygon([Polygon([(0,0), (1,0), (1,0.25), (1, 0.5), (1,0.75), (1,1), (0,1)]),
                             Polygon([(2,0), (1.2,0.25), (1.2,0.25), (1.2,0.75), (2,0.75)])])

enter image description here

How can I get just the largest part?

enter image description here

3 Answers 3


Here's what I would do:

max(multipolygon, key=lambda a: a.area)

The built-in max function used this way will return the item from the list where lambda a: a.area is maximized.

  • That's really elegant. Love these one-liners!
    – Henrik
    Jun 19, 2020 at 19:40

I think I found an interim solution, if there is a better way please let me know!

def get_biggest_part(multipolygon):

    # Get the area of all mutipolygon parts
    areas = [i.area for i in multipolygon]

    # Get the area of the largest part
    max_area = areas.index(max(areas))    

    # Return the index of the largest area
    return multipolygon[max_area]

As of shapely 2.0.2 (and may be earlier versions), you need to append .geoms:

max(multipolygon.geoms, key=lambda a: a.area)

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