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I'm trying to read in a shapefile and keep getting a File Not Found error and this exception:

ShapefileException: Unable to open /Users/name/Documents/shapefile.shp

Here's what I've got:

import shapefile

# read the shapefile
reader = shapefile.Reader('/Users/name/Documents/shapefile.shp')

I've tried several variations of that and still get the error. The shapefile exists and it works. It's also in the same folder as the dbf and shx files. Any ideas?

  • Does "name" have a space in it? – Vince Apr 14 at 20:55
  • Yes it does actually. Perhaps replace that with an underscore? – mike Apr 14 at 20:57
  • That didn't work either – mike Apr 14 at 21:04
  • What OS are you using? – user2856 Apr 15 at 0:44
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    There are enough wonky things with the path reference that you should test if os.path.exists() can find the file first. – Vince Apr 15 at 1:29
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What about this solution? reader = shapefile.Reader(r'/Users/name/Documents/shapefile.shp'). Just add r before the string chain. otherwise try by using the \ instead of /.

  • A raw string (r'some string') will have no effect on forward slashes and changing forward slashes to backwards will not work on a non-Windows OS. – user2856 Apr 15 at 2:42

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