I want to import shapefile into PostGIS. There is one database postgres in it but no table added yet.

I am using this command:

shp2pgsql -I -s 4326 districts.shp districts | psql -d postgres -U postgres 

and it's giving me some error:

Unable to convert data value to UTF-8 (iconv reports "Invalid or incomplete multibyte or wide character"). Current encoding is "UTF-8". Try "LATIN1" (Western European), or one of the values described at postgresql.org/docs/current/static/multibyte.html

Is my command wrong ??


1 Answer 1


Have you tried -W "latin1" flag? Sometimes the default encoding (UTF-8) doesn't work well. Maybe you'll have better luck with latin1 encoding:

shp2pgsql -I -s 4326 -W "latin1" districts.shp districts | psql -d postgres -U postgres

There's a useful cheat-sheet available here.

Hope it helps..

  • 1
    Hmm.. Have you correctly installed the PostGIS extension to the postgres database? If you haven't: maybe this can help..
    – user8723
    Nov 3, 2012 at 17:45
  • Usually if make install worked, you can move on to next process (make check is a step prior to make install).. If you can connect to your database via psql/pgadmin3 - that means your installation is a success. Can you move on to the "Create a spatial database" step? I recommend using the EXTENSIONS method..
    – user8723
    Nov 4, 2012 at 15:55
  • Dude, this has strayed too far from your original question, haha.. It's a little hard to help you here when there's are a lot of variables at play: which version of PostgreSQL are you using?; on what kind of system?; and which version of PostGIS are you trying to install? It seems like it didn't recognize the "CREATE EXTENSION" syntax.. Does typing only: psql -d geocoding -U postgres gets you into the geocoding database successfully?
    – user8723
    Nov 4, 2012 at 16:50
  • My bad. Then you should follow the 2.5. Create a spatially-enabled database on PostgreSQL lower than 9.1 section.. If you still run into problems I'd suggest that you open a new question - so you can get better answers ;)
    – user8723
    Nov 4, 2012 at 16:56

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