I would like to create Isohypses (Shape) ("Create contour lines") with a distance of 0,10m in a Digital Terrain Model (Shape File). While processing the command, there are some errors poping up:

ERROR 1: Failed to write shape object. File size cannot reach 4294967228 + 136.
More than 1000 errors or warnings have been reported. No more will be reported from now.

Creating Isohypses with a distance of 0,5m to each other worked out pretty good, I guess, with a distance of 0,1m there are just too many :((

Also, some of the countour line haven't been created as well. Does somebody might know a reason for this problem and how to solve it as well?

  • 4
    Please provide spatial and height resolution, as well as the extent of your source data. In addition your exact conversion settings would be helpful.
    – Erik
    Nov 29 '21 at 15:23
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    – Ian Turton
    Nov 29 '21 at 17:01

You are writing the result into shapefile but shapefile format has a maximum size of 4 GB https://gdal.org/drivers/vector/shapefile.html?#size-issues (by the original specification by ESRI even lower, 2 GB). Write the result into another format, like GeoPackage, instead.


You are working with either 1- very detailed elevation model or 2- very large data or 3- combined. So either your RAM or HDD is creating a barrier.

To fix it you should either 1- Command for a coarser contour, or 2- Resample the DEM to get a coarser DEM, or 3- Split up your project into smaller parts, or 4- something you see fit regarding this information. Good luck.

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