I have a shapefile (will be called source-file hereafter), which I need to clip by a MultiPolygon shapefile so that I can have a clipped shapefile for each polygon.

I tried the GeoPandas, though I am able to clip the source file by individually clipping it by selecting the polygons separately from the MultiPolygon shapefile, when I try to loop over the polygons to automate the clipping process I get the following error:

Error: TypeError: 'mask' should be GeoDataFrame, GeoSeries or(Multi)Polygon, got <class 'tuple'>

My code:

import geopandas as gpd

source = ('source-shapefile.shp')
mask = ('mask_shapefile.shp')
sourcefile = gpd.read_file(source)
maskfile = gpd.read_file(mask)
for row in maskfile.iterrows():
    gpd.clip(sourcefile, row)
  • Can you print(type(row)). I'm not able to test right now and shooting from the hip, I suspect that you might neet to change row, I guess is shapely to type geopandas using gpd.Geodataframe.
    – user19349
    Commented Apr 17, 2022 at 10:45
  • @Taras both source-file and mask file (Multi-polygon) are ESRI Shapefiles. Commented Apr 17, 2022 at 12:57
  • @user19349 print(type(row) shows tuple <class 'tuple'> Commented Apr 17, 2022 at 12:58
  • What happens if you change gpd.clip(sourcefile, row) to gpd.clip(sourcefile, gpd.GeoDataFrame(row)) or gpd.clip(sourcefile, gpd.GeoDataFrame({geometry =row.geometry})). Sorry that I can't test it myself at this stage. Will do so later.
    – user19349
    Commented Apr 17, 2022 at 13:30
  • I was able to run the code using exploded = maskfile.explode(index_col = 'ID') then for row in exploded['geometry']: \ clipped = gpd.clip(masked, row) however I am not able to save separate shapefiles for each polygon as it over writes the files in the output folder , I tried this line to save the files clipped.to_file('polygon'+ {int('ID'):03}+'.shp') Commented Apr 17, 2022 at 14:05

1 Answer 1


Finally, I am now able to clip the shapefile by a MultiPolygon shapefile and save the clipped polygons separately with their respective names. The following code works:

import os, sys
import pandas as pd
import geopandas as gpd

source = ('source-shapefile.shp')
mask = ('mask_shapefile.shp')
outpath = ('/outpath')

sourcefile = gpd.read_file(source)
maskfile = gpd.read_file(mask)

clipshape = maskfile.explode()

clipshape.set_index('CATCH_NAME', inplace=True) # CATCH_NAME is attribute column name

for index, row in clipshape['geometry'].iteritems():
    clipped = gpd.clip(sourcefile, row)
    clipped.to_file(os.path.join(outpath, f'{index}.shp'))

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