In QGIS, I add OpenStreetMap as an XYZ layer. I zoom to the Belgian-Dutch-German tripoint. I press F12 (fn-F12 on Mac) to get Network Logger up. I add a WFS connection to visualize North Rhine-Westphalia's parcels (source website):


I choose the Flurstück layer. Display at this point:

enter image description here

I would like to reproduce the creation of the Flurstück features using the link to one of the GET requests. The last request:

995 GET https://www.wfs.nrw.de/geobasis/wfs_nw_inspire-flurstuecke_alkis?SERVICE=WFS&REQUEST=GetFeature&VERSION=2.0.0&TYPENAMES=cp:CadastralParcel&COUNT=100000&SRSNAME=urn:ogc:def:crs:EPSG::3857&BBOX=672989.01836707652546465,6580237.92264114506542683,676336.63031239178963006,6583675.5681595616042614,urn:ogc:def:crs:EPSG::3857&NAMESPACES=xmlns(cp,http://inspire.ec.europa.eu/schemas/cp/4.0)&NAMESPACE=xmlns(cp,http://inspire.ec.europa.eu/schemas/cp/4.0)

Attempt 1: ogr2ogr

Set the link as an environment variable:


Download response:

curl $URL -o resp.xml

Inspect resp.xml:

enter image description here

Reassuringly, it contains parcel polygons. Try to extract them with ogr2ogr:

ogr2ogr parcels.geojson resp.xml CadastralParcel

Output (via head -c2000 parcels.geojson):

"type": "FeatureCollection",
"name": "CadastralParcel",
"crs": { "type": "name", "properties": { "name": "urn:ogc:def:crs:EPSG::3857" } },
"features": [
{ "type": "Feature", "properties": { "gml_id": "CadastralParcel_05417802400487______", "identifier": "https://registry.gdi-de.org/id/de.nw.inspire.cp.alkis/CadastralParcel_05417802400487______", "areaValue": 64.0, "beginLifespanVersion": "2013-03-19T15:07:34Z", "endLifespanVersion": "", "localId": "CadastralParcel_05417802400487______", "namespace": "https://registry.gdi-de.org/id/de.nw.inspire.cp.alkis", "label": 487, "nationalCadastralReference": "05417802400487______", "validFrom": "1992-01-01", "validTo": "", "zoning": "" }, "geometry": { "type": "Point", "coordinates": [ 673289.935999999986961, 6582283.457999999634922 ] } },
{ "type": "Feature", "properties": { "gml_id": "CadastralParcel_05417802400652______", "identifier": "https://registry.gdi-de.org/id/de.nw.inspire.cp.alkis/CadastralParcel_05417802400652______", "areaValue": 9.0, "beginLifespanVersion": "2013-03-19T15:07:34Z", "endLifespanVersion": "", "localId": "CadastralParcel_05417802400652______", "namespace": "https://registry.gdi-de.org/id/de.nw.inspire.cp.alkis", "label": 652, "nationalCadastralReference": "05417802400652______", "validFrom": "2010-01-01", "validTo": "", "zoning": "" }, "geometry": { "type": "Point", "coordinates": [ 673568.26500000001397, 6582331.541000000201166 ] } },
{ "type": "Feature", "properties": { "gml_id": "CadastralParcel_05417802400378______", "identifier": "https://registry.gdi-de.org/id/de.nw.inspire.cp.alkis/CadastralParcel_05417802400378______", "areaValue": 369.0, "beginLifespanVersion": "2015-05-05T15:35:02Z", "endLifespanVersion": "", "localId": "CadastralParcel_05417802400378______", "namespace": "https://registry.gdi-de.org/id/de.nw.inspire.cp.alkis", "label": 378, "nationalCadastralReference": "05417802400378______", "validFrom": "1985-01-01", "validTo": "", "zoning": "" }, "geometry": { "type": "Point", "coo

Unfortunately, parcels.geojson only contains reference points to parcels, and not the parcel coordinates themselves.

Attempt 2: BeautifulSoup, Shapely and GeoPandas

This is clearly a suboptimal workaround. Using Python:

import requests
import shapely.wkt
import geopandas as gpd
from bs4 import BeautifulSoup

soup = BeautifulSoup(requests.get(
).content, "xml")

coordstrings = [each.text for each in soup.findAll("gml:posList")]

for coordstring in coordstrings:
    new_coordstring = ''
    coordstring_split = coordstring.split(' ')
    for index, each in enumerate(coordstring_split):
        new_coordstring += (each)
        if index!=len(coordstring_split)-1:
            if index%2==1:
                new_coordstring += ', '
                new_coordstring += ' '

polygon_strings = [f"POLYGON(({new_coordstring}))" for new_coordstring in new_coordstrings]
res=gpd.GeoSeries([shapely.wkt.loads(polygon_string) for polygon_string in polygon_strings],crs=3857)


Visualize res.geojson in QGIS:

enter image description here

So the script did the job, but it is clear this is not what QGIS is doing under the hood.


How to replicate QGIS and extract the parcel data from the XML file?

I am certain QGIS does not use BeautifulSoup and such workarounds as I did above. I suspect it uses ogr2ogr. If there is a simple programmatic way of extracting the parcel polygons, I am interested even if QGIS is doing it differently.

Having an answer to this question will help me solve a different but related question of mine.

2 Answers 2


I used your curl command for downloading test data. Then I checked the layers with ogrinfo

ogrinfo GMLAS:inspire.xml 

One of the layers is this

8: cadastralparcel (Unknown (any), Point)

It seems to contain two geometries, first is of some undefined geometry type, the second one is point. GeoJSON can only have one geometry field and it is not sure what will happen in the conversion but we can try.

ogr2ogr -f GeoJSON inspirecp.json GMLAS:inspire.xml cadastralparcel

Check the result:

ogrinfo inspirecp.json -al |more

INFO: Open of `inspirecp.json'
      using driver `GeoJSON' successful.

Layer name: cadastralparcel
Geometry: Polygon
Feature Count: 3858
Extent: (671494.159000, 6579594.587000) - (676942.858000, 6585030.326000)

At least there are now parcel polygons in a GeoJSON file.

  • I encountered a very similar situation to this one, but strangely this solution did not work. I also encountered situations recently which were similar and the solution worked. I explain what the new challenges are here: gis.stackexchange.com/questions/448637/….
    – zabop
    Dec 30, 2022 at 20:48

List layers

ogrinfo WFS:"https://www.wfs.nrw.de/geobasis/wfs_nw_inspire-flurstuecke_alkis"

Get infos on the layer you want to retrieve

ogrinfo -so WFS:"https://www.wfs.nrw.de/geobasis/wfs_nw_inspire-flurstuecke_alkis" "cp:CadastralParcel"

It returns a "Feature Count: 9355266". It may be better to avoid downloading all the parcels. You can ask gdal utilties to manage paging for you

Filter on an extent (you may also set -spat_srs EPSG:yourcode when using -spat option). KEPT FOR THE ARCHIVE BUT NOT WORKING: not allowed by remote server...

ogr2ogr --DEBUG ON \
        -f GPKG \
        cadastral_parcel.gpkg \
        WFS:"https://www.wfs.nrw.de/geobasis/wfs_nw_inspire-flurstuecke_alkis" \
        "cp:CadastralParcel" \
        --config OGR_WFS_PAGING_ALLOWED ON \
        --config OGR_WFS_PAGE_SIZE 10000 \
        -nln cadastral_parcel \
        -spat <xmin> <ymin> <xmax> <ymax>

The same without filtering to get all the layer (brute force approach..., long)

ogr2ogr --DEBUG ON \
        -f GPKG \
        cadastral_parcel.gpkg \
        WFS:"https://www.wfs.nrw.de/geobasis/wfs_nw_inspire-flurstuecke_alkis" \
        "cp:CadastralParcel" \
        --config OGR_WFS_PAGING_ALLOWED ON \
        --config OGR_WFS_PAGE_SIZE 10000 \
        -nln cadastral_parcel
  • Very nice answer. I launched the second command, and it is still running, despite STARTINDEX now being at 12300000. I expected it to stop after 9355266 but it didn't. What am I missing?
    – zabop
    Dec 2, 2022 at 14:30
  • HTTP: Fetch(https://www.wfs.nrw.de/geobasis/wfs_nw_inspire-flurstuecke_alkis?SERVICE=WFS&VERSION=2.0.0&REQUEST=GetFeature&TYPENAMES=cp:CadastralParcel&STARTINDEX=25400000&COUNT=100000) - and still running. I'll be curious to see what the end result holds! :)
    – zabop
    Dec 2, 2022 at 15:42
  • I've tried too and wondering if it's not related to infos related returned WFS e.g No paging support WFS: No ImplementsStandardJoins support WFS: No transaction support (more complete/indented log at gist.github.com/ThomasG77/8a8e02b6da9a4a00f6663ab1711de00a) . Key issue may be the "No paging"
    – ThomasG77
    Dec 2, 2022 at 23:21

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