Using GeoPandas, how can I check the geometry type of a shapefile (i.e. Point, LineString, Polygon etc).

I can use the following to check the geometry type of each feature but this is unnecessary, I would just like to know if the shapefile is a LineString or not:

import geopandas as gpd
df = gpd.read_file('path/to/shapefile')

0      LineString
1      LineString
2      LineString
3      LineString
4      LineString
423    LineString
424    LineString
425    LineString

Length: 426, dtype: object
  • Theoretically and practically, a GeoDataFrame can contain multiple type of geometry (Example). The best option look like using fiona as in BERA's answer. Apr 7, 2023 at 9:20
  • @user35594 doesnt my answer work?
    – BERA
    Apr 14, 2023 at 10:04

2 Answers 2


Fiona.open seems to be fast (geopandas depend on fiona):

import fiona, geopandas, time

#A line shapefile, total size 118 MB
shape = r"/home/bera/Desktop/GIStest/ml_riks.shp"

#Fiona open
start = time.process_time()
c = fiona.open(shape)
if c.schema["geometry"]=='LineString':

#Geopandas checking geometry type of first feature
start = time.process_time()
df = geopandas.read_file(shape)
if df.iloc[0].geometry.type=='LineString':
    print("Line 2")
#Line 2

#Geopandas checking if all features are linestrings
start = time.process_time()
df = geopandas.read_file(shape)
if df.geom_type.str.contains("LineString").all():
    print("Line 3")
#Line 3

If you are using GeoPandas and are going to load the shapefile anyway, you can check immediately after reading it by doing df.geom_type.unique(). It's good to check in case there are mix of LineString and MultiLineString (or Polygon/MultiPolygon or Point/MultiPoint).

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