I'm working on a Python script which needs to use the gdal python module, and not the subprocess call method.

I've been using this, but I can't find any example or good documentation online about how to load a local file to PostgreSQL. Most examples I've seen are the other direction: about exporting from PG to local file. I've tried:

from osgeo import gdal

conn_string = r'PG:"host=localhost dbname=postgres port=5432 user=admin password=xxxx'
in_file = 'polygon.shp'

        out_table, # how do I set a PostgreSQL table name as the destination? How do I pass the PG connection string in? 
        format = 'PostgreSQL',
        geometryType = 'POLYGON',
        accessMode = 'overwrite',

But get errors like ERROR 1: You must specify at least a db name or a service name or ERROR 1: PostgreSQL driver doesn't currently support database creation. (I just want to create/overwrite a table). Any tips?

  • what is different to using psycopg2 gis.stackexchange.com/a/90110/276
    – Mapperz
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 0:45
  • Plenty of examples at gdal.org/drivers/vector/pg.html Either don't specify a table and the new layer (table) will named be the same as the input layer (in your example, "polygon"), or specify it using the -nln new_layer_name option.
    – user2856
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 6:21
  • @user2856 that link shows command line examples (I already know how to use gdal that way), I need pythonic examples which use the ‘osgeo’ library and ‘VectorTranslate’ function.
    – Theo F
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 6:57
  • Pretty much the same. Don't specify a tsble or specify a new layer name with layerName=something option e.g. VectorTranslate(etc..., layerName="something")
    – user2856
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 7:20
  • 2
    The connection string is the output name. As I said - the new layer (table) will named be the same as the input layer (in your example, "polygon") unless you specify a different name via layerName="something".
    – user2856
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 9:13

1 Answer 1


With some steer from @user2856 and others in the comments, I've managed to form a working script, with some very important information on proj.db.

import os
from osgeo import gdal

if you have a separate system installation of GDAL, you must make sure you only use the 
proj.db of the imported osgeo python package. We can use os.environ[] to do this. 
Otherwise python will try run your code using a different proj.db, which can produce errors like:
ERROR 1: PROJ: proj_identify: C:\Program Files\GDAL\projlib\proj.db lacks DATABASE.LAYOUT.VERSION.MAJOR / DATABASE.LAYOUT.VERSION.MINOR metadata. It comes from another PROJ installation.
os.environ['PROJ_LIB'] = r'C:\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Python\Python39\site-packages\osgeo\data\proj'

conn_string = r'dbname=database host=localhost port=5432 user=username password=xxxx'

    layerName='polygon_table',  # destination table name
    layerCreationOptions=['SCHEMA=schema_name',  # the destination schema
                          'PRECISION=NO',  # prevents field overflow
                          'GEOMETRY_NAME=geom']  # name for geometry column (default is wkb_geometry)

The proj.db issue is very important if you're running these kind of scripts on a cron machine/scheduler. If you are, make sure the PROJ_LIB environment is set to somewhere your scheduler can reach (ie. C:\Program Files instead of C:<user docs>)

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