I create an example file, example.gpkg using Python:

import geopandas as gpd
import shapely.geometry

gdf = gpd.GeoDataFrame.from_dict(dict(
        geometry=[shapely.geometry.Point([0, 0]), shapely.geometry.Point([1, 1])],


I would like to add another property to each geometry using ogrinfo. To do this, I try creating another column, col1 & try setting the col1 value of each geometry to 1234 as an example. (This thread explains how to do this on a SpatiaLite database using ogr2ogr - now I'm working with a GPKG file.) I do:

UPDATE example SET col1=1234;

ogrinfo -dialect SQLite -sql "${sql}" example.gpkg

However, when I read back the GPKG into a GeoDataFrame:

gdf = gpd.read_file("example.gpkg")

and print(gdf), I get:

  col0  col1                 geometry
0    a   NaN  POINT (0.00000 0.00000)
1    b   NaN  POINT (1.00000 1.00000)

ie all the col1 values are NaN, instead of 1234, so this approach failed.

How do I add a new column to a GPKG file using ogrinfo?

  • 2
    I believe that ogrinfo can send only one SQL statement. Run ogrinfo separately for ALTER TABLE and for UPDATE.
    – user30184
    Commented Dec 11, 2023 at 13:05
  • Wow, that worked! Would you like to add that as an answer? If you know documentation where one could have learnt this, it would be awesome to reference that.
    – zabop
    Commented Dec 11, 2023 at 13:07
  • Maybe not as explicit as can be, but in the documentation of ogrinfo it is stated like this: Execute the indicated SQL statement and return the result. SQL statement is singular, so you can only run one SQL statement at a time.
    – Pieter
    Commented Dec 11, 2023 at 17:32
  • Not sure what exactly you want to accomplish, but just for info: SQLite also supports specyfing a default value for a column, so you can also do the following: ALTER TABLE example ADD COLUMN col1 INTEGER DEFAULT 1234. This will fill up all rows automatically with 1234, but if you insert new rows without specifying a value for column col1 it will also automatically get 1234 as value.
    – Pieter
    Commented Dec 11, 2023 at 17:54
  • The -sql option in ogr2ogr or ogrinfo is basically launching the ExecuteSQL() gdal.org/doxygen/… function for the datastore. Feel free to write the answer yourself.
    – user30184
    Commented Dec 11, 2023 at 21:23

1 Answer 1


We need to split up the query to 2 SQL statements, as ogrinfo can send 1 SQL statement at a time.

sql1="UPDATE example SET col1=1234;"

ogrinfo -dialect SQLite -sql "${sql0}" example.gpkg
ogrinfo -dialect SQLite -sql "${sql1}" example.gpkg

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