I'm trying to get python 2.7 to work with GDAL/OGR and an ESRI file geodatabase. There have been a few similar questions asked but the answers don't fully resolve my situation.

I have installed the 64-bit GDAL Core files from Link I have also installed the Python Bindings and the File GDB.

The background to the problem is that when I run ogrinfo --formats from the command line it returns: "FileGDB" (read/write), when I run ogr from the command line I can see the layers in the Geodatabase BUT when I try to use the following code in Python in returns "None"

driver = gdal.GetDriverByName('FileGDB')
ds = driver.Open(r"my file.gdb",0)
print driver

Ogr definitely works in python because the following code returns the correct response:

driver = ogr.GetDriverByName("ESRI Shapefile")
ds = driver.Open(r"My Shapefile.shp",0)
print ds

driver = gdal.GetDriverByName('GTiff')
ds = driver.Open(r"My GeoTiff.shp",0)
print driver

Does anybody have any pointers to resolve this.


  • 3
    I sense a slight confusion between OGR and GDAL. Try instead: ogr.GetDriverByName('FileGDB')
    – Mike T
    Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 4:01
  • I've tried that and still no joy. It still returns nothing instead of the SWIG object that it should.
    – user19466
    Commented Jul 2, 2013 at 4:40

2 Answers 2


I found the solution to this was to add GDAL_DRIVER_PATH = C:\Program Files\GDAL\gdalplugins in the Environment Variables.

This was in addition to Mike Toews comment about the correct usage being ogr.GetDriverByName('FileGDB')

  • 1
    Difficult find! This can also be set in Python with os.environ['GDAL_DRIVER_PATH'] = r'C:\...', either before importing ogr, or by calling ogr.RegisterAll() after setting the variable.
    – Mike T
    Commented Jul 4, 2013 at 4:41
  • I was using the pre-built Python GDAL Windows binaries, which don't require GDAL to be installed. In addition to setting GDAL_DRIVER_PATH to point at the location inside the site-packages directory, I had to ensure FileGDB.dll was on PATH. (I had to download FileGDB.dll from ESRI separately.)
    – jpmc26
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 22:08

If you are interested in using the File Geodatabase API with Python, read my post: http://libjoe.blogspot.com/2014/02/python-wrapper-for-esri-file.html

Also, see the project page: https://code.google.com/p/file-geodatabase-api-python-wrapper/

Enjoy! Joseph Armbruster

  • This question is specifically about GDAL bindings, so your self-promotion makes little sense here (as opposed to the other question). Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 8:32

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