The GDAL documentation describes how to convert a ShapeFile into CSV data. The layer create options (-lco parameter) allows to prepend the coordinates of Point features to the actual attributes values.

ogr2ogr -f CSV output.csv input.shp -lco GEOMETRY=AS_XY

Note that I omitted the Z-dimension for my example here.
For some reason this results in the following error message:

FAILED: Layer input already exists, and -append not specified.
        Consider using -append, or -overwrite.
ERROR 1: Terminating translation prematurely after failed
translation of layer input (use -skipfailures to skip errors)

I am using GDAL 1.10.0.


  • How can I get this running?
  • Is there an option to omit the feature attributes: I only want to export the latitude and longitude values?

2 Answers 2


The "Layer input already exists" error is due to an existing file "output.csv", presumably from a previous attempt. This file needs to be deleted to make a new file (the -overwrite option sometimes works, but not always). From POSIX shells, use rm output.csv, or from a Windows shell, use del output.csv

To only show X,Y fields, provide an empty select field list to ogr2ogr by using: -select ""

  • 3
    There was no file named output.csv. The check seems to be buggy since the error did not disappear until I removed all .csv files in the folder. The -select option works. Thanks!
    – JJD
    Dec 7, 2013 at 10:38

The error depicts that system don't have permissions to overwrite/append the output csv file because you have not mentioned it in your gdal ogr2ogr command.

Possible solution can be addition of these Params in your command

Ogr2ogr -f 'CSV' output.csv input.shp -lco GEOMETRY=AS_XY -append

I hope it will help.

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