I am trying to copy the schema of an existing shapefile and add to it in an output shapefile. Somehow I am not getting anywhere with this...though the docs seem very clear (and the download page : https://pypi.python.org/pypi/Fiona) and it is just adding to a dictionary.

For this object, I have this schema

c = fiona.open(r'I:\It_24\115507_Road_Shields_Label_Processing\data\test_data.shp')

c.schema {'geometry': 'LineString', 'properties': OrderedDict([(u'ID', 'float:11'), (u'OSM_ID', 'float:19'), (u'NAME', 'str:254'), (u'TYPE', 'str:254'), (u'TUNNEL', 'int:6'), (u'BRIDGE', 'int:6'), (u'ONEWAY', 'int:6'), (u'REF', 'str:254'), (u'Z_ORDER', 'int:6')])}

and I want to return:

c = fiona.open(r'I:\It_24\115507_Road_Shields_Label_Processing\data\test_data_copy.shp')

c.schema {'geometry': 'LineString', 'properties': OrderedDict([(u'ID', 'float:11'), (u'OSM_ID', 'float:19'), (u'NAME', 'str:254'), (u'TYPE', 'str:254'), (u'TUNNEL', 'int:6'), (u'BRIDGE', 'int:6'), (u'ONEWAY', 'int:6'), (u'REF', 'str:254'), (u'Z_ORDER', 'int:6'), (u'shield_type', 'str:254'), (u'label', 'str:254'), (u'label_len', 'int:10'), (u'zoom', 'int:10')])}

to do so I am running:

   def process_file(self, inFile, outFile):
        with fiona.open(inFile, 'r') as input:
            meta = input.meta
            # create new fields for the new schema
            meta['schema']['properties']['shield_type'.encode("utf-8")] = 'str:254'
            meta['schema']['properties']['label'.encode("utf-8")] = 'str:254'
            meta['schema']['properties']['label_len'] = 'int:10'
            meta['schema']['properties']['zoom'] = 'int:10'

            with fiona.open(outFile, 'w', **meta) as output:
                  for item in input:
                    n = item.copy()
                    new_data_attributes = function_using_some_regex_parsing(item['properties']['REF']

Right now running this I just get an empty dictionary...I'm not sure what I'm missing...

c = fiona.open(r'I:\It_24\115507_Road_Shields_Label_Processing\data\test_data_copy.shp')


{'geometry': 'LineString', 'properties': OrderedDict()}

1 Answer 1


I answered this question in another forum. What's going on is this:

  • An output file is opened, but because 'shield_type' is too long a field name for shapefiles, OGR changes it to 'shield_ty'.
  • An error is thrown when you try to write a record with a 'shield_type' property because the field only knows 'shield_ty' (this bug was fixed in Fiona 1.0.4).
  • Thank (or blame) the with expression: it closes the output file regardless of the exception, leaving you with a schemaless file.

The solution is to upgrade to Fiona 1.0.5.

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