The Problem:

I’m sick of having to open Windows, then an ArcPy script (#firstworldproblems), just to convert a CSV to a Shapefile. And I also want to program it so when I get updated files I can just run a Python program rather than go through some point and clicks in QGIS. Though, I do think QGIS is awesome, I just don’t enjoy programming with it. I really enjoy working with Python’s R-like cousin Pandas.

Sean Gilles of MapBox - Fiona and Rasterio: Data Access for Python Programmers and Future Python Programmers talk at FOSS4G

This morning approaching lunch I started listening/watching to @SeanGilles’ talk from FOSS4G 2014 Fiona and Rasterio: Data Access for Python Programmers and Future Python Programmers — Sean Gillies, Mapbox. I didn’t even watch the whole thing before I started to see which Python modules I had.

FOSS4G PDX- Sean Gillies

I realized the only thing I was missing to write some scripts to do this task without having to use ArcPy was Fiona. Luckily, I found Installing Open Source Geo Software: Mac Edition which has a quick MaxOSX install command.

Installing Fiona

From Installing Open Source Geo Software: Mac Edition:

  1. Open your Terminal in mac (Ctrl + Spacebar then type Terminal to search)
  2. Copy the code below and paste.

     sudo ARCHFLAGS='-arch x86_64' pip install Fiona
  3. Type your password for installing software on the Mac - now you have Fiona installed!

Back to the task.

So now I have all the required modules; Fiona, Shapely and Pandas.

Dharhas Pothina’s Slides - where I got my code

For the code I went straight to Dharhas Pothina’s Slides from his talk: Python and GIS at TNRIS GeoRodeo - May 30th, 2014 and here’s his GitHub

Code to import a CSV into a Shapefile

I only slight modified his code, but here is a pretty straight-forward script for bringing a CSV into a DataFrame and then turning it into a Shapefile.

import pandas as pd
from shapely.geometry import Point, mapping
from fiona import collection

inCSV  = '/Users/....../sites_xy_data.csv'
shpOut = '/Users/....../sites.shp'
lng = 'Longitude'
lat = 'Latitude'

schema = { 'geometry': 'Point', 'properties': { 'SITEID': 'str' } }

df = pd.read_csv(inCSV) 

data = df
with collection(shpOut, "w", "ESRI Shapefile", schema) as output:
	for index, row in data.iterrows():
    	point = Point(row[lng], row[lat])
        	'properties': {'SITEID': row['SITEID']},
        	'geometry': mapping(point)

This was a fairly simple file with just a Uniquie ID (SITEID) and some Latitude, Longitude data. More complex files may come in later posts.

Next Steps

I’m really looking forward to using some of the Geoprocessing functions - checkout Tom MacWright Blog post - GIS with Python, Shapely, and Fiona - and comparing the run-time and output to ArcGIS.

Other great resources