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Mapnik's PluginArchitecture supports the use of different input formats.

This plugin supports the OGR library in order to read multiple spatial vector formats.


Make sure that running python scons/ DEBUG=y shows the following line

Checking for C library gdal... yes
Checking for name of ogr library... gdal

To check if the ogr plugin built and was installed correctly, try the usual Python from mapnik import * on a DEBUG=y build, and look for the following debug line

registered datasource : ogr


|| parameter || value || description || default || || file || string || file to display || || || base || string || base path where to search for file parameter || || || layer || string || name of the layer to display (a single ogr datasource can contain multiple layers) || || || layer_by_index || integer || index of the layer to display, this becomes mandatory if no "layer" parameter is specified || || || multiple_geometries || boolean || wheter to use multiple different objects or a single one when dealing with multi-objects (this is mainly related to how the label are used in the map, one label for a multi-polygon or one label for each polygon of a multi-polygon)|| false || || encoding || string || internal file encoding || utf-8 || || string || string || optional (replaces file parameter) string of literal OGR-datasource data, like GeoJSON ||


Note: The layer names of OGR datasources are returned by Mapnik in the error message when you do not provide the layer parameter.

    >>> import mapnik
    >>> mapnik.Ogr(file='test_point_line.gpx')
    Traceback (most recent call last):
      File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
      File "/Library/Python/2.5/site-packages/mapnik/", line 295, in Ogr
        return CreateDatasource(keywords)
    RuntimeError: missing <layer> parameter, available layers are:  'waypoints'  'routes'  'tracks'  'route_points'  'track_points'
    >>> mapnik.Ogr(file='test_point_line.gpx',layer='waypoints')
    <mapnik.Datasource object at 0x23f6b0> # works!

However the best way to discover the layer names is to use the OGR provided utility called ogrinfo. For example running ogrinfo on a test GPX files provided with the OGR source code reveals the layer names and geometry types:

    $ ogrinfo test_point_line.gpx
    Had to open data source read-only.
    INFO: Open of `test_point_line.gpx'
          using driver `GPX' successful.
    1: waypoints (Point)
    2: routes (Line String)
    3: tracks (Multi Line String)
    4: route_points (Point)
    5: track_points (Point)


        <Layer name="gps_waypoints">
                <Parameter name="type">ogr</Parameter>
                <Parameter name="file">test_point_line.gpx</Parameter>
               <Parameter name="layer">waypoints</Parameter>
        <Layer name="states">
                <Parameter name="type">ogr</Parameter>
                <Parameter name="base">tests/data</Parameter>
                <Parameter name="file">us_states.shp</Parameter>
                <!-- OGR supports formats with multiple layers and while shapefiles
                only have one, we still need to specify it by name -->
               <Parameter name="layer">us_states</Parameter>


Plugin datasource initialization example code can be found on PluginArchitecture.

A OGR datasource may be created as follows:

        parameters p;


        // Bridges
        Layer lyr("Bridges");

Further References

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