Scrapes an ESRI MapServer REST endpoint to spit out more generally-usable geodata.
Clone or download
Latest commit 3781558 Sep 3, 2018
Failed to load latest commit information.
.travis.yml Add deploy to pypi step via TravisCI Aug 24, 2016


Scrapes an Esri REST endpoint and writes a GeoJSON file.


If you just want to use the command line tool esri2geojson, the recommended way to install this package is to create a virtual environment and install it there. This method does not require that you git clone this repository and can get you up and running quickly:

virtualenv esridump
source esridump/bin/activate
pip install esridump


Command line

This module will install a command line utility called esri2geojson that accepts an Esri REST layer endpoint URL and a filename to write the output GeoJSON to:

esri2geojson cookcounty.geojson

You can write to stdout by using the special output filename of - (a single dash character).

You can also pass in the --jsonlines option to write newline-separated (\n) lines of GeoJSON features, which you can then pipe into other applications.

Python module

You can use this module in your code to get GeoJSON Feature-shaped Python dicts into your code:

import json
from esridump.dumper import EsriDumper

d = EsriDumper('')

# Iterate over each feature
for feature in d:

d = EsriDumper('')

# Or get all features in one list
all_features = list(d)


The module will do its best to find the most efficient method of retrieving data from the Esri server, given the capabilities of the server. There are several strategies we use to get the data, described here in most to least efficient order:

resultOffset Pagination

In ArcGIS REST API version 10.3, Esri added support for pagination directly with the resultOffset and resultRecordCount parameters. Unfortunately, most servers don't support this feature because the backend SQL engine must also be configured to support it. So far, it seems that only the Esri-hosted layers support this feature reliably.

objectId Field Chunking

In ArcGIS REST API version 10.0, Esri added support for the server to return an exhaustive list of object IDs for all features in a layer. Once this list of object IDs is retrieved, we break it into chunks of maxRecordCount queries using the objectIds parameter.

objectId Statistics where-clauses

In ArcGIS REST API version 10.1, Esri added support for performing various statistical queries on the server without requiring the client to download the whole dataset. On servers that support this and don't respond to the objectIds queries, we will use a minimum and maximum statistics query to find the minimum and maximum values for the objectId column, then build chunks of where-clauses that narrow the range down to objectIds between two fenceposts.

Geometry Quadtree Queries

When a server does not support any of these methods, we'll make recursive quad-tree queries using bounding envelopes. We start with a query for the layer's entire extent. If the server returns exactly the maxRecordCount number of features, we split that extent into 4 equal rectangles and query those. If those smaller queries return maxRecordCount features, we split the rectangle again and continue until the server returns something less than the maxRecordCount.


To suggest changes or improvements to this code, create a fork on Github and clone your repository locally:

git clone # replace with your fork
cd pyesridump

Set up a virtual environment for development and install the dependencies for development:

virtualenv pyesridump
source pyesridump/bin/activate
pip install -e .

Your changes to the code will be reflected when you run the esri2geojson command from within the virtual environment. You can also run (and add) tests to check that your changes didn't break anything:


See Also

This Python module was extracted from OpenAddresses machine, which was inspired by code from koop. A similar node/JavaScript module is available in esri-dump.