Introduction to GDAL

This tutorial will introduce you to the GDAL command line tools.

4. Convert GIS formats

4.2. Convert vector formats

GDAL allows conversions between vector formats using the ogr2ogr command.
Here's a list of supported vector formats.

The general syntax is:
ogr2ogr -f <"Format"> <output> <input>
The "Format" is the short name in the vector drivers table and needs to be given in double quotes.

We're going to convert gem_2011_gn1.shp to a Google KML file that can be opened in Google Earth.

1. Execute the following command:
ogr2ogr -f "KML" gem.kml gem_2011_gn1.shp

Ignore the warnings. They're related to formats and characters that are not supported.
Here you can find all options of the ogr2ogr command. Note that you can also reproject and convert at the same time by using -t_srs. There are many other things you can do, but we don't cover in this basic tutorial.

2. Open the file in Google Earth to check the result.