Oracle Spatial

This driver supports reading and writing data in Oracle Spatial (8.1.7 or later) Object-Relational format. The Oracle Spatial driver is not normally built into OGR, but may be built in on platforms where the Oracle client libraries are available.

When opening a database, its name should be specified in the form "OCI:userid/password@database_instance:table,table". The list of tables is optional. The database_instance portion may be omitted when accessing the default local database instance.

If the list of tables is not provided, then all tables appearing in ALL_SDO_GEOM_METADATA will be treated by OGR as layers with the table names as the layer names. Non-spatial tables or spatial tables not listed in the ALL_SDO_GEOM_METADATA table are not accessible unless explicitly listed in the datasource name. Even in databases where all desired layers are in the ALL_SDO_GEOM_METADATA table, it may be desirable to list only the tables to be used as this can substantially reduce initialization time in databases with many tables.

If the table has an integer column called OGR_FID it will be used as the feature id by OGR (and it will not appear as a regular attribute). When loading data into Oracle Spatial OGR will always create the OGR_FID field.

SQL Issues

By default, the Oracle driver passes SQL statements directly to Oracle rather than evaluating them internally when using the ExecuteSQL() call on the OGRDataSource, or the -sql command option to ogr2ogr. Attribute query expressions are also passed through to Oracle.

As well two special commands are supported via the ExecuteSQL() interface. These are "DELLAYER:<table_name>" to delete a layer, and "VALLAYER:<table_name>" to apply the SDO_GEOM.VALIDATE_GEOMETRY() check to a layer. Internally these pseudo-commands are translated into more complex SQL commands for Oracle.

It is also possible to request the driver to handle SQL commands with OGR SQL engine, by passing "OGRSQL" string to the ExecuteSQL() method, as name of the SQL dialect.


Creation Issues

The Oracle Spatial driver does not support creation of new datasets (database instances), but it does allow creation of new layers within an existing database.

Upon closing the OGRDataSource newly created layers will have a spatial index automatically built. At this point the USER_SDO_GEOM_METADATA table will also be updated with bounds for the table based on the features that have actually been written. One consequence of this is that once a layer has been loaded it is generally not possible to load additional features outside the original extents without manually modifying the DIMINFO information in USER_SDO_GEOM_METADATA and rebuilding the spatial index.

Layer Creation Options

Layer Open Options


Simple translation of a shapefile into Oracle. The table 'ABC' will be created with the features from abc.shp and attributes from abc.dbf.

% ogr2ogr -f OCI OCI:warmerda/ abc.shp
This second example loads a political boundaries layer from VPF (via the OGDI driver), and renames the layer from the cryptic OGDI layer name to something more sensible. If an existing table of the desired name exists it is overwritten.

% ogr2ogr  -f OCI OCI:warmerda/password \
        gltp:/vrf/usr4/mpp1/v0eur/vmaplv0/eurnasia \
        -lco OVERWRITE=yes -nln polbndl_bnd 'polbndl@bnd(*)_line'
This example shows using ogrinfo to evaluate an SQL query statement within Oracle. More sophisticated Oracle Spatial specific queries may also be used via the -sql commandline switch to ogrinfo.

ogrinfo -ro OCI:warmerda/password -sql "SELECT pop_1994 from canada where province_name = 'Alberta'"


I would like to thank SRC, LLC for its financial support of the development of this driver.