GeoParquet Specification


The Apache Parquet provides a standardized open-source columnar storage format. The GeoParquet specification defines how geospatial data should be stored in parquet format, including the representation of geometries and the required additional metadata.

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.

Version and schema

This is version 1.1.0 of the GeoParquet specification. See the JSON Schema to validate metadata for this version. See Version Compatibility for details on version compatibility guarantees.

Geometry columns

Geometry columns MUST be encoded as WKB or using the single-geometry type encodings based on the GeoArrow specification.

See the encoding section below for more details.


Geometry columns MUST be at the root of the schema. In practice, this means that when writing to GeoParquet from another format, geometries cannot be contained in complex or nested types such as structs, lists, arrays, or map types.


The repetition for all geometry columns MUST be "required" (exactly one) or "optional" (zero or one). A geometry column MUST NOT be repeated. A GeoParquet file MAY have multiple geometry columns with different names, but those geometry columns cannot be repeated.


GeoParquet files include additional metadata at two levels:

  1. File metadata indicating things like the version of this specification used
  2. Column metadata with additional metadata for each geometry column

A GeoParquet file MUST include a geo key in the Parquet metadata (see FileMetaData::key_value_metadata). The value of this key MUST be a JSON-encoded UTF-8 string representing the file and column metadata that validates against the GeoParquet metadata schema. The file and column metadata fields are described below.

File metadata

Field Name Type Description
version string REQUIRED. The version identifier for the GeoParquet specification.
primary_column string REQUIRED. The name of the "primary" geometry column. In cases where a GeoParquet file contains multiple geometry columns, the primary geometry may be used by default in geospatial operations.
columns object<string, Column Metadata> REQUIRED. Metadata about geometry columns. Each key is the name of a geometry column in the table.

At this level, additional implementation-specific fields (e.g. library name) MAY be present, and readers should be robust in ignoring those.

Column metadata

Each geometry column in the dataset MUST be included in the columns field above with the following content, keyed by the column name:

Field Name Type Description
encoding string REQUIRED. Name of the geometry encoding format. Currently "WKB", "point", "linestring", "polygon", "multipoint", "multilinestring", and "multipolygon" are supported.
geometry_types [string] REQUIRED. The geometry types of all geometries, or an empty array if they are not known.
crs object|null PROJJSON object representing the Coordinate Reference System (CRS) of the geometry. If the field is not provided, the default CRS is OGC:CRS84, which means the data in this column must be stored in longitude, latitude based on the WGS84 datum.
orientation string Winding order of exterior ring of polygons. If present must be "counterclockwise"; interior rings are wound in opposite order. If absent, no assertions are made regarding the winding order.
edges string Name of the coordinate system for the edges. Must be one of "planar" or "spherical". The default value is "planar".
bbox [number] Bounding Box of the geometries in the file, formatted according to RFC 7946, section 5.
epoch number Coordinate epoch in case of a dynamic CRS, expressed as a decimal year.
covering object Object containing bounding box column names to help accelerate spatial data retrieval


The Coordinate Reference System (CRS) is an optional parameter for each geometry column defined in GeoParquet format.

The CRS MUST be provided in PROJJSON format, which is a JSON encoding of WKT2:2019 / ISO-19162:2019, which itself implements the model of OGC Topic 2: Referencing by coordinates abstract specification / ISO-19111:2019. Apart from the difference of encodings, the semantics are intended to match WKT2:2019, and a CRS in one encoding can generally be represented in the other.

If the crs key does not exist, all coordinates in the geometries MUST use longitude, latitude based on the WGS84 datum, and the default value is OGC:CRS84 for CRS-aware implementations. Note that a missing crs key has different meaning than a crs key set to null (see below).

OGC:CRS84 is equivalent to the well-known EPSG:4326 but changes the axis from latitude-longitude to longitude-latitude.

Due to the large number of CRSes available and the difficulty of implementing all of them, we expect that a number of implementations will start without support for the optional crs field. Users are recommended to store their data in longitude, latitude (OGC:CRS84 or not including the crs field) for it to work with the widest number of tools. Data that are more appropriately represented in particular projections may use an alternate coordinate reference system. We expect many tools will support alternate CRSes, but encourage users to check to ensure their chosen tool supports their chosen CRS.

See below for additional details about representing or identifying OGC:CRS84.

The value of this key may be explicitly set to null to indicate that there is no CRS assigned to this column (CRS is undefined or unknown).


In a dynamic CRS, coordinates of a point on the surface of the Earth may change with time. To be unambiguous, the coordinates must always be qualified with the epoch at which they are valid.

The optional epoch field allows to specify this in case the crs field defines a dynamic CRS. The coordinate epoch is expressed as a decimal year (e.g. 2021.47). Currently, this specification only supports an epoch per column (and not per geometry).


This is the memory layout used to encode geometries in the geometry column. Supported values:


The preferred option for maximum portability is "WKB", signifying Well Known Binary. This SHOULD be the "OpenGISĀ® Implementation Specification for Geographic information - Simple feature access - Part 1: Common architecture" WKB representation (using codes for 3D geometry types in the [1001,1007] range). This encoding is also consistent with the one defined in the "ISO/IEC 13249-3:2016 (Information technology - Database languages - SQL multimedia and application packages - Part 3: Spatial)" standard.

Note that the current version of the spec only allows for a subset of WKB: 2D or 3D geometries of the standard geometry types (the Point, LineString, Polygon, MultiPoint, MultiLineString, MultiPolygon, and GeometryCollection geometry types). This means that M values or non-linear geometry types are not yet supported.

WKB geometry columns MUST be stored using the BYTE_ARRAY parquet type.

Implementation note: when using WKB encoding with the ecosystem of Arrow libraries, Parquet types such as BYTE_ARRAY might not be directly accessible. Instead, the corresponding Arrow data type can be Arrow::Type::BINARY (for arrays that whose elements can be indexed through a 32-bit index) or Arrow::Type::LARGE_BINARY (64-bit index). It is recommended that GeoParquet readers are compatible with both data types, and writers preferably use Arrow::Type::BINARY (thus limiting to row groups with content smaller than 2 GB) for larger compatibility.

Native encodings (based on GeoArrow)

Using the single-geometry type encodings (i.e., "point", "linestring", "polygon", "multipoint", "multilinestring", "multipolygon") may provide better performance and enable readers to leverage more features of the Parquet format to accelerate geospatial queries (e.g., row group-level min/max statistics). These encodings correspond to extension name suffix in the GeoArrow metadata specification for extension names to signify the memory layout used by the geometry column. GeoParquet uses the separated (struct) representation of coordinates for single-geometry type encodings because this encoding results in useful column statistics when row groups and/or files contain related features.

The actual coordinates of the geometries MUST be stored as native numbers, i.e. using the DOUBLE parquet type in a (repeated) group of fields (exact repetition depending on the geometry type).

For the "point" geometry type, this results in a struct of two fields for x and y coordinates (in case of 2D geometries):

// "point" geometry column as simple field with two child fields for x and y
optional group geometry {
  required double x;
  required double y;

For the other geometry types, those x and y coordinate values MUST be embedded in repeated groups (LIST logical parquet type). For example, for the "multipolygon" geometry type:

// "multipolygon" geometry column with multiple levels of nesting
optional group geometry (List) {
  // the parts of the MultiPolygon
  repeated group list {
    required group element (List) {
      // the rings of one Polygon
      repeated group list {
        required group element (List) {
          // the list of coordinates of one ring
          required group list {
            required group element {
              required double x;
              required double y;

There MUST NOT be any null values in the child fields and the x/y/z coordinate fields. Only the outer optional "geometry" group is allowed to have nulls (i.e representing a missing geometry). This MAY be indicated in the Parquet schema by using required group elements, as in the example above, but this is not required and optional fields are permitted (as long as the data itself does not contain any nulls).

Coordinate axis order

The axis order of the coordinates in WKB stored in a GeoParquet follows the de facto standard for axis order in WKB and is therefore always (x, y) where x is easting or longitude and y is northing or latitude. This ordering explicitly overrides the axis order as specified in the CRS. This follows the precedent of GeoPackage, see the note in their spec.


This field captures the geometry types of the geometries in the column, when known. Accepted geometry types are: "Point", "LineString", "Polygon", "MultiPoint", "MultiLineString", "MultiPolygon", "GeometryCollection".

In addition, the following rules are used:

It is expected that this field is strictly correct. For example, if having both polygons and multipolygons, it is not sufficient to specify ["MultiPolygon"], but it is expected to specify ["Polygon", "MultiPolygon"]. Or if having 3D points, it is not sufficient to specify ["Point"], but it is expected to list ["Point Z"].


This attribute indicates the winding order of polygons. The only available value is "counterclockwise". All vertices of exterior polygon rings MUST be ordered in the counterclockwise direction and all interior rings MUST be ordered in the clockwise direction.

If no value is set, no assertions are made about winding order or consistency of such between exterior and interior rings or between individual geometries within a dataset. Readers are responsible for verifying and if necessary re-ordering vertices as required for their analytical representation.

Writers are encouraged but not required to set orientation="counterclockwise" for portability of the data within the broader ecosystem.

It is RECOMMENDED to always set the orientation (to counterclockwise) if edges is "spherical" (see below).


This attribute indicates how to interpret the edges of the geometries: whether the line between two points is a straight cartesian line or the shortest line on the sphere (geodesic line). Available values are:

If no value is set, the default value to assume is "planar".

Note if edges is "spherical" then it is RECOMMENDED that orientation is always ensured to be "counterclockwise". If it is not set, it is not clear how polygons should be interpreted within spherical coordinate systems, which can lead to major analytical errors if interpreted incorrectly. In this case, software will typically interpret the rings of a polygon such that it encloses at most half of the sphere (i.e. the smallest polygon of both ways it could be interpreted). But the specification itself does not make any guarantee about this.


Bounding boxes are used to help define the spatial extent of each geometry column. Implementations of this schema may choose to use those bounding boxes to filter partitions (files) of a partitioned dataset.

The bbox, if specified, MUST be encoded with an array representing the range of values for each dimension in the geometry coordinates. For geometries in a geographic coordinate reference system, longitude and latitude values are listed for the most southwesterly coordinate followed by values for the most northeasterly coordinate. This follows the GeoJSON specification (RFC 7946, section 5), which also describes how to represent the bbox for a set of geometries that cross the antimeridian.

For non-geographic coordinate reference systems, the items in the bbox are minimum values for each dimension followed by maximum values for each dimension. For example, given geometries that have coordinates with two dimensions, the bbox would have the form [<xmin>, <ymin>, <xmax>, <ymax>]. For three dimensions, the bbox would have the form [<xmin>, <ymin>, <zmin>, <xmax>, <ymax>, <zmax>].

The bbox values MUST be in the same coordinate reference system as the geometry.


The covering field specifies optional simplified representations of each geometry. The keys of the "covering" object MUST be a supported encoding. Currently the only supported encoding is "bbox" which specifies the names of bounding box columns


"covering": {
    "bbox": {
        "xmin": ["bbox", "xmin"],
        "ymin": ["bbox", "ymin"],
        "xmax": ["bbox", "xmax"],
        "ymax": ["bbox", "ymax"]
bbox covering encoding

Including a per-row bounding box can be useful for accelerating spatial queries by allowing consumers to inspect row group and page index bounding box summary statistics. Furthermore a bounding box may be used to avoid complex spatial operations by first checking for bounding box overlaps. This field captures the column name and fields containing the bounding box of the geometry for every row.

The format of the bbox encoding is {"xmin": ["column_name", "xmin"], "ymin": ["column_name", "ymin"], "xmax": ["column_name", "xmax"], "ymax": ["column_name", "ymax"]}. The arrays represent Parquet schema paths for nested groups. In this example, column_name is a Parquet group with fields xmin, ymin, xmax, ymax. The value in column_name MUST exist in the Parquet file and meet the criteria in the Bounding Box Column definition. In order to constrain this value to a single bounding group field, the second item in each element MUST be xmin, ymin, etc. All values MUST use the same column name.

The value specified in this field should not be confused with the top-level bbox field which contains the single bounding box of this geometry over the whole GeoParquet file.

Note: This technique to use the bounding box to improve spatial queries does not apply to geometries that cross the antimeridian. Such geometries are unsupported by this method.

Bounding Box Columns

A bounding box column MUST be a Parquet group field with 4 or 6 child fields representing the geometry's coordinate range. For two-dimensional data, the child fields MUST be named xmin, ymin, xmax, and ymax and MUST be ordered in this same way. As with the top-level bbox column, the values follow the GeoJSON specification (RFC 7946, section 5), which also describes how to represent the bbox for geometries that cross the antimeridian. For three dimensions the additional fields zmin and zmax MAY be present but are not required. If zmin is present then zmax MUST be present and vice versa. If zmin and zmax are present, the ordering of the child fields MUST be xmin, ymin, zmin, xmax, ymax, zmax. The fields MUST be of Parquet type FLOAT or DOUBLE and all columns MUST use the same type. The repetition of a bounding box column MUST match the geometry column's repetition. A row MUST contain a bounding box value if and only if the row contains a geometry value. In cases where the geometry is optional and a row does not contain a geometry value, the row MUST NOT contain a bounding box value.

The bounding box column MUST be at the root of the schema. The bounding box column MUST NOT be nested in a group.

Additional information

Feature identifiers

If you are using GeoParquet to serialize geospatial data with feature identifiers, it is RECOMMENDED that you create your own file key/value metadata to indicate the column that represents this identifier. As an example, GDAL writes additional metadata using the gdal:schema key including information about feature identifiers and other information outside the scope of the GeoParquet specification.

OGC:CRS84 details

The PROJJSON object for OGC:CRS84 is:

    "$schema": "",
    "type": "GeographicCRS",
    "name": "WGS 84 longitude-latitude",
    "datum": {
        "type": "GeodeticReferenceFrame",
        "name": "World Geodetic System 1984",
        "ellipsoid": {
            "name": "WGS 84",
            "semi_major_axis": 6378137,
            "inverse_flattening": 298.257223563
    "coordinate_system": {
        "subtype": "ellipsoidal",
        "axis": [
            "name": "Geodetic longitude",
            "abbreviation": "Lon",
            "direction": "east",
            "unit": "degree"
            "name": "Geodetic latitude",
            "abbreviation": "Lat",
            "direction": "north",
            "unit": "degree"
    "id": {
        "authority": "OGC",
        "code": "CRS84"

For implementations that operate entirely with longitude, latitude coordinates and are not CRS-aware or do not have easy access to CRS-aware libraries that can fully parse PROJJSON, it may be possible to infer that coordinates conform to the OGC:CRS84 CRS based on elements of the crs field. For simplicity, Javascript object dot notation is used to refer to nested elements.

The CRS is likely equivalent to OGC:CRS84 for a GeoParquet file if the id element is present:

It is reasonable for implementations to require that one of the above id elements are present and skip further tests to determine if the CRS is functionally equivalent with OGC:CRS84.

Note: EPSG:4326 and OGC:CRS84 are equivalent with respect to this specification because this specification specifically overrides the coordinate axis order in the crs to be longitude-latitude.

Version Compatibility

GeoParquet version numbers follow SemVer, meaning patch releases are for bugfixes, minor releases represent backwards compatible changes, and major releases represent breaking changes. For this specification, a backwards compatible change means that a file written with the older specification will always be compatible with the newer specification. Minor releases are also guaranteed to be forward compatible up the the next major release. Forward compatiblity means that an implementation that is only aware of the older specification MUST be able to correctly interpret data written according to the newer specification, OR recognize that it cannot correctly interpret that data.

Examples of a forward compatible change include:

Examples of a breaking change include:

In order to support data written according future minor relases, implementations of this specification:

File Extension

It is RECOMMENDED to use .parquet as the file extension for a GeoParquet file. This provides the best interoperability with existing Parquet tools. The file extension .geoparquet SHOULD NOT be used.

Media Type

If a media type (formerly: MIME type) is used, a GeoParquet file MUST use application/vnd.apache.parquet as the media type.