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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
In this blog post I will try and show you the easiest way to import shapefiles data into HANA Cloud, via the wizard.

There are alternative ways of importing spatial data, that can be used.

  • Import shapefile via wizard

  • Import CSV via wizard and convert to spatial data types

  • Import CSV from Cloud Object Store (S3, GCS, ADL) and convert.

For clarification, spatial data means geometries, shapes such as polygons that will be stored as spatial data types.

At minimum, the wizard expects a .tar.gz file containing both the .shp and .dbf file of the the same name.  These must be packaged within a .tar.gz for upload.

Figure 1.5: Create .tar.gz

1. Database Explorer

The easiest way to import a shapefile is using the Database Explorer, via Import Data

Right Click and select Import Data, open the wizard.  We can use that with an appropriate .tar.gz and follow the steps.

Figure 1.1: Import Data


Figure 1.2: Import Type, ESRI Shapefiles


Figure 1.3: Select file, must be .tar.gz containing .shp and .dbf

Figure 1.4: Import Target Schema, table name will be the original filename without extensions


Figure 1.5: Specify Spatial Reference (SRID)


Figure 1.6: Import Complete


Figure 1.7: Check Table


Figure 1.8: Database Explorer Data Preview, SHAPE column not so readable here

Figure 1.9: DBeaver, much better to validate spatial data


2. Prepare the Data (if necessary)

Shapefiles often come with additional metadata that can be recognised incorrectly.  You may need to remove or correct this with some data prep, I have used QGIS for this.

The file I'm using is the English geographic regions from UK Office National Statistics (ONS).

Figure 2.1 Download Shapefile

Figure 2.2: Feature layer metadata

Viewing the associated metadata of this file shows that the spatial reference is 27700, you can install this spatial reference in the HANA Cloud system.

We can open the shapefile with QGIS to check and modify the metadata if required.

Figure 2.3: QGIS - Save Feature As

Figure 2.4: Save Vector Layer - Select fields for export


3. Troubleshooting

The import process does not perform much validation on the spatial datatypes.
For example if one of the points of the shape intersects itself. Thanks goes to a colleague of mine remi.astier, who educated me on these type of issues. Luckily HANA has some SQL functions to help us ST_ISVALID() and ST_INVALIDREASON().

I was then able to copy and paste the details of the error and identify the problematic points within the  polygon.



In summary, in this blogpost I described how to use the Import Data for ESRI Shapefiles. With this wizard we can quickly and easily import spatial data into SAP HANA Cloud.