Watershed Vector File could not be opened as a GDAL vector

Hello! I am trying to run NDR, but my Watershed vector files (.shp extension) isn’t accepted. The error message says “file could not be opened as a GDAL vector”. As I understand, this is an issue others have encountered before. I am able to project it onto my watershed map in GIS, so I’m unsure why NDR won’t take it.


Hello @kalerdal and welcome to the forums!

Is it possible that you’re using the .shp.xml file instead of the one ending in .shp? ESRI ShapeFiles are indeed a format supported by InVEST (through the GDAL library), and are a very common format of InVEST input as a result.


Yes, it’s a .shp file. Here’s a screenshot of the error message.

Something similar just happened to a student in our class. They were working on a Mac, had their data located on the desktop, and all of the shapefile-required files were present, yet they were getting the same GDAL error. When they moved the data to a different location on the laptop, the error went away. I don’t know why moving the data helped, but it could be worth trying.

~ Stacie

Moving it to a different location might well be the answer here as well! @swolny The fact that this was happening in class on a mac is very strange though … I’m not sure what’s going on there.

@kalerdal I see from your screenshot that many of your filepaths are within a OneDrive folder. This is very likely the cause of the issue and I would recommend copying all of your InVEST inputs out of your OneDrive folder and using those paths instead.

A common issue is that file streaming and backup services such as OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox have to open files to be able to read their contents. On Windows, when a file has been opened by OneDrive it can’t be opened at the same time by another application such as InVEST. By copying your inputs to a different folder outside of OneDrive, you minimize the risk of another process trying to open the file at the same time.

And by the way, the same problem applies to your workspace. If your workspace is in a place where it is managed by OneDrive, you will very likely have access problems during your model run where InVEST creates a file, closes it and then tries to open it again later in the model run. Meanwhile, OneDrive tries to back it up to the cloud and there’s a conflict.


1 Like

I appreciate the recommendations, but it unfortunately didn’t work.

Curious! Could you share the vector here (including all of its component files) so we can take a look?


This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.