Apache Parquet Reader/Writer

Apache Parquet is a columnar, file-based storage format, originating in the Apache Hadoop ecosystem. It can be queried efficiently, is highly compressed, supports null values, and is non-spatial. It is supported by many Apache big data frameworks, such as Drill, Hive, and Spark.

Parquet is additionally supported by several large-scale query providers, such as Amazon AWS Athena, Google Cloud BigQuery, and Microsoft Azure Data Lake Analytics.

FME supports the following Parquet/GeoParquet readers:

FME supports the following Parquet/GeoParquet writers:

Apache Parquet Product and System Requirements


FME Platform

Operating System


FME Form

FME Flow

FME Flow Hosted

Windows 64-bit

















Parquet File Extensions

A Parquet dataset consists of multiple *.parquet files in a directory, potentially nested into partitions by attribute. For example, a Parquet dataset of customer information, partitioned by account type, might look like this:

  • customers
      • starter
        • Ks4Fju.parquet
        • N7GQGb.parquet
        • DsuO3K.parquet
        • ...
      • plus
        • e0UOXZ.parquet
        • 5htd7H.parquet
        • ...
      • enterprise
        • GqZIV1.parquet
        • GZgJAk.parquet
        • GShRhm.parquet
        • Tz06cp.parquet
        • ...

To read this dataset, you would select the customers directory as the format dataset using the Apache Parquet (Partitioned) Reader, set the Partition Type to Directory, and Partition Attributes to an appropriate attribute name like account.

To write this dataset (for example, using the Apache Parquet or GeoParquet writers), you would select the customers parent directory as the format dataset, name the feature type customers, and partition on an account type attribute.

Partitioning on multiple attributes is possible and will result in further nesting of subdirectories.

Note  Partitioned attribute values will not be written to .parquet files as the data is considered redundant and now part of the filesystem path.

Reader Overview

While Parquet is a columnar format, the Parquet reader produces a feature for each row in the dataset.

The reader operates on a single *.parquet file, but multiple files making up a partitioned dataset can be selected. The writer will write a single file per feature type by default, but data can be partitioned by enabling the writer’s native partition options or using feature type fanout.

A dataset has only one reader feature type.

Latitude/Longitude and x, y, z coordinates

FME automatically recognizes some common attribute names as potential x,y,z coordinates and sets their types.

This data may not necessarily have a spatial component, but columns can be identified as x, y, or z coordinates to create point geometries. If a schema scan is performed and field labels contain variations of x/y, east/north, or easting/northing, FME will create the point geometry.

If FME detects latitude and longitude column names (for example, Latitude/Longitude or Lat/Long), the source coordinate system will be set to LL-WGS84.

Supported Coordinate Attributes

X and Y coordinate attributes are labeled using one of the well-known coordinate systems. If the X coordinate is found, the Y coordinate must also match. These well-known coordinate groups are:

Geographic Group – Longitude/Latitude (not case-sensitive):

  • (English/French/Swedish) lon, long, longitude and lat, latitude, latitud
  • (Dutch) Lengtegraad, Breedtegraad
  • (German) Laenge, Länge, Laengengrad, Längengrad in Östliche Längengrad (Östliche optional)
  • Breite, Breitengrad in Nördliche Breitengrad (Nördliche optional)
  • Japanese long and lat \U00005341\U00009032\U00007D4C\U00005EA6, \U00005341\U00009032\U00007DEF\U00005EA6

XYCoordinateGroup (not case-sensitive):

  • east(int), north(ing)
  • coord_x, coord_y
  • my_x_coord, my_y_coord
  • x, y
  • xCoord, yCoord
  • CoordX, CoordY
  • Japanese X and Y coordinates: x\U00005EA7\U00006A19, y\U00005EA7\U00006A19

z values do not have to match the X and Y grouping:

  • z, coord_z, z_coord, my_z_coord
  • height
  • elev, elevation
  • depth
  • zCoord zKoordinate
  • CoordZ KoordinateZ
  • zoord in Japanese z\U00005EA7\U00006A19
  • elevation/altitude in Japanese: \U00006A19\U00009AD8|\U00009AD8\U00005EA6

Writer Overview

The writer operates on a directory and will write a single .parquet file to the directory for each feature type. The file name will be the feature type name. Existing files of the same name will be overwritten.

There is a file version option for backwards compatibility with older external readers and a compression option to reduce file size.

A dataset has only one writer feature type, which means that a file contains only features from a single feature type.

The writer can also be configured to write a partitioned dataset. In this case, the writer operates on a directory and writes Parquet files into subdirectories. The top-level directory will be the feature type name. Otherwise, subdirectories will be named based on the value of the attribute being partitioned. See the Parquet File Extensions section above for more details.

FME Community

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