Import from CSV files


The plug-in for importing CSV files assumes that you have a collection of files ready. You need one or several files for nodes (usually one file per node type) and files for links (usually on file per link type). One node file and one link file are mandatory, additional files are optional. The plug-in also allows you to import network attributes.

Basic usage: [-h] [-p PROJECT] [-s SCENARIO] [-t NETWORK] [-i NETWORK_ID]
             [-z TIMEZONE]
             [-t TEMPLATE]
             [-u SERVER-URL] [-c SESSION-ID]


Option Short Parameter Description
--help -h   show help message and exit.
--project -p PROJECT The ID of an existing project. If no project is specified or if the ID provided does not belong to an existing project, a new one will be created.
--scenario -s SCENARIO Specify the name of the scenario created by the import function. Every import creates a new scenario. If no name is provided a default name will be assigned.
--network -t NETWORK Specify the file containing network information. If no file is specified, a new network will be created using default values.
--network_id -i NETWORK_ID Specify the ID of the network to be updated, if not specified,a new network will be created.
--template -m TEMPLATE XML file defining the types for the network. Required if types are set.
--timezone -z TIMEZONE Specify a timezone as a string following the Area/Loctation pattern (e.g. Europe/London). This timezone will be used for all timeseries data that is imported. If you don’t specify a timezone, it defaults to UTC.
--expand-filenames -x   If the import function encounters something that looks like a filename, it tries to read the file.
--server-url -u SERVER-URL Url of the server the plugin will connect to. Defaults to localhost.
--session-id -c SESSION-ID Session ID used by the callig software. If left empty, the plugin will attempt to log in itself.

File structure

In the node and link file a minimum of information has to be provided in order to be able to import a complete network. Optionally the files can define any number of attributes for nodes and links.

For nodes a valid file looks like this:

Name , x, y, type, attribute_1, attribute_2, ..., attribute_n, description
Units,  ,  ,     ,           m,    m^3 s^-1, ...,           -,
node1, 2, 1, irr ,         4.0,      3421.9, ...,  Crop: corn, Irrigation 1
node2, 2, 3, irr ,         2.4,       988.4, ...,  Crop: rice, Irrigation 2

For links, the following is a valid file:

Name ,       from,       to, type, attre_1, ...,  attre_n, description
Units,           ,         ,     ,       m, ..., m^2 s^-1,
link1,      node1,    node2, tran,     453, ...,     0.34, Water transfer

It is optional to supply a network file. If you decide to do so, it needs to follow this structure:

# A test network created as a set of CSV files
ID, Name            , type, nodes    , links    , groups    , rules    , attribute_1, ..., Description
Units,              ,     ,          ,          ,           ,          ,            ,    ,
1 , My first network, net , nodes.csv, links.csv, groups.csv, rules.csv, test       ,    , Network created from CSV files

Constraint groups come in 2 files. The first file defines the name, description and attributes of a file as well as the file which contains all of the group’s members. If a single file contains all membership information, then simply specify the same name in each row. The file should look like this:

Name  , members        , attribute_1, attribute_2..., Description
Units ,                , hm^3       , m             ,
stor  , grp_members.csv, totalCap   , maxSize       , Storage nodes
...   , ...            , ...        , ...           , ...

The second file defines the members of the groups. The group name, the type of the member (node, link or another group) and the name of that other member are needed:

Name  , Type  , Member
stor  , NODE  , node1
stor  , NODE  , node2
stor  , LINK  , link1

Metadata can also be included in separate files, which are named the same as the node/link file, but with _metadata at the end.

For example:
nodes.csv becomes nodes_metadata.csv network.csv becomes network_metadata.csv my_urban_links.csv becomes my_urban_links_metadata.csv

Metadata files are structured as follows:

Name , attribute_1 , attribute_2 , attribute_3 link1 , (key1:val1) (key2:val2) , (key3:val3) (key4:val4) , (key5:val5)

In this case, key1 and key2 are metadata items for attribute 1 and so on. The deliminator for the key-val can be ‘;’ or ‘:’. Note that all key-val pairs are contained within ‘(...)’, with a space between each one. This way you can have several metadata items per attribute.

Lines starting with the # character are ignored.


If you specify a header line using the keywords name, x, y and description (name, from, to and description for links) the order of the columns does not matter. If you don’t specify these keywords, the plug-in will assume that the first column specifies the name, the second X, the third Y and the last the description (name, from, to and description for links).


The type column is optional.

Please also consider the following:

  • A link references to start and end node by name. This also implies that thenode names defined in the file need to be unique.
  • The description should be in the last column. This will lead to more readablefiles, since the description is usually free form text.
  • If you specify more than one file containing nodes, common attributes (i.e.with the same name) will be considered the same. This results in a uniqueattribute set for nodes. The same applies for links.
  • An attribute to a node or link is only added if there is a value for thatspecific attribute in the line specifying a node (or link). If an attributeshould be added as a variable, you need to enter NULL.
  • If you use a tmplate during import, missing attributes will be added to eachnode or link according to its type.


  • Implement updating of existing scenario.

Building a windows executable

  • Use pyinstaller (pip install pyisntaller) to build a windows executable.
  • cd to the $PATH_TO_HYDRA/HydraPlugins/CSVPlugin/trunk
  • pyinstaller -F
  • If you want more compression (a smaller exe), install upx and run pyinstaller -F –upx-dir=/path/to/upx/dir
  • An executable file will appear in the dist folder

API docs

A Hydra plug-in for importing CSV files.

class ImportCSV.ImportCSV(url=None, session_id=None)
add_data(resource, attrs, data, metadata, units=None, restrictions={})

Add the data read for each resource to the resource. This requires creating the attributes, resource attributes and a scenario which holds the data.

create_attribute(name, unit=None)

Create attribute locally. It will get added in bulk later.

get_metadata_as_dict(keys, metadata)

Turn a list of metadata values into a dictionary structure. @parameter keys to describe the attribte to which this metadata refers @parameter list of metadata. in the structure: [“(key;val) (key;val)”, “(key;val) (key;val)”,...] @returns dictionary in the format: {attr1 : {key:val, key:val}, attr2: {key:val, key:val}...}


The heading of a group file looks like: name, type, member.

name : Name of the group type : Type of the member (node, link or group) member: name of the node, link or group in question.


The heading of a group file looks like: name, attr1, attr2..., description


This is a fist version of a possible XML output.