|This article relies on references to primary sources. (May 2009)|
|Developer(s)||Open Source Geospatial Foundation|
|Stable release||1.10.1 / 30 August 2013|
GDAL (Geospatial Data Abstraction Library) is a library for reading and writing raster geospatial data formats, and is released under the permissive X/MIT style free software license by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation. As a library, it presents a single abstract data model to the calling application for all supported formats. It may also be built with a variety of useful command-line utilities for data translation and processing.
GDAL was primarily developed by Frank Warmerdam until the release of version 1.3.2, when maintainership was officially transferred to the GDAL/OGR Project Management Committee under the Open Source Geospatial Foundation.
GDAL/OGR is considered a major free software project for its "extensive capabilities of data exchange" and also in the commercial GIS community due to its widespread use and comprehensive set of functionalities.
Software that uses GDAL/OGR
Several software programs use the GDAL/OGR libraries to allow them to read and write multiple GIS formats. Such programs include:
- ArcGIS 9.2 – Can use GDAL for customized raster formats.
- Biosphere3D – Open source landscape scenery globe.
- Geoconcept integrated GDAL in its 7.1 release.
- FWTools – A cross-platform open source GIS software bundle compiled by Frank Warmerdam.
- gdaltokmz – A Python module translating from GDAL-supported raster graphics formats to the Google Earth KMZ format.
- Google Earth – A virtual globe and world imaging program.
- GRASS GIS
- World Wind Java – NASA's open source virtual globe and world imaging technology.
- OSSIM – Libraries and applications used to process imagery, maps, terrain, and vector data.
- OpenEV – Geospatial toolkit and a frontend to that toolkit; to display georeferenced images and elevation data.
- Orfeo toolbox – A satellite image processing library.
- Quantum GIS
- R – An open source statistical software with extensions for spatial data analysis.
- SAGA GIS – A cross-platform open source GIS software.
- TopoQuest – Internet topographic map viewer.
- Rolta Geomatica software
Supported raster data formats
GDAL as of version 1.9.0 provides at least partial support for more than 120 raster geospatial data formats. While the next version up to 200 drivers. A subset of data formats is supported to ensure the ability to directly create files and georeferencing them with the default GDAL compiling options.
Here follows the list of data formats whose support is compiled by default allowing creation and georeferencing.
|Raster data format name||Code|
|Arc/Info ASCII Grid ||AAIGrid|
|ADRG/ARC Digitalized Raster Graphics (.gen/.thf) ||ADRG|
|Magellan BLX Topo (.blx, .xlb) ||BLX|
|Microsoft Windows Device Independent Bitmap (.bmp) ||BMP|
|VTP Binary Terrain Format (.bt) ||BT|
|Military Elevation Data (.dt0, .dt1, .dt2) ||DTED|
|ESRI .hdr Labelled ||EHdr|
|NASA ELAS ||ELAS|
|ENVI .hdr Labelled Raster ||ENVI|
|ERMapper (.ers) ||ERS|
|NOAA .gtx vertical datum shift||GTX|
|HF2/HFZ heightfield raster ||HF2|
|Erdas Imagine (.img) ||HFA|
|Image Display and Analysis (WinDisp) ||IDA|
|ILWIS Raster Map (.mpr,.mpl) ||ILWIS|
|Intergraph Raster ||INGR|
|USGS Astrogeology Isis cube (Version 2) ||ISIS2|
|In Memory Raster ||MEM|
|Vexcel MFF ||MFF|
|Vexcel MFF2 ||MFF2 (HKV)|
|NTv2 Datum Grid Shift||NTv2|
|PCI Geomatics Database File ||PCIDSK|
|Raster Matrix Format (*.rsw, .mtw) ||RMF|
|Idrisi Raster ||RST|
|SAGA GIS Binary format ||SAGA|
|SGI Image Format ||SGI|
|SRTM HGT Format ||SRTMHGT|
|USGS ASCII DEM / CDED (.dem) ||USGSDEM|
|GDAL Virtual (.vrt) ||VRT|
|ASCII Gridded XYZ ||XYZ|
- Rouault, Even (2013-08-30). "GDAL/OGR 1.10.1 Released". gdal-dev mailing list. http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/gdal-dev/2013-August/036977.html. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
- Neteler M., Raghavan V. (2006). "Advances in Free Software Geographic Information Systems". Journal of Informatics.
Extensive capabilities of data exchange are essential for the daily GIS work. GRASS profits from an external project, the GDAL/OGR library (http://www.gdal.org). This FOSS library is also used even by global data vendors as well as in some proprietary GIS applications. Many of the raster and vector formats supported for reading can be also be generated.
- Mark Wilcox (2009). Porting to the Symbian Platform: Open Mobile Development in C/C++. Wiley.
In the words of Howard Butler, a director of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation, "I see GDAL as the glibc/glibc++ of the geospatial software world. It's open, it provides core functionality, I can't understand how anybody gets anything done without it."
- "ArcGIS 9.2 Desktop Help: Supported raster dataset file formats". ESRI. 2007-08-15.
- "GDAL Raster Formats". GDAL - Geospatial Data Abstraction Library. 2011-06-05.