O'Reilly logo

Web Mapping Illustrated by Tyler Mitchell

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL)

GDAL is part of the FWTools package available at http://fwtools.maptools.org. GDAL's home page (http://www.gdal.org) describes the project as:

...a translator library for raster geospatial data formats... As a library, it presents a single abstract data model to the calling application for all supported formats.

GDAL (often pronounced goodle) has three important features. First, it supports over 40 different raster formats. Second, it is available for other applications to use. Any application using the GDAL libraries can access all its supported formats, making custom programming for every desired format unnecessary. Third, prebuilt utilities help you use the functionality of the GDAL programming libraries without having to write your own program.

These three features offer a powerhouse of capability: imagine not worrying about what format an image is in. With GDAL supporting dozens of formats, the odds are that the formats you use are covered. Whether you need to do data conversion, display images in your custom program, or write a new driver for a custom image format, GDAL has programming interfaces or utilities available to help.

Raster Formats Supported by GDAL

GDAL supports dozens of raster formats. This list is taken from the GDAL web site formats list page found at http://www.gdal.org/formats_list.html.

Arc/Info Binary Grid (.adf)
Microsoft Windows Device Independent Bitmap (.bmp)
BSB Nautical Chart Format (.kap)
VTP Binary Terrain Format ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required