Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Filter by Categories
ArcGIS Pro

Gdalinfo Python

A Beginner Guide to Gdalinfo Using Python

In the vast landscape of geospatial data analysis, tools that streamline our explorations are indispensable. Among these, GDAL stands out, and its gdalinfo command is nothing short of a cartographer’s Swiss Army knife. But what if we could amplify its power using Python? In today’s post, we venture into the seamless integration of gdalinfo with Python, opening doors to automated data insights, customized outputs, and much more.

gdalinfo is a command-line utility provided by GDAL (Geospatial Data Abstraction Library) to get information about raster datasets. If you want to access the functionality of gdalinfo in Python, you can use the GDAL Python bindings.

Here’s the table explaining the output from gdalinfo

DriverGTiff/GeoTIFFIndicates the format of the raster dataset and the associated GDAL driver used to read/write in this format.
Size512, 512Dimensions of the raster in pixels, given as width x height.
Coordinate SystemPROJCS[“NAD27 / UTM zone 11N”, … ]The coordinate system or spatial reference system used by the raster. This is a projected system for North America.
Origin(440720.000000,3751320.000000)Coordinates of the top-left corner of the raster, given in the raster’s coordinate system.
Pixel Size(60.000000,-60.000000)Size of one pixel in the units of the coordinate system. Negative height indicates a north-up orientation.
Corner CoordinatesUpper Left: (440720.000, 3751320.000), Lower Right: (471440.000, 3720600.000), …Geographic coordinates of the raster’s corners and center. Helps understand the raster’s spatial extent.
Band1 Block=512×16 Type=Byte, ColorInterp=GrayInformation about the individual raster bands: block size used for storage, data type of values, color interpretation.

Here’s a simple example of how you can obtain similar information using the GDAL Python bindings:

  1. First, make sure you have GDAL installed:
pip install GDAL
  1. Use the following Python code:
from osgeo import gdal

def gdalinfo_python(filepath):
    # Open the raster dataset
    ds = gdal.Open(filepath)

    if ds is None:
        print("Failed to open the dataset!")

    # Basic information
    print(f"Driver: {ds.GetDriver().ShortName}/{ds.GetDriver().LongName}")
    print(f"Size is {ds.RasterXSize} x {ds.RasterYSize} x {ds.RasterCount}")

    # Georeferencing information
    geotransform = ds.GetGeoTransform()
    if geotransform:
        print(f"Origin = ({geotransform[0]}, {geotransform[3]})")
        print(f"Pixel Size = ({geotransform[1]}, {geotransform[5]})")

    # Projection information
    projection = ds.GetProjection()
    if projection:
        print(f"Projection is: {projection}")

    # Raster bands information
    for i in range(1, ds.RasterCount + 1):
        band = ds.GetRasterBand(i)
        print(f"Band {i} Type={gdal.GetDataTypeName(band.DataType)}")

        min_val, max_val, _, _ = band.GetStatistics(True, True)
        print(f"Min={min_val:.3f}, Max={max_val:.3f}")

        if band.GetOverviewCount() > 0:
            print(f"Overviews: {band.GetOverviewCount()}")

        if band.GetRasterColorTable():
            print(f"Color Table Found!")

    ds = None  # Close the dataset

# Usage
filepath = "path_to_your_raster_file.tif"

This code will display basic information about the raster dataset similar to the gdalinfo command-line utility. Modify and extend the code as per your requirements.

When it comes to gdalinfo and the GDAL library in general, here are some frequently asked questions:

What is GDAL?

How do I install GDAL?

  • The installation process varies depending on the operating system. For many systems, package managers like apt, brew, or pip can be used.

What is the difference between gdalinfo and other GDAL utilities?

  • gdalinfo provides metadata about a raster dataset. Other utilities, like gdal_translate or gdalwarp, perform operations such as format conversion or reprojection.

Why is the pixel size negative in the Y dimension in the gdalinfo output?

  • A negative value in the Y dimension typically indicates a north-up image orientation.

How can I extract projection information from a raster using GDAL in Python?

  • You can use the GDAL Python bindings and the GetProjection() method on a raster dataset object.

Can gdalinfo provide statistics about the raster bands?

  • Yes, if the raster contains statistics metadata or if the -stats option is used with gdalinfo.

What does “ColorInterp=Gray” mean in the gdalinfo output?

  • It means that the raster band represents grayscale data, where pixel values indicate lightness.

Why can’t I open my raster file with GDAL?

  • The file might be in a format not supported by your GDAL installation, or the file might be corrupted.

How do I use gdalinfo to get the bounding box of a raster?

  • The “Corner Coordinates” section in the gdalinfo output provides this information.

Can I use GDAL with programming languages other than Python?

  • Yes, GDAL provides bindings for various languages including C++, Java, and more.

About the Author
I'm Daniel O'Donohue, the voice and creator behind The MapScaping Podcast ( A podcast for the geospatial community ). With a professional background as a geospatial specialist, I've spent years harnessing the power of spatial to unravel the complexities of our world, one layer at a time.