gdal_contour man page

gdal_contour — Builds vector contour lines from a raster elevation model.


Usage: gdal_contour [-b <band>] [-a <attribute_name>] [-3d] [-inodata]
                    [-snodata n] [-i <interval>]
                    [-f <formatname>] [[-dsco NAME=VALUE] ...] [[-lco NAME=VALUE] ...]
                    [-off <offset>] [-fl <level> <level>...]
                    [-nln <outlayername>]
                    <src_filename> <dst_filename> 


This program generates a vector contour file from the input raster elevation model (DEM).

Starting from version 1.7 the contour line-strings will be oriented consistently. The high side will be on the right, i.e. a line string goes clockwise around a top.

-b band:

picks a particular band to get the DEM from. Defaults to band 1.

-a name:

provides a name for the attribute in which to put the elevation. If not provided no elevation attribute is attached.  


Force production of 3D vectors instead of 2D. Includes elevation at every vertex.


Ignore any nodata value implied in the dataset - treat all values as valid.

-snodata value:

Input pixel value to treat as 'nodata'.

-f format:

create output in a particular format, default is shapefiles.


Dataset creation option (format specific)


Layer creation option (format specific)

-i interval:

elevation interval between contours.

-off offset:

Offset from zero relative to which to interpret intervals.

-fl level:

Name one or more 'fixed levels' to extract.

-nln outlayername:

Provide a name for the output vector layer. Defaults to 'contour'.


Functionality of this utility can be done from C with GDALContourGenerate().


This would create 10meter contours from the DEM data in dem.tif and produce a shapefile in contour.shp/shx/dbf with the contour elevations in the 'elev' attribute.

gdal_contour -a elev dem.tif contour.shp -i 10.0


Frank Warmerdam, Silke Reimer


Sun Aug 6 2017 GDAL