# gdal_grid - Man Page

Creates regular grid from the scattered data.

## Synopsis

gdal_grid [--help] [--help-general] [-ot {Byte/Int16/UInt16/UInt32/Int32/Float32/Float64/ CInt16/CInt32/CFloat32/CFloat64}] [-oo <NAME>=<VALUE>]... [-of <format>] [-co <NAME>=<VALUE>]... [-zfield <field_name>] [-z_increase <increase_value>] [-z_multiply <multiply_value>] [-a_srs <srs_def>] [-spat <xmin> <ymin> <xmax> <ymax>] [-clipsrc <xmin> <ymin> <xmax> <ymax>|<WKT>|<datasource>|spat_extent] [-clipsrcsql <sql_statement>] [-clipsrclayer <layer>] [-clipsrcwhere <expression>] [-l <layername>]... [-where <expression>] [-sql <select_statement>] [-txe <xmin> <xmax>] [-tye <ymin> <ymax>] [-tr <xres> <yres>] [-outsize <xsize> <ysize>] [-a {<algorithm>[[:<parameter1>=<value1>]...]}] [-q] <src_datasource> <dst_filename>

## Description

This program creates a regular grid (raster) from the scattered data read from the OGR datasource. Input data will be interpolated to fill grid nodes with values, you can choose from various interpolation methods.

It is possible to set the *GDAL_NUM_THREADS* configuration option to parallelize the processing. The value to specify is the number of worker threads, or **ALL_CPUS** to use all the cores/CPUs of the computer.

- --help
Show this help message and exit

- --help-general
Gives a brief usage message for the generic GDAL commandline options and exit.

**-ot <type>**Force the output image bands to have a specific data type supported by the driver, which may be one of the following:

**Byte**,**Int8**,**UInt16**,**Int16**,**UInt32**,**Int32**,**UInt64**,**Int64**,**Float32**,**Float64**,**CInt16**,**CInt32**,**CFloat32**or**CFloat64**.

If not set then a default type is used, which might not be supported by the relevant driver, causing a error.

**-of <format>**Select the output format. Starting with GDAL 2.3, if not specified, the format is guessed from the extension (previously was GTiff). Use the short format name.

**-txe <xmin> <xmax>**Set georeferenced X extents of output file to be created.

**-tye <ymin> <ymax>**Set georeferenced Y extents of output file to be created.

**-tr <xres> <yres>**Set output file resolution (in target georeferenced units). Note that

*-tr*just works in combination with a valid input from*-txe*and*-tye*New in version 3.2.

**-outsize <xsize> <ysize>**Set the size of the output file in pixels and lines. Note that

*-outsize*cannot be used with*-tr***-a_srs <srs_def>**Override the projection for the output file. The

*srs_def*may be any of the usual GDAL/OGR forms, complete WKT, PROJ.4, EPSG:n or a file containing the WKT. No reprojection is done.**-zfield <field_name>**Identifies an attribute field on the features to be used to get a Z value from. This value overrides the Z value read from the feature geometry record (naturally, if you have a Z value in the geometry, otherwise you have no choice and should specify a field name containing a Z value).

**-z_increase <increase_value>**Addition to the attribute field on the features to be used to get a Z value from. The addition should be the same unit as the Z value. The result value will be Z value + Z increase value. The default value is 0.

**-z_multiply <multiply_value>**This is multiplication ratio for the Z field. This can be used for a shift from e.g. feet to meters or from elevation to depth. The result value will be (Z value + Z increase value) * Z multiply value. The default value is 1.

**-a {<algorithm>[[:<parameter1>=<value1>]...]}**Set the interpolation algorithm or data metric name and (optionally) its parameters. See the

*Interpolation algorithms*and*Data metrics*sections for further discussion of available options.**-spat <xmin> <ymin> <xmax> <ymax>**Adds a spatial filter to select only features contained within the bounding box described by (xmin, ymin) - (xmax, ymax).

**-clipsrc [<xmin> <ymin> <xmax> <ymax>]|<WKT>|<datasource>|spat_extent**Adds a spatial filter to select only features contained within the specified bounding box (expressed in source SRS), WKT geometry (POLYGON or MULTIPOLYGON), from a datasource or to the spatial extent of the

*-spat*option if you use the**spat_extent**keyword. When specifying a datasource, you will generally want to use it in combination with the*-clipsrclayer*,*-clipsrcwhere*or*-clipsrcsql*options.**-clipsrcsql <sql_statement>**Select desired geometries using an SQL query instead.

**-clipsrclayer <layername>**Select the named layer from the source clip datasource.

**-clipsrcwhere <expression>**Restrict desired geometries based on an attribute query.

**-l <layername>**Indicates the layer(s) from the datasource that will be used for input features. May be specified multiple times, but at least one layer name or a

*-sql*option must be specified.**-where <expression>**An optional SQL WHERE style query expression to be applied to select features to process from the input layer(s).

**-sql <select_statement>**An SQL statement to be evaluated against the datasource to produce a virtual layer of features to be processed.

**-oo <NAME>=<VALUE>**New in version 3.7.

Source dataset open option (format specific)

**-co <NAME>=<VALUE>**Many formats have one or more optional creation options that can be used to control particulars about the file created. For instance, the GeoTIFF driver supports creation options to control compression, and whether the file should be tiled.

The creation options available vary by format driver, and some simple formats have no creation options at all. A list of options supported for a format can be listed with the

*--formats*command line option but the documentation for the format is the definitive source of information on driver creation options. See*Raster drivers*format specific documentation for legal creation options for each format.- -q
Suppress progress monitor and other non-error output.

**<src_datasource>**Any OGR supported readable datasource.

**<dst_filename>**The GDAL supported output file.

## Interpolation Algorithms

There are a number of interpolation algorithms to choose from.

More details about them can also be found in *GDAL Grid Tutorial*

### invdist

Inverse distance to a power. This is the default algorithm. It has the following parameters:

**power**: Weighting power (default 2.0).**smoothing**: Smoothing parameter (default 0.0).**radius1**: The first radius (X axis if rotation angle is 0) of the search ellipse. Set this parameter to zero to use the whole point array. Default is 0.0.**radius2**: The second radius (Y axis if rotation angle is 0) of the search ellipse. Set this parameter to zero to use the whole point array. Default is 0.0.**radius**: Set first and second radius (mutually exclusive with radius1 and radius2). Default is 0.0. Added in GDAL 3.6**angle**: Angle of search ellipse rotation in degrees (counter clockwise, default 0.0).**max_points**: Maximum number of data points to use. Do not search for more points than this number. This is only used if the search ellipse is set (both radii are non-zero). Zero means that all found points should be used. Default is 0.**min_points**: Minimum number of data points to use. If less amount of points found the grid node considered empty and will be filled with NODATA marker. This is only used if search ellipse is set (both radii are non-zero). Default is 0.**max_points_per_quadrant**: Maximum number of data points to use per quadrant. Default is 0. Added in GDAL 3.6. When specified, this actually uses invdistnn implementation.**min_points_per_quadrant**: Minimum number of data points to use per quadrant. Default is 0. Added in GDAL 3.6. When specified, this actually uses invdistnn implementation.**nodata**: NODATA marker to fill empty points (default 0.0).

### invdistnn

New in version 2.1.

Inverse distance to a power with nearest neighbor searching, ideal when max_points is used. It has following parameters:

**power**: Weighting power (default 2.0).**smoothing**: Smoothing parameter (default 0.0).**radius**: The radius of the search circle, which should be non-zero. Default is 1.0.**max_points**: Maximum number of data points to use. Do not search for more points than this number. Found points will be ranked from nearest to furthest distance when weighting. Default is 12.**min_points**: Minimum number of data points to use. If less amount of points found the grid node is considered empty and will be filled with NODATA marker. Default is 0.**max_points_per_quadrant**: Maximum number of data points to use per quadrant. Default is 0. Added in GDAL 3.6. When specified, the algorithm will only take into account up to max_points_per_quadrant points for each of the right-top, left-top, right-bottom and right-top quadrant relative to the point being interpolated.**min_points_per_quadrant**: Minimum number of data points to use per quadrant. Default is 0. Added in GDAL 3.6. If that number is not reached, the point being interpolated will be set with the NODATA marker. When specified, the algorithm will collect at least min_points_per_quadrant points for each of the right-top, left-top, right-bottom and right-top quadrant relative to the point being interpolated.**nodata**: NODATA marker to fill empty points (default 0.0).

When **min_points_per_quadrant** or **max_points_per_quadrant** is specified, the search will start with the closest point to the point being interpolated from the first quadrant, then the closest point to the point being interpolated from the second quadrant, etc. up to the 4th quadrant, and will continue with the next closest point in the first quadrant, etc. until **max_points** and/or **max_points_per_quadrant** thresholds are reached.

### average

Moving average algorithm. It has following parameters:

**radius1**: The first radius (X axis if rotation angle is 0) of search ellipse. Set this parameter to zero to use whole point array. Default is 0.0.**radius2**: The second radius (Y axis if rotation angle is 0) of search ellipse. Set this parameter to zero to use whole point array. Default is 0.0.**radius**: Set first and second radius (mutually exclusive with radius1 and radius2). Default is 0.0. Added in GDAL 3.6**angle**: Angle of search ellipse rotation in degrees (counter clockwise, default 0.0).**max_points**: Maximum number of data points to use. Do not search for more points than this number. Found points will be ranked from nearest to furthest distance when weighting. Default is 0. Added in GDAL 3.6 Only taken into account if one or both of**min_points_per_quadrant**or**max_points_per_quadrant**is specified**min_points**: Minimum number of data points to use. If less amount of points found the grid node considered empty and will be filled with NODATA marker. Default is 0.**max_points_per_quadrant**: Maximum number of data points to use per quadrant. Default is 0. Added in GDAL 3.6. When specified, the algorithm will only take into account up to max_points_per_quadrant points for each of the right-top, left-top, right-bottom and right-top quadrant relative to the point being interpolated.**min_points_per_quadrant**: Minimum number of data points to use per quadrant. Default is 0. Added in GDAL 3.6. If that number is not reached, the point being interpolated will be set with the NODATA marker. When specified, the algorithm will collect at least min_points_per_quadrant points for each of the right-top, left-top, right-bottom and right-top quadrant relative to the point being interpolated.**nodata**: NODATA marker to fill empty points (default 0.0).

Note, that it is essential to set search ellipse for moving average method. It is a window that will be averaged when computing grid nodes values.

When **min_points_per_quadrant** or **max_points_per_quadrant** is specified, the search will start with the closest point to the point being interpolated from the first quadrant, then the closest point to the point being interpolated from the second quadrant, etc. up to the 4th quadrant, and will continue with the next closest point in the first quadrant, etc. until **max_points** and/or **max_points_per_quadrant** thresholds are reached.

### nearest

Nearest neighbor algorithm. It has following parameters:

**radius1**: The first radius (X axis if rotation angle is 0) of search ellipse. Set this parameter to zero to use whole point array. Default is 0.0.**radius2**: The second radius (Y axis if rotation angle is 0) of search ellipse. Set this parameter to zero to use whole point array. Default is 0.0.**radius**: Set first and second radius (mutually exclusive with radius1 and radius2). Default is 0.0. Added in GDAL 3.6**angle**: Angle of search ellipse rotation in degrees (counter clockwise, default 0.0).**nodata**: NODATA marker to fill empty points (default 0.0).

### linear

New in version 2.1.

Linear interpolation algorithm.

The Linear method performs linear interpolation by computing a Delaunay triangulation of the point cloud, finding in which triangle of the triangulation the point is, and by doing linear interpolation from its barycentric coordinates within the triangle. If the point is not in any triangle, depending on the radius, the algorithm will use the value of the nearest point or the nodata value.

It has following parameters:

**radius**: In case the point to be interpolated does not fit into a triangle of the Delaunay triangulation, use that maximum distance to search a nearest neighbour, or use nodata otherwise. If set to -1, the search distance is infinite. If set to 0, nodata value will be always used. Default is -1.**nodata**: NODATA marker to fill empty points (default 0.0).

## Data Metrics

Besides the interpolation functionality **gdal_grid** can be used to compute some data metrics using the specified window and output grid geometry. These metrics are:

**minimum**: Minimum value found in grid node search ellipse.**maximum**: Maximum value found in grid node search ellipse.**range**: A difference between the minimum and maximum values found in grid node search ellipse.**count**: A number of data points found in grid node search ellipse.**average_distance**: An average distance between the grid node (center of the search ellipse) and all of the data points found in grid node search ellipse.**average_distance_pts**: An average distance between the data points found in grid node search ellipse. The distance between each pair of points within ellipse is calculated and average of all distances is set as a grid node value.

All the metrics have the same set of options:

**radius1**: The first radius (X axis if rotation angle is 0) of search ellipse. Set this parameter to zero to use whole point array. Default is 0.0.**radius2**: The second radius (Y axis if rotation angle is 0) of search ellipse. Set this parameter to zero to use whole point array. Default is 0.0.**radius**: Set first and second radius (mutually exclusive with radius1 and radius2). Default is 0.0. Added in GDAL 3.6**angle**: Angle of search ellipse rotation in degrees (counter clockwise, default 0.0).**min_points**: Minimum number of data points to use. If less amount of points found the grid node considered empty and will be filled with NODATA marker. This is only used if search ellipse is set (both radii are non-zero). Default is 0.**max_points_per_quadrant**: Maximum number of data points to use per quadrant. Default is 0. Added in GDAL 3.6. When specified, the algorithm will only take into account up to max_points_per_quadrant points for each of the right-top, left-top, right-bottom and right-top quadrant relative to the point being interpolated.**min_points_per_quadrant**: Minimum number of data points to use per quadrant. Default is 0. Added in GDAL 3.6. If that number is not reached, the point being interpolated will be set with the NODATA marker. When specified, the algorithm will collect at least min_points_per_quadrant points for each of the right-top, left-top, right-bottom and right-top quadrant relative to the point being interpolated.**nodata**: NODATA marker to fill empty points (default 0.0).

When **min_points_per_quadrant** or **max_points_per_quadrant** is specified, the search will start with the closest point to the point being interpolated from the first quadrant, then the closest point to the point being interpolated from the second quadrant, etc. up to the 4th quadrant, and will continue with the next closest point in the first quadrant, etc. until **max_points** and/or **max_points_per_quadrant** thresholds are reached.

## Reading Comma Separated Values

Often you have a text file with a list of comma separated XYZ values to work with (so called CSV file). You can easily use that kind of data source in **gdal_grid**. All you need is to create a virtual dataset header (VRT) for your CSV file and use it as an input datasource for **gdal_grid**. You can find details on the VRT format on the *VRT -- Virtual Format* description page.

Here is a small example. Let's say we have a CSV file called *dem.csv* containing

Easting,Northing,Elevation 86943.4,891957,139.13 87124.3,892075,135.01 86962.4,892321,182.04 87077.6,891995,135.01 ...

For the above data we will create a *dem.vrt* header with the following content:

<OGRVRTDataSource> <OGRVRTLayer name="dem"> <SrcDataSource>dem.csv</SrcDataSource> <GeometryType>wkbPoint</GeometryType> <GeometryField encoding="PointFromColumns" x="Easting" y="Northing" z="Elevation"/> </OGRVRTLayer> </OGRVRTDataSource>

This description specifies so called 2.5D geometry with three coordinates X, Y and Z. The Z value will be used for interpolation. Now you can use *dem.vrt* with all OGR programs (start with *ogrinfo* to test that everything works fine). The datasource will contain a single layer called *"dem"* filled with point features constructed from values in the CSV file. Using this technique you can handle CSV files with more than three columns, switch columns, etc. OK, now the final step:

gdal_grid dem.vrt demv.tif

Or, if we do not wish to use a VRT file:

gdal_grid -l dem -oo X_POSSIBLE_NAMES=Easting \ -oo Y_POSSIBLE_NAMES=Northing -zfield Elevation dem.csv dem.tif

If your CSV file does not contain column headers then it can be handled in the VRT file in the following way:

<GeometryField encoding="PointFromColumns" x="field_1" y="field_2" z="field_3"/>

The *Comma Separated Value (.csv)* description page contains details on CSV format supported by GDAL/OGR.

## Creating Multiband Files

Creating multiband files is not directly possible with gdal_grid. One might use gdal_grid multiple times to create one band per file, and then use *gdalbuildvrt* -separate and then *gdal_translate*:

gdal_grid ... 1.tif; gdal_grid ... 2.tif; gdal_grid ... 3.tif gdalbuildvrt -separate 123.vrt 1.tif 2.tif 3.tif gdal_translate 123.vrt 123.tif

Or just *gdal_merge.py*, to combine the one-band files into a single one:

gdal_grid ... a.tif; gdal_grid ... b.tif; gdal_grid ... c.tif gdal_merge.py -separate a.tif b.tif c.tif -o d.tif

## C API

This utility is also callable from C with *GDALGrid()*.

## Examples

The following would create raster TIFF file from VRT datasource described in *Reading comma separated values* section using the inverse distance to a power method. Values to interpolate will be read from Z value of geometry record.

gdal_grid -a invdist:power=2.0:smoothing=1.0 -txe 85000 89000 -tye 894000 890000 \ -outsize 400 400 -of GTiff -ot Float64 -l dem dem.vrt dem.tiff

The next command does the same thing as the previous one, but reads values to interpolate from the attribute field specified with **-zfield** option instead of geometry record. So in this case X and Y coordinates are being taken from geometry and Z is being taken from the *"Elevation"* field. The *GDAL_NUM_THREADS* is also set to parallelize the computation.

gdal_grid -zfield "Elevation" -a invdist:power=2.0:smoothing=1.0 -txe 85000 89000 \ -tye 894000 890000 -outsize 400 400 -of GTiff -ot Float64 -l dem dem.vrt \ dem.tiff --config GDAL_NUM_THREADS ALL_CPUS

## Author

Andrey Kiselev <dron@ak4719.spb.edu>

## Copyright

1998-2024