Esri .hdr RAW Raster Reader/Writer

FME Format Type Identifier




Typical File Extensions

.bil, .bip, .bsq, .raw, .bsw, .blw, .bpw, .*

An Esri .hdr file is a header file that stores the georeferencing information of an associated raw raster file. The georeferencing information is read from or written to an Esri world file but is also stored in the .hdr file with the keywords listed in the table below.

For each raster, there is only a single feature returned, since this feature will contain the entire raster.

Notice that the current version of Esri .hdr Raster reader/writer does not support the bandrowbytes, totalrowbytes, and bandgapbytes keywords. This format also supports an optional colormap ASCII file that allows for an RGB palette to be stored in a separate .clr file if present.

The raw data file for Esri .hdr datasets can have multiple extensions depending on the interleaving type of the file. The extension becomes one of the following allowable interleaving options: BIP, BSQ, BIL. Thus an Esri dataset with a band order by pixel interleaving would have a .hdr file and a .bip file.

Esri world files will be read if present and written alongside Esri .hdr datasets. World file extensions also match the interleaving type of the dataset.

  • BIP – .bpw
  • BSQ – .bqw
  • BIL – .blw

Esri .hdr RAW Raster Product and System Requirements



Operating System


FME Desktop License

FME Server

FME Cloud





Available in all FME editions



64-bit: Yes




Available in all FME editions



64-bit: Yes



Reader Overview

FME considers a single file to be a dataset.

Writer Overview

The Esri .hdr writer creates and writes data into a single folder specified in the Destination parameter in the Workbench Navigator.

The Esri .hdr writer distinguishes duplicate output files by appending numbers to the filenames.

FME Raster Features

FME raster features represent raster data and use several concepts that are unlike those used in the handling of vector data. The topics below describe how FME processes raster data.

About FME Rasters Tiling and Mosaicking
Raster Properties Band Combining and Separating
Band Properties Band and Palette Selection
Palette Properties Raster Processing
Compression Raster versus Vector Features
Pyramiding Raster File Naming
Interleaving World Files
Interpretation and Data Type TAB Files
Palette Resolution  

Esri .hdr supports rasters with an arbitrary number of bands, provided all bands are the same data type and no band has a palette. Esri .hdr also supports rasters with a single band that has a palette.