Meta Raster Format (MRF) Reader/Writer

Licensing options for this format begin with FME Desktop Professional Edition.

FME provides reader and writer access to data in the Meta Raster Format (MRF).


The Meta Raster Format (MRF) was developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to efficiently store and access high-resolution, tiled rasters (often in the form of satellite imagery).

Three files define a conventional MRF dataset:

  • the metadata (.mrf) XML-formatted file,
  • the data file (extensions differ, depending on the compression used), which contains the raster files that form the MRF, and
  • an index (.idx), which represents the raster tiles on a grid.

These rasters can be accessed using the reader and are generated using the writer.

Reader Overview

The Reader Dataset is an MRF file. FME will automatically look for the corresponding index and data files. If all three files are not present, the translation will fail.

The reader supports reading an arbitrary subset of Z-Slices at a particular pyramid level for all slices in that subset. The reader also supports batch reading of all rasters stored in the MRF to be read.

Writer Overview

The writer supports insertion into any Z-Slice that exists in an MRF, and support for generating a new MRF with an arbitrary number of Z-Slices.

Pyramid levels cannot be directly inserted into, but are generated automatically upon insertion or creation. The number of pyramid levels, however, can be specified as a writer parameter.

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