VRT Raster (GDAL Virtual Format) Reader

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

The VRT Raster reader allows FME to read data from VRT raster datasets.


VRT Raster is an XML format that maps its attributes and geometries to that of an underlying data source of any GDAL-supported raster format. In this way, the GDAL VRT Raster reader allows FME to read data from any GDAL format supported by FME, as well as many formats that FME does not yet support.

See the complete list of GDAL raster formats. If a format that you would like work with is not supported, please let us know on our support page: https://www.safe.com/support/.

While it is possible to read many formats that FME natively supports via VRT, metadata reading and format-specific attributes and options in the native FME readers provide a better experience.

Note: There is also a separate and comparable VRT format OGR Virtual Format for reading vector data through VRT files. These formats are not compatible.

VRT Raster is a gateway format that uses other GDAL formats and the capabilities outlined in this document are a superset and are subject to some restrictions imposed by the underlying data format.

Reader Overview

The VRT raster reader outputs one or more raster features for each input VRT file. Each VRT raster band is made of specified bands from one or more specified raster source files. The reader considers a single .vrt file to be a VRT raster dataset.

VRT Features

Any band from any raster file supported by GDAL can be added to any VRT band allowing interesting composition of raster bands from different sources.

VRT Raster also allows for warping and pansharpening of underlying raster files. Metadata tags allow for adding metadata to both the raster and bands.

For more information on the specification of the GDAL VRT format, please see http://www.gdal.org/gdal_vrttut.html.

Coordinate Systems

The VRT Raster format supports all spatial reference systems recognized by the GDAL library. Specifying a spatial reference system in a VRT Raster dataset will override that of the underlying dataset (but will not reproject the underlying dataset).

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