GDAL Generic Raster Reader

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

The GDAL Generic Raster reader allows FME to read data from most raster formats supported by GDAL.

See the complete list of GDAL raster formats.

If the format that you are working with is not yet supported, please submit a suggestion to the FME Community.


The GDAL Generic Raster reader is a meta-reader for all GDAL raster formats that will automatically determine the format of the given file and open it.

GDAL is a library that allows for the reading of many different types of raster and vector formats. The GDAL Generic Raster reader allows you to read almost any raster format supported by the GDAL library.

Because of the generic nature of this reader, format attributes and reader options that are format-specific will not be present.

If more control is desired over how a given dataset is read, we strongly recommend you create a VRT Raster File for your dataset (see here for the format of a VRT file: and use the VRT Raster (GDAL Virtual Format) Reader.

The following readers will forward any given datasets to the GDAL Generic Raster Reader. (Note that this list does NOT include all the formats that the reader supports.)

GDAL Format Name

FME Short Name (Format Type Identifier)

ACE2 (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_ACE2
Azavea Raster Grid (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_ARG
CEOS (Spot for instance) (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_COASP
Convair PolGASP (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_CPG
Earth Observation Satellite (EOSAT) Company FAST (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_FAST
EarthWatch/DigitalGlobe (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_TIL
Enhanced Compressed Raster Graphic (ECRG) Table Of Contents (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_ECRGTOC
First Generation USGS Digital Ortho Quad (DOQ) (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_DOQ1
Fuji Bio-Imaging Analyzer Systems (BAS) (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_FUJIBAS
Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_LAN
Erdas 7.x .LAN and .GIS (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_LCP
FARSITE v.4 Landscape (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_LEVELLER
Daylon Leveller Heightfield (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_LOSLAS
North America Datum Conversion Utility (NADCON) .los/.las Datum Grid Shift (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_MAP
OziExplorer .MAP (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_MFF2
Generic Binary (.hdr Labelled) (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_GENBIN
Golden Software ASCII Grid (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_GSAG
Grid eXchange File (GXF) (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_GXF
Hierarchical Key Value (HKV) (Default 3rd Party Format) Vexcel Multi-File Format (MFF) 2
Idrisi Raster (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_RST
Image Display and Analysis (WinDisp) (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_IDA
Interferometric synthetic aperture radar Scientific Computing Environment (ISCE) (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_ISCE
Interactive Radar Information System (IRIS) (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_IRIS
Japanese Aerospace eXploration Agency (JAXA) Phased Array Type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) Product Reader (Level 1.1/1.5) (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_JAXAPALSAR
Japanese DEM (Digital Elevation Model) (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_JDEM
KRO (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_KRO
Magellan BLX Topographical (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_BLX
NASA Earth Resources Laboratory Applications Software (ELAS) (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_ELAS
NASA JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) Repeat Orbit Interferometry Package (ROI PAC) Raster (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_ROI_PAC
NASA JPL Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (AIRSAR) Polarimetric (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_AIRSAR
NASA Planetary Data System (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_PDS
National Land Archive Production System (NLAPS) (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_NDF
Netpbm (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_PNM
New Labelled USGS Digital Ortho Quad (DOQ) (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_DOQ2
NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) National Geodetic Survey (NGS) Geoid Height Grids (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_NGSGEOID
NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Polar Orbiter Level 1b Data Set GDAL_L1B
OziExplorer OZI OZF2/OZFX3 (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_OZI
PCI .aux Labelled (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_PAUX
PCRaster (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_PCRASTER
RadarSat2 XML (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_RS2
Raster Matrix Format (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_RMF
Sandia National Laboratories GSat (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_GFF
SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) CEOS (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_SAR_CEOS
Snow Data Assimilation System (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_SNODAS
System for Automated Geoscientific Analysis (SAGA GIS) Binary (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_SAGA
Terragen Heightfield (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_TERRAGEN
TerraSAR-X (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_TSX
TerraSAR-X Complex SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_COSAR
USGS Astrogeology International Satellites for Ionospheric Studies (ISIS) cube (Version 2) (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_ISIS2
USGS Astrogeology International Satellites for Ionospheric Studies (ISIS) cube (Version 3) (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_ISIS3
USGS Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) Composite Theme Grid (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_CTG
Vexcel Multi-File Format (MFF) (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_MFF
Video Image Communication And Retrieval (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_VICAR
Virtual Terrain Project Binary Terrain Format (Default 3rd Party Format) GDAL_BT

Reader Overview

The GDAL Generic Raster reader outputs one or more raster feature for each input GDAL file. Each GDAL Generic Raster raster band is made of specified bands from specified raster source files.

Coordinate Systems

The GDAL Generic Raster reader supports all spatial reference systems recognized by the GDAL library. Specifying a spatial reference system in a 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