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Data Formats » GeoTIFF Export and Metadata Handling

GeoTIFF Export and Metadata Handling

Last modified by Matt Paget on 2012/06/28 18:26

There is a strong interest within the AusCover Data/Metadata team to support GeoTIFF as an output format. There are many in the research community using GIS tools for satellite data analysis. These people will find that support for HDF and NetCDF is not ideal or complete. GeoTIFF is a simple raster image format that is supported by all common GIS tools. The simplicity of the format and the common support base make GeoTIFF a pathway format for providing a useful service from AusCover to a wide range of research users.

GeoTIFF official spec:

GeoTIFF TRAC site:

GeoTIFF is a raster format that contains a data object with a set of key:value pairs which define georeferencing and geocoding attributes. GeoTIFF is an extension to the TIFF format, which is simply raster image data (supporting most number formats, including float) with 'Tags' (key-value pairs) that describe the image contents. We propose that AusCover should maintain a list of Tags for inserting AusCover metadata into files. This will provide both data documentation for users and potentially provide the basis for a mechanism for ingesting GeoTIFF data into AusCover data services.

GeoTIFF C/C++ programming interface

Main Document:

The official GeoTIFF programming API incudes support for user defined metadata items with a name and an xml string that defines the metadata value. Metadata items can be assigned to either the file itself or associated with a particular band of a multi-band raster via the GDALMajorObjectH argument.


CPLErr GDALSetMetadataItem(GDALMajorObjectH hObject,
             const char *pszName,
             const char *pszValue,
             const char *pszDomain


         int bandIndex;         // the index of a raster band
         GDALMajorObjectH theDataset;         //assuming you've properly set these someplace

         GDALRasterBandH theBand =  GDALGetRasterBand(theDataset,bandIndex);
        if(theBand) {
                GDALSetMetadataItem( theBand, "SOME_METADATA", "the metadata value", 0 );

GeoTIFF Python programming interface


GeoTIFF Perl programming interface


Created by Matt Paget on 2012/06/28 18:26

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