Building a Rasterio Workflow for Your Project

Raster Metadata

Code Block 1: dtype differences between line 9 vs line 13 are highlighted in red
  • Line 4: We load the raster into an array but force it to be read as a Float32. We do this by adding .astype(rasterio.float32) after You can call all the datatypes such as rasterio.uint16, rasterio.int8, rasterio.float64, and more. If your IDE supports auto-completion you can see the other options.
  • Line 5: We load the metadata. The metadata is a Python dictionary object so we can manipulate as such.
  • Line 7: The raster is loaded into a standard NumPy array as seen with the print statement. So you can treat it as an ordinary NumPy array and even use NumPy functions with it.
  • Line 8–9: This is the important part. Even though we force Rasterio to read the raster as a Float32 the metadata does not follow it and it still says that the image is a uint16.
  • Line 11: We update the metadata dictionary using the dtype property of our Raster array.
  • Line 13: The metadata is now updated which is highlighted in red for clarity.
Code Block 2
  • Line 1: This is our metadata from code block 1. So we see we have our modified dtype value.
  • Line 2: This shows that the raster is also a Float32 so we verify that the dtypes in the array and metadata match so we can proceed to create our new raster.
  • Line 3: Similar to your standard Python context manager. The metadata has to be used with the double asterisks “**” which is a special syntax for Python arguments.

Sample Workflow: Calculating NDVI

Image from Digital Globe
Code Block 3
  • Line 5: We anticipate floating point calculations so we read the raster as a Float32.
  • Line 11–12: Band order is Blue, Green, Red, Near-Infrared. Thus, using Python zero-based indexing we extract the red band by using 2 and the NIR band using 3.
  • Line 14: This is the formula for NDVI.
  • Lines 15–17: The output of the NDVI calculation is a flat 2 dimensional array. Rasterio still needs a 3 dimensional array even if it is a single band image. Remember that this is still a NumPy object so we can use np.expand_dims to add an extra dimension to the zero axis.
  • Lines 19–20: NDVI is a single band image so we want to update the metadata to match this. This is under the count property. A good practice is to assign it to the first index of the shape property.
  • Line 22: We can see our updated metadata for our final NDVI output.

Final Thoughts




Researcher working on geospatial sciences and general programming

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Panji Brotoisworo

Panji Brotoisworo

Researcher working on geospatial sciences and general programming

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