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Virtual GDAL/OGR Geospatial Data Format

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Created: May 08, 2018 at 5:38 p.m.
Last updated: May 08, 2018 at 5:42 p.m.
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The GDAL/OGR libraries are open-source, geo-spatial libraries that work with a wide range of raster and vector data sources. One of many impressive features of the GDAL/OGR libraries is the ViRTual (VRT) format. It is an XML format description of how to transform raster or vector data sources on the fly into a new dataset. The transformations include: mosaicking, re-projection, look-up table (raster), change data type (raster), and SQL SELECT command (vector). VRTs can be used by GDAL/OGR functions and utilities as if they were an original source, even allowing for chaining of functionality, for example: have a VRT mosaic hundreds of VRTs that use look-up tables to transform original GeoTiff files. We used the VRT format for the presentation of hydrologic model results, allowing for thousands of small VRT files representing all components of the monthly water balance to be transformations of a single land cover GeoTiff file.

Presentation at 2018 AWRA Spring Specialty Conference: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Water Resources X, Orlando, Florida, April 23-25,

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Cera, T. (2018). Virtual GDAL/OGR Geospatial Data Format, HydroShare,

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