ISIS2 – USGS Astrogeology ISIS Cube (Version 2)

Driver short name


Driver built-in by default

This driver is built-in by default

ISIS2 is a format used by the USGS Planetary Cartography group to store and distribute planetary imagery data. GDAL provides read and write access to ISIS2 formatted imagery data.

ISIS2 files often have the extension .cub, sometimes with an associated .lbl (label) file. When a .lbl file exists it should be used as the dataset name rather than the .cub file.

In addition to support for most ISIS2 imagery configurations, this driver also reads georeferencing and coordinate system information as well as selected other header metadata.

Implementation of this driver was supported by the United States Geological Survey.

ISIS2 is part of a family of related formats including PDS and ISIS3.

Driver capabilities

Supports CreateCopy()

This driver supports the GDALDriver::CreateCopy() operation

Supports Create()

This driver supports the GDALDriver::Create() operation

Supports Georeferencing

This driver supports georeferencing

Supports VirtualIO

This driver supports virtual I/O operations (/vsimem/, etc.)

Creation Issues

Currently the ISIS2 writer writes a very minimal header with only the image structure information. No coordinate system, georeferencing or other metadata is captured.

Creation Options

  • LABELING_METHOD=ATTACHED/DETACHED: Determines whether the header labeling should be in the same file as the imagery (the default - ATTACHED) or in a separate file (DETACHED).

  • IMAGE_EXTENSION=extension: Set the extension used for detached image files, defaults to “cub”. Only used if LABELING_METHOD=DETACHED.

See Also