Multidimensional VRT

New in version 3.1.

Multidimensional VRT is a specific variant of the VRT – GDAL Virtual Format format, dedicated to represent Multidimensional arrays, according to the Multidimensional Raster Data Model.

Here’s an example of such a file:

<VRTDataset>
    <Group name="/">
        <Dimension name="Y" size="4"/>
        <Dimension name="X" size="3"/>

        <Array name="temperature">
            <DataType>Float64</DataType>
            <DimensionRef ref="Y"/>
            <DimensionRef ref="X"/>
            <Source>
                <SourceFilename>my.nc</SourceFilename>
                <SourceArray>temperature</SourceArray>
                <SourceSlab offset="1,1" count="2,2" step="2,1"/>
                <DestSlab offset="2,1"/>
            </Source>
        </Array>
    </Group>
</VRTDataset>

.vrt Format

A XML schema of the GDAL VRT format is available.

Virtual files stored on disk are kept in an XML format with the following elements.

VRTDataset: This is the root element for the whole GDAL dataset. It has no attributes, and must have a single Group child element with an attribute name set to “/”

<VRTDataset>
    <Group name="/">

Group: This represents a GDALGroup. There is at least one root group of name “/” immediately under the VRTDataset element. A Group must have a name attribute, and may have the following child elements, with 0:n multiplicity: Dimension, Attribute, Array, Group

Dimension: This represents a GDALDimension. It has the following attributes: name (required), size (required), type and direction

<Dimension name="X" size="30" type="HORIZONTAL_X" direction="EAST"/>

Attribute: This represents a GDALAttribute. It must have a name attribute and a child DataType element. Attribute values are stored in one or several child Value element(s)

The value of DataType may be: String, Byte, UInt16, Int16, UInt32, Int32, Float32, Float64, CInt16, CInt32, CFloat32 or CFloat64.

<Attribute name="foo">
    <DataType>String</DataType>
    <Value>bar</Value>
</Attribute>

Array: This represents a GDALMDArray. It must have a name attribute and a child DataType element. It may have 0 or more DimensionRef or Dimension child elements to define its dimensions. And the following elements may be optionally specified to define its properties. SRS, *Unit, NoDataValue, Offset and Scale. To define its values, it may have one RegularlySpacedValues element, or zero, one or several elements among ConstantValue, InlineValues, InlineValuesWithValueElement or Source.

<Array name="longitude">
    <DataType>Float64</DataType>
    <DimensionRef ref="longitude"/>
    <RegularlySpacedValues start="-180" step="0.5"/>
</Array>
<Array name="time">
    <DataType>String</DataType>
    <DimensionRef ref="time"/>
    <InlineValuesWithValueElement>
        <Value>2010-01-01</Value>
        <Value>2011-01-01</Value>
        <Value>2012-01-01</Value>
    </InlineValuesWithValueElement>
</Array>
<Array name="temperature">
    <DataType>Float64</DataType>
    <DimensionRef ref="Y"/>
    <Dimension name="X" size="3"/>
    <SRS dataAxisToSRSAxisMapping="2,1">EPSG:32631</SRS>
    <Unit>Kelvin</Unit>
    <NoDataValue>-999</NoDataValue>
    <Offset>0</Offset>
    <Scale>1</Scale>
    <Source>
        <SourceFilename>my.nc</SourceFilename>
        <SourceArray>temperature</SourceArray>
    </Source>
</Array>

Source: This indicates that raster data should be read from a separate dataset. A Source must have a SourceFilename, and either a SourceArray (when the source is a Multidimensional dataset), or a SourceBand (when the source is a classic 2D dataset) child element. It may have a SourceTranspose child element to apply a GDALMDArray::Transpose() operation and a SourceView to apply slicing/trimming operations or extraction of a component of a compound data type (see GDALMDArray::GetView()). It may have a SourceSlab element with attributes offset, count and step defining respectively the starting offset of the source, the number of values along each dimension and the step between source elements. It may have a DestSlab element with an offset attribute to define where the source data is placed into the target array. SourceSlab operates on the output of SourceView if specified, which operates itself on the output of SourceTranspose if specified.

<Source>
    <SourceFilename>my.nc</SourceFilename>
    <SourceArray>temperature</SourceArray>
    <SourceTranspose>1,0</SourceTranspose>
    <SourceView>[...]</SourceView>
    <SourceSlab offset="1,1" count="2,2" step="2,1"/>
    <DestSlab offset="2,1"/>
</Source>