XYZ -- ASCII Gridded XYZ

Driver short name


Driver built-in by default

This driver is built-in by default

GDAL supports reading and writing ASCII gridded XYZ raster datasets (i.e. ungridded XYZ, LIDAR XYZ etc. must be opened by other means. See the documentation of the gdal_grid utility).

Those datasets are ASCII files with (at least) 3 columns, each line containing the X and Y coordinates of the center of the cell and the value of the cell. (Note the XYZ driver only uses the first band of the dataset. I.e., columns beyond the third are ignored.)

The spacing between each cell must be constant.

The following data organization are supported :

  • Cells with same Y coordinates must be placed on consecutive lines. For a same Y coordinate value, the lines in the dataset must be organized by increasing X values. The value of the Y coordinate can increase or decrease however.

  • or, starting with GDAL 3.2.1, cells with same X coordinates must be placed on consecutive lines. For a same X coordinate value, the columns must be organized by increasing or decreasing Y values. For that organization, no missing value is supported, and the whole dataset will be ingested into memory (thus the driver will limit to 100 million points).

The supported column separators are space, comma, semicolon and tabulations.

The driver tries to autodetect an header line and will look for 'x', 'lon' or 'east' names to detect the index of the X column, 'y', 'lat' or 'north' for the Y column and 'z', 'alt' or 'height' for the Z column. If no header is present or one of the column could not be identified in the header, the X, Y and Z columns (in that order) are assumed to be the first 3 columns of each line.

The opening of a big dataset can be slow as the driver must scan the whole file to determine the dataset size and spatial resolution. The driver will autodetect the data type among Byte, Int16, Int32 or Float32.

Creation options

  • COLUMN_SEPARATOR=<string>: String used to separate the values of the X,Y and Z columns. Defaults to one space character

  • ADD_HEADER_LINE=[YES/NO]: Defaults to NO. Whether an header line must be written (content is X <col_sep> Y <col_sep> Z).

  • SIGNIFICANT_DIGITS=<integer>: Defaults to 18. Specifies the number of significant digits to output (%g format)

  • DECIMAL_PRECISION=<integer>: Specifies the number of decimal places to output when writing floating-point numbers (%f format; alternative to SIGNIFICANT_DIGITS).

Driver capabilities

Supports CreateCopy()

This driver supports the GDALDriver::CreateCopy() operation

Supports Georeferencing

This driver supports georeferencing

Supports VirtualIO

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

See also