Added in version 3.2.0.

Create a raster file (without source dataset).


gdal_create [--help] [--help-general]
   [-of <format>]
   [-outsize <xsize> <ysize>]
   [-bands <count>]
   [-burn <value>]...
   [-ot {Byte/Int8/Int16/UInt16/UInt32/Int32/UInt64/Int64/Float32/Float64/
         CInt16/CInt32/CFloat32/CFloat64}] [-strict]
   [-a_srs <srs_def>] [-a_ullr <ulx> <uly> <lrx> <lry>] [-a_nodata <value>]
   [-mo <META-TAG>=<VALUE>]... [-q]
   [-co <NAME>=<VALUE>]...
   [-if <input_dataset>]


The gdal_create utility can be used to initialize a new raster file, from its dimensions, band count and set various parameters, such as CRS, geotransform, nodata value, metadata. It can be used also in special cases, like creating a PDF file from a XML composition file.


Show this help message and exit


Gives a brief usage message for the generic GDAL commandline options and exit.

-ot <type>

Force the output image bands to have a specific data type supported by the driver, which may be one of the following: Byte, Int8, UInt16, Int16, UInt32, Int32, UInt64, Int64, Float32, Float64, CInt16, CInt32, CFloat32 or CFloat64.

-of <format>

Select the output format. Starting with GDAL 2.3, if not specified, the format is guessed from the extension (previously was GTiff). Use the short format name.

-outsize <xsize> <ysize>

Set the size of the output file in pixels. First figure is width. Second one is height.

-bands <count>

Number of bands. Defaults to 1 if -outsize is specified, or 0 otherwise.

-burn <value>

A fixed value to burn into a band. A list of -burn options can be supplied, one per band (the first value will apply to the first band, the second one to the second band, etc.). If a single value is specified, it will apply to all bands.

-a_srs <srs_def>

Override the projection for the output file. The<srs_def> may be any of the usual GDAL/OGR forms, complete WKT, PROJ.4, EPSG:n or a file containing the WKT. No reprojection is done.

-a_ullr <ulx> <uly> <lrx> <lry>

Assign the georeferenced bounds of the output file.

-a_nodata <value>

Assign a specified nodata value to output bands.


Passes a metadata key and value to set on the output dataset if possible.

-co <NAME>=<VALUE>

Many formats have one or more optional creation options that can be used to control particulars about the file created. For instance, the GeoTIFF driver supports creation options to control compression, and whether the file should be tiled.

The creation options available vary by format driver, and some simple formats have no creation options at all. A list of options supported for a format can be listed with the --formats command line option but the documentation for the format is the definitive source of information on driver creation options. See Raster drivers format specific documentation for legal creation options for each format.


Suppress progress monitor and other non-error output.

-if <input_dataset>

Added in version 3.3.

Name of GDAL input dataset that serves as a template for default values of options -outsize, -bands, -ot, -a_srs, -a_ullr and -a_nodata. Note that the pixel values will not be copied.


The destination file name.


  • Initialize a new GeoTIFF file with a uniform value of 10

    gdal_create -outsize 20 20 -a_srs EPSG:4326 -a_ullr 2 50 3 49 -burn 10 out.tif
  • Create a PDF file from a XML composition file:

    gdal_create -co COMPOSITION_FILE=composition.xml out.pdf
  • Initialize a blank GeoTIFF file from an input one:

    gdal_create -if prototype.tif output.tif