Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In ArcGIS rasters can have attribute tables. What FOSS GIS offers a similar option?

share|improve this question

GRASS and ILWIS both have the ability to do this.


For maps using a class or ID domain, you can create an attribute table which stores additional information on the classes or IDs in the map. Use the same class or ID domain for the attribute table as you used for the map. Then, add the attribute columns to the table. To create an attribute table, refer to How to create an attribute table.


share|improve this answer
Thanks, ILWIS handles attribute tables for rasters well, good suggestion. In GRASS you can create categories with labels, but I don't think you can create attribute tables – Paulo Sep 28 '11 at 14:23

Although R is not a GIS as such, it can handle and work with spatial objects. With the 'sp' package you can import and store rasters. These are of sp objects of the class 'SpatialGridDataFrame', which includes a dataframe with the attributes; normally the raster values, but being a dataframe, it can hold any number of variables.

share|improve this answer

And you can always convert your raster to a point shapefile or point cloud. Operations on such a files may still be faster in SAGA GIS than they are on a raster in ArcGIS.

share|improve this answer
For relative small rasters that will work well, but not for very large raster files. – Paulo Sep 28 '11 at 14:25

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.