Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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

Can a single pixel of a raster hold more than one value?

share|improve this question
I have learn that a raster is made of pixel which store a value for specific variable or feature, but I have rainfall data in raster format, using the identity I found out that my pixels have more one value.. so I guess it is possible. – user56788 Aug 16 '15 at 20:52
up vote 7 down vote accepted

A pixel can only hold one value, but if the resultant grid is an integer grid, then an attribute table will be created. If the grid is a floating point grid, then no table is created. See comments in your related questions.

share|improve this answer

You can encode multiple values in raster data using bit flags. This is how MODIS data stores quality and cloud masks. Bitwise operators can be used to extract these values.

share|improve this answer

I may be wrong here but it is as simple as that- 8-bit integer raster hold 2^8 information space (value space). We can use this space in variety ways ie. finding some fancy coding system/flags/pattern stuff (some time ago I saw Whubers methods for encrypting information in vector geomtries!), but we will not be able to put in a cell anything else outside 0-255 range (I guess that is for unsigned integer). So, the answer depends on, what do you actually mean by value. You can have 3-band raster which would hold 3 values for the same pixel at raster level, but at band level (which is exacly 2D array-raster) you have again one space described by your raster data type.

Attribute tables are not directly connected to certain pixel (not like .shp). They collect info about classes and pixel count in class in the raster. Do not refer to any particular cell.

share|improve this answer

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.