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Clipping raster with vector layer using GDAL
the -cutline option clips the raster to the inner bounding box of the polygon layer. E.g if it is smaller in the extents the output raster will also be smaller. Without this the output raster will be the same size as the original, but with NULL in all points outside the area of your interest.
how do I get the “outer mantle” of a polygon shape file? (without joining all the polygons)
@AndyW, thanks for the hint! I found a pretty good solution. See my answer below.