I create with C# a series of lat/lon value pair in the code(using i, j loop) and I want to extract the pixel value based on either lat/lon pair or pixel location (i, j).

I know there is one gdal utility called gdallocationinfo which can read pixel value very fast. But it is written in python.

I am wondering whether there is a way to use this gdal utility in my C# code, or other methods that can extract pixel value in a faster manner.

Final solution:

static void Main(string[] args)
        Gdal.AllRegister(); //Register all gdal data drives
        List<int> resolutionId = new List<int>() { 9 };

        Dataset ds = Gdal.Open("D:/SKnoZero.tif", Access.GA_ReadOnly);   //Read raster
        double[] gt = new double[6];
        ds.GetGeoTransform(gt); //Read geo transform info into array
        int Rows = ds.RasterYSize;  //Get the number of rows 
        int Cols = ds.RasterXSize;  //Get the number of columns
        Band band = ds.GetRasterBand(1);    //Read band 1
        double startX = gt[0];  //Upper left lon
        double startY = gt[3];  //Upper left lat
        double interval = gt[1];    //Cell size
        double x, y;    //Current lon and lat

        var filePath = "D:/SKcsv.csv";
        using (StreamWriter csv = new StreamWriter(filePath))
            for (int k = 0; k < Rows; k++)  //read one line at a time
                y = startY - k * interval;  //current lat
                int[] buf = new int[Cols];
                //ReadRaster parameters are StartCol, StartRow, ColumnsToRead, RowsToRead, BufferToStoreInto, BufferColumns, BufferRows, 0, 0
                band.ReadRaster(0, k, Cols, 1, buf,Cols,1,0,0);
                //iterate each item in one line
                for (int r = 0; r < Cols; r++)  
                    if (buf[r] != -32768)   //if pixel value is not NoData value
                        x = startX + r * interval;  //current lon                             
                        var geoidpair = GetVrgId(x, y, resolutionId);   //get geoid
                        var temp = geoidpair;
                        var newLine = string.Format("{0},{1},{2},{3}{4}", x, y, buf[r], temp[0], Environment.NewLine);
         Console.WriteLine("Press any key");
  • Have you successfully implemented GDAL in C#? – Michael Stimson Jul 31 '14 at 22:46
  • @MichaelMiles-Stimson Not yet. Other parts of my code have no relation with gdal. – shirleydd Jul 31 '14 at 22:51
  • 1
    gdallocationinfo is written in C not python. It uses RasterIO to read the pixel (line 475), this is available in C#. – Michael Stimson Jul 31 '14 at 22:51
  • @MichaelMiles-Stimson Oh gosh! This saves my life! Thank you! I only use it in OSGEO shell. Thought it is written in python. Is there source code in C# version? – shirleydd Jul 31 '14 at 22:58
  • The C# is a p-invoke layer written using SWIG. It works great. I use it in a significant application. – Reilly Aug 1 '14 at 10:43

I'm using OSGeo.GDAL for this code. It is extracted from my own working code but is incomplete, it will show you the basics of opening and reading a raster using GDAL.

The source for GDAL is downloadable, there is mostly C and C++ but some python... no C# that I know of - C# is windows only, GDAL is multi-platform. Many times I have referred to the source code for examples of what works and what doesn't. With C# you're mostly on your own as no really good documentation exists you can look at this though.

The ReadRaster parameters are StartRow, StartCol, ColumnsToRead, RowsToRead, BufferToStoreInto, BufferColumns, BufferRows, 0, 0. I hope that helps.

using OSGeo.GDAL; // way up the top

OSGeo.GDAL.Dataset pInDS;
pInDS = Gdal.Open(InImage.Text, Access.GA_ReadOnly);

// if the requested pixel is out of range return an error
// for that you need the range.
Rows = pInDS.RasterYSize;
Cols = pInDS.RasterXSize;

double[] pGT = new double[6];
int col = (int) (X - pGT[0]) / pGT[1]
int row = (int) (pGT[3] - Y) / -pGT[5]

// pReadBlock is an array of the raster data type, you will need to duplicate that
// code dependent on each data type
OSGeo.GDAL.Band pInBand = pInDS.GetRasterBand(1);
bool IsThereAnError = pInBand.ReadRaster(row, col, 1, 1, pReadBlock, 1, 1, 0, 0);
Value = pReadBlock[0];

You might need to modify your reference path to include the GDAL bin/lib directory so it can find required libraries an I think you may need to link a specific lib GDAL_i.lib.

The geotransform array goes like this:

GeoTransform[0] = Xmin;             // Upper Left X
GeoTransform[1] = CellSize;         // W-E pixel size
GeoTransform[2] = 0;                // Rotation, 0 if 'North Up'
GeoTransform[3] = Ymax;             // Upper Left Y
GeoTransform[4] = 0;                // Rotation, 0 if 'North Up'
GeoTransform[5] = -CellSize;        // N-S pixel size

Note that the geotransform is from the upper left and cells are negative in the Y dimenstion. It is explained here.

  • This is awesome! Thank you Michael! I modified my code according to yours. I am wondering is there a way to check whether the raster is successfully read. When transferring the line starting with bool-----, there is an error saying that the type is not convertible between left and right sides. Because the value (-32768 as nodata value) I got from the code is not the true pixel value. I guess the raster is not successfully read? – shirleydd Jul 31 '14 at 23:35
  • My code: int[] buf = new int[1]; Band band = ds.GetRasterBand(1); band.ReadRaster(0, 0, ds.RasterXSize, ds.RasterYSize, buf, 1, 1, 0, 0); int value = buf[0]; Console.WriteLine(value); The value I got is wrong. – shirleydd Jul 31 '14 at 23:36
  • It's band.ReadRaster(row,col,1,1... you will need the geotransform to resolve X and Y to row and col, I will put that in. – Michael Stimson Jul 31 '14 at 23:41
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    @shirleydd: RTB. The C# API is nearly exactly the C++ API, so whatever you read on the gdal site applies. ReadRaster returns the same CPLErr as the C++. These are enums in C#. – Reilly Aug 1 '14 at 10:53
  • 1
    Why not read the raster one line (row) at a time and iterate through the values returned, instead of 1,1 for a pixel make it the raster cell width. GDAL also has a ReadBlock which is faster; some rasters have a block that is a row, others like tiled TIFF have blocks that are 128x128 but if you're reading the whole raster that shouldn't matter. – Michael Stimson Aug 4 '14 at 21:46

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