Is it possible to specify the extent when creating an empty raster in GDAL?

I looked everywhere, but can't seem to find anything. The portion of my script where I write the raster would look something like this:

tifpath = "path/to/output/tiff.tif"
drvtif = gdal.GetDriverByName("GTiff")
rast = drvtif.Create(tifpath, Ncolumns, Nrows, Nbands, datatype)
rast.SetProjection(projection) # projection being a variable representing the desired projection

My array is an array of size Ncolumns x Nrows, filled with 0's (I want an empty raster). The number of pixels is predetermined, as is the cell size, and by multiplying npixels*cellsize, I've determined what my output extents need to be such that each pixel is a whole pixel (i.e. doesn't get cut off by the extent).

But, I can't find any options that would allow me to specify the desired extent.

It's also just occurred to me that I don't see any option to specify cell size.

  • So you want to specify the extent in projection coordinates?
    – BradHards
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 21:08
  • Yes. Projection is WGS84 (degrees) and I need the UL of my raster to begin at exactly (-180, 90). Using the predetermined cell size (0.0089952083) and number of pixels (2501 columns x 20011 rows), I know exactly where the LR coordinate should end up (-157.5029840417, -90.0031132913), and I want to specify to be sure that it does. Is this possible to do when setting the projection? Now that I think about it, where do I even specify cell size? Will update my question with that last bit. Thx
    – user20408
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 21:31
  • PS: I need to create 15 more rasters with the same top/bottom extents, such that they are exactly side by side (no overlap or gap between them, and lined up exactly at top & bottom). So, raster1's right extent would become raster2's left extent, &so on. I've determined that ncol=2501 for the first 10 rasters, then ncol=2502 for the last 6, will get me as close to 180 degrees (these 16 rasters, when together, need to fill a global extent) as possible, with just a little bit hanging over (the final rightmost extent should be 180.0062265826). Not sure if this is relevant, but thought I'd share.
    – user20408
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 21:42
  • I think you should rework the question to put those key information elements into the question.
    – BradHards
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 21:46

1 Answer 1


Yes, using the SetGeoTransform method. The Geographic Transform defines the origin of the raster in the upper left hand corner, as well as the cell size and the rotation in the x and y direction for the cells in this format:

geo_transform = (x top left, x cell size, x rotation, y top left, y rotation, negative y cell size)

Or in the example you've supplied:

geo_transform = (-180, 0.0089952083, 0., 90, 0., -0.0089952083)

This can set be applied to the dataset object;


Note The top left will be the coordinates of the top left of the cell, not the cell centre.

  • wonderful, thanks! this is exactly what I was looking for.
    – user20408
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 23:10

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