No transformation is visible after using SetGeoTransform to the dataset opened from a *.tiff file:

ds = gdal.Open(filename, GA_ReadOnly) # open the raster data set

geo_transform = (0.3,10,30,-10,80,-1) # complete random/arbitrary numbers

cols = ds.RasterXSize
rows = ds.RasterYSize
band = ds.GetRasterBand(1)
data = band.ReadAsArray(0,0,cols, rows)

With plotting, I get the same results as plotting without the transformation:

plt.imshow ( data, interpolation='nearest', vmin=0, cmap=plt.cm.gist_earth)

GDAL version 1.11.3

  • 1
    What do expect to happen? When you set geo_transform you are only attaching some metadata to the image. I do not believe that imshow cares about metadata. I would guess that you must warp the image based on geo_transform first and show the warped result. Probably this is worth reading gdal.org/warptut.html.
    – user30184
    Oct 9, 2015 at 9:25
  • I cannot find this option for GDAL in python Oct 9, 2015 at 10:54
  • Think you are pointing me in the right direction! But have not found a solution yet. Oct 9, 2015 at 11:38
  • @API I think that you should read first the Python topics of this GDAL Tutorial: gdal.org/gdal_tutorial.html
    – xunilk
    Oct 9, 2015 at 11:55
  • My grid is a 1x1m raster. So I found out that I'm actually plotting my raster instead of the values at their coordinates. I understand the problem now but no solution yet Oct 9, 2015 at 14:34

2 Answers 2


The syntax of your geo_transform is wrong (for this reason "No transformation is visible") but, with these parameters ("complete random/arbitrary numbers") probably QGIS it'll be closed (if you use its Python Console). You should use geo_transform with these guidelines:

geotransform[0] = top left x
geotransform[1] = w-e pixel resolution
geotransform[2] = 0
geotransform[3] = top left y
geotransform[4] = 0
geotransform[5] = n-s pixel resolution (negative value)

The correct syntax, e.g. a 30 x 30 raster resolution (in meters), it would be:

geotransform = ([ your_top_left_x, 30, 0, your_top_left_y, 0, -30 ])

by using square brackets in the list notation for the six parameters.

  • I was aware of the parameter, but putting them into brackets has no effect Oct 9, 2015 at 10:47
  • You need to close the datasets, ds = None, after setting geotransform to output raster.
    – xunilk
    Oct 9, 2015 at 10:53
  • Thanks but "Python.exe has stopped working" and windows can't find a solution Oct 9, 2015 at 11:12
  • This works if your data has meters as a unit Mar 23, 2017 at 19:45

It is possible that the tiff file opened had no geo-information stored and so doing a transform on it would have no effect.

  • It had already geo-information. i.e. I get valid output with ds.GetGeoTransform() before the transformation attempt Oct 9, 2015 at 10:51

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