I understand that Arc floating point rasters don't have attribute tables because of the high potential number of unique values in each cell but at a theoretical level, I think a floating point raster could have an attribute table that acted like a lookup table.

For example, if:

  • cell value was between 1.0 and 1.999, the attribute value = 'low'
  • cell value was between 2.0 and 10.999, the attribute value = 'med'
  • cell value was between 11.0 and 10000, the attribute value = 'high'...

It seems to me that this capability would be useful, retaining more detail than converting the floating point raster to an integer.

Are there any open source raster applications that accept floating point rasters with attribute tables?

  • 1
    This is one of many reasons why metadata exists. Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 5:00

1 Answer 1


What you are describing is just categorizing the raster data, which is an aspect of styling in any GPS system I know. Be it something proprietary like ArcGIS or open like QGIS.

  • Having an floating point attribute table would be very useful for joining or relating to associated attribute tables.
    – Stu Smith
    Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 5:51

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