I'm working on a project using climate data and MySQL. Before I start to work, what's your advice on the best way to complete this task.

I plan on using the following workflow:

  1. Analyse the climate-data, creating a mysql database-schema that could hold the data. (all tables should use UTF-8 as charset).
  2. Download all the raw-data from worldclim.org, using the 30 arc-seconds (~1 km) resolution.
  3. Import the data. Providing a dump

I have already downloaded the data for Min.Temperature, and it looks like this when I open one of the folders

enter image description here

The data is in .adf format: how can I insert that format into MySQL?

Also, what do you think is the best way to organize the database in MySQL for that kind of data?

Thank you.


I explored and found out that is option in AutoCAD Map 3D (FDO) where I can insert shapefiles in MySQL. Maybe then is the best way to convert coverages to shapefiles and then in Autocad Map 3D to MySQL?

I need to use MySQL. So I'll download . bil files. gissolved said I can save it in a blob field in my database and KevinMayall said I should convert it to ASCII and then to MySQL. These are raster files. What is the best way to import .bil files to database then?

  • 1
    Is MySQL the right database for the job containing spatial data? I would convert adf to shape then batch load it into postgres
    – Mapperz
    Jan 19, 2012 at 14:51
  • 1
    The first question to ask is : what is the reason you want to store the raster data from worldclim.org into a database, especially in MySQL ? But if you really want you can store the generic format (bil) in a blob field in your database. If you want to serve those file to a website you can first convert them e.g. JPEG with GDAL and then store them in your database.
    – Samuel
    Jan 19, 2012 at 22:48
  • 1
    I need to use MySQL. I downloaded rasters in bil format, can you help me how to store them in blob field in my database? Thank you. Jan 20, 2012 at 16:33
  • Why people always insist using MySQL even it isn't even proper spatial database for spatial data ? Look for new 9.2 postgresql and postgis 2.0 and you get raster support (it probably shas it downsides). Offcourse if it is R&D for MySQL then... Oct 13, 2013 at 14:07

1 Answer 1


That whole folder is an ARC/INFO coverage. You actually need to keep the entire tmin folder intact, including the info subfolder. You're only going to be able to read these with ESRI software.

You should instead download worldclim.org's generic grid file format (.bil). You can probably use GDAL or GRASS to convert it to ascii, and then to MySQL.

  • Is there a way to convert coverage to shapefile and then to MySQL database? Jan 19, 2012 at 20:51
  • 1
    I think only ESRI software will read coverages. In any case, the data you are downloading is a raster grid. Shapefiles store vector data not raster.
    – KiloGeo
    Jan 20, 2012 at 2:40
  • After a closer look, you can use GDAL to read an ARC/INFO grid coverage and convert it to another format. MySQL is not in the list of supported formats for GDAL, but an ascii intermediate format will likely work for you. www.gdal.org
    – KiloGeo
    Jan 20, 2012 at 14:36
  • I already downloaded .bil rasters. Do you think there's possibility to convert them to ASCII in GRASS GIS? Jan 20, 2012 at 15:08
  • The data is actually in Esri Grid format - the VAT gives away that it is not a coverage.
    – PolyGeo
    Oct 13, 2013 at 11:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.