I've started a new project that involves a ESRI ASCII grid. As far as i know it is a map of Germany or the UK (I'm not sure which one). This is how the header looks like:

NCOLS 8083
NROWS 12952
NODATA_value 0

I decided to use POSTGIS to import it into a raster table (I named the table testraster). The import worked smoothly, and I managed to play around with it, using some postgis functions.

For example:

SELECT x, y, val, ST_AsText(geom) FROM (SELECT (ST_PixelAsCentroids(rast, 1, true)).*
FROM testraster WHERE rid = 1) foo;

This select returns all the center points of my cells(cell = a value in the raster). Only the cells that have values are taken in consideration. The very small part of the result looks like this:

x       y       val     st_astext
4955    353 -109    POINT(435550 -51050)
4956    353 -112    POINT(435650 -51050)
4957    353 -112    POINT(435750 -51050)
4958    353 -114    POINT(435850 -51050)
4959    353 -115    POINT(435950 -51050)

This takes me to my question.

How do i know the latitude and longitude of any of these points? What is the equivalent of 435940 and -51050? Or, a more realistic scenario: I'm in Berlin at (52.52001, 13.40495), what is the cell that i should be looking for in my raster?

  • Do you know what co-ord system your original ASCII grid is in?
    – Matt
    Jun 29, 2016 at 13:29
  • Not really. :|. I just have the file.
    – Luci0
    Jun 29, 2016 at 13:44
  • 1
    After using select ST_SRID(rast) from testraster;(This returns the co-ord system) i get the result 0. I think, i have to ask the guys that gave me the file, to tell me what is the co-ord system.
    – Luci0
    Jun 29, 2016 at 13:58
  • Use ST_Transform(geom, 4326)
    – Mike T
    Jun 30, 2016 at 9:10
  • If i run this: select ST_Transform(rast, 4326) from testraster i get ERROR: RASTER_GDALWarp: Input raster has unknown (0) SRID
    – Luci0
    Jun 30, 2016 at 12:38

1 Answer 1


You have ~800 km east to west and ~1300 km north to south. This sounds like a perfect bounding box for the UK particularly if you include the islands to the north and south. Anything but meters (say feet, km, degrees) would be unreasonable. It is a so-so fit for Germany but could work. I think we have our linear units (m) but what system? Five digits, both negatives in the lower left, I smell a rat.

For Germany they only approve UTM and Gauss-Krueger. Neither makes sense due to your values and the other one I suspect it may in Germany is EPSG:4038 but you are missing a digit before the decimal place for this to work.

So by deduction what remains is the British National Grid EPSG:27700 and those numbers look like an excellent lower left corner and this is really the only approved UK mapping grid system.

could it be

Whoever gave you this as a first mapping task (using the UK national grid in this way) may be out to get you. Just a thought. But stick your grid on this system and although not traditional it should work.

Please feedback as I am interested to see if it works, or even post your data if allowable.

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