This question may seem strange at first, but what I need to do is to move a raster image over another raster image and align them perfectly. Both rasters have the very same size and resolution - one is a Landsat band and another is a product of bands analysis, so this movement includes change of coordinates.

Why are they in different places? In Correcting Landsat images shifted by strangely high distance using ArcMap? I said I have rasters straight from Earth Explorer covering some area that are misplaced from 100 m even up to 40 km (don't ask me why, sensor callibration?).

I will explain it by listing what I do:

  1. For every image create an RGB composition (for better terrain recognition)
  2. Choose one image as a reference one (which seems to be correct according to my GPS data)
  3. Using ArcMap's Shift tool I move each RGB image individually to it's correct place looking at the reference raster (RGB product only, bands are left untouched)
  4. Now I would like to automatically apply movement of each band of each image to corresponding RGB image created from these bands (move them to their "correct place")
  5. Afterwards I would use Snap raster option to align pixel misplacement if needed

Point 4. is where I'm stuck. I would prefer not to have to use Shift tool for each image, because selecting correct X and Y shift is problematic if you don't remember by how much you have already moved the corresponding RGB.

  • This is a trivial exercise if you just use Python. It wouldn't be more than a dozen lines of code.
    – Vince
    Mar 14, 2017 at 20:37

1 Answer 1


Thanks to the hint given by Vince, I wrote this really short Python script:

from osgeo import gdal

# here I open both files, the one to be shifted with '1' flag (write-permission)
band = gdal.Open("path to image I want to shift", 1)
reference = gdal.Open("path to reference image")

# read origin values from reference image
target = reference.GetGeoTransform()

# example origin values:
# (440025.0, 30.0, 0.0, 8923215.0, 0.0, -30.0)

# the main action - set new values to origin of band image (i.e. change position of its top-left corner)

# after shifting I found the projection gets reset and needs to be specified again, so I import it from reference image)

Put it in a loop to automate shifting of multiple images.

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