I am using gdal_translate to extract a NetCDF out to tiff. In the gdal_translate documentation, there is an option -a_ullr to define the upper-left and lower-right corners (bounds) of the grid. Are these the cell centers of those grid cells, or the outer edges of the grid itself?

  • 2
    I don't know, but you could quickly test this by running it and checking in a GIS program. My guess is that it's the absolute bounds, not pixel centers, but that's just a guess. – Jon Mar 7 '18 at 4:41

I like the suggestion by @Jon. Let's give it a try.

  • Sample: A single cell, 1000m x 1000m, centered at (0, 0)

This cell is shown as green (value 200) on Dummy1x1_BYTE layer.

enter image description here

  • gdal_translate -a_ullr 0 0 1000 -1000 returned an orange cell on a new layer Dummy1x1_BYTE_ullr.

This orange cell is set to Upper Left = (0, 0) and Lower Right (1000, -1000).

As @Jon has said. Yes, -a_ullr sets coordinates of corner points.


Per Jon's suggestion, I tried something similar to Kazuhito. Here was my NetCDF input:


I calculated the Max X/Y values as such:

max lon: -130 + (0.03999999910593033 * 1751) = -59.96000156551599217
max lat: 22.5 + (0.03999999910593033 * 751) = 52.53999932855367783

I used gdal_translate to move from NetCDF to Tiff using this switch:

-a_ullr -130 52.53999932855367783 -59.96000156551599217 22.5

Then, I zoomed way in and dropped some point markers on top of the raster:

The lower left

The upper right

The rasters are mostly a background value of 0, drawn as black in those screenshots. The labeled points come out right on the corners of the raster, so it appears the GDAL's -a_ullr option is using the outer boundaries of the grid, and not cell centers.

Also, I should note that the cell size is unchanged out to 17 significant digits (decimal degrees), so assuming the cell size is the extent divided by the number of rows/columns, then the output is true to the input.

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