I'm fairly new with GeoTools. I'm using it in order to generate GeoTIFF files that have a single band, with values between -1 and 1, or NaN.

An example of such a file is available here: https://m-innvoincy.box.com/s/ow1fentcgddgdeisfwj4i44yraeqkh4l

If you load this into QGIS or something similar, it should look like this (by default):

Grayscale rendering of the values in the GeoTIFF

The next step, which I'm struggling with, is to generate a multi-color PNG file, that will be a visual representation of the raw data in the GeoTIFF (I'm ignoring the geography for now). I would obviously need to specify a mapping between ranges of values in the GeoTIFF and RGBA values. NaN values should be mapped into the alpha channel ('transparent' pixels).

How a possible output PNG file might look like

I would like to do it with GeoTools, but haven't found a way to do it yet. It's important to note that the code should run on the server-side, there is no Map object and no GUI, Swing or otherwise, should be involved.

1 Answer 1


While you could probably do this by rolling a set of nested loops to go over the individual pixels and hand calculate the RGB values you want to stuff into the image and save it out as a PNG, it is easier to stuff the coverage into a MapContent, adding a Style with a ColorMap and then ask the renderer to draw it to an empty image.

package spike;

import java.awt.Graphics2D;
import java.awt.image.BufferedImage;
import java.io.File;
import java.io.IOException;

import javax.imageio.ImageIO;

import org.geotools.coverage.grid.GridCoverage2D;
import org.geotools.coverage.grid.io.AbstractGridCoverage2DReader;
import org.geotools.coverage.grid.io.AbstractGridFormat;
import org.geotools.coverage.grid.io.GridFormatFinder;
import org.geotools.factory.CommonFactoryFinder;
import org.geotools.factory.Hints;
import org.geotools.gce.geotiff.GeoTiffFormat;
import org.geotools.map.GridCoverageLayer;
import org.geotools.map.Layer;
import org.geotools.map.MapContent;
import org.geotools.renderer.GTRenderer;
import org.geotools.renderer.lite.StreamingRenderer;
import org.geotools.styling.ColorMap;
import org.geotools.styling.ColorMapEntry;
import org.geotools.styling.RasterSymbolizer;
import org.geotools.styling.SLD;
import org.geotools.styling.Style;
import org.geotools.styling.StyleFactory;
import org.opengis.filter.FilterFactory2;

public class TiffToPng {

  public static void main(String[] args) throws IllegalArgumentException, IOException {
    // TODO Auto-generated method stub
    File input = new File(args[0]);


  private static void convert(File input) throws IllegalArgumentException, IOException {
    AbstractGridFormat format = GridFormatFinder.findFormat(input);
    // working around a bug/quirk in geotiff loading via format.getReader which
    // doesn't set this correctly
    Hints hints = null;
    if (format instanceof GeoTiffFormat) {
      hints = new Hints(Hints.FORCE_LONGITUDE_FIRST_AXIS_ORDER, Boolean.TRUE);

    AbstractGridCoverage2DReader reader = format.getReader(input, hints);
    GridCoverage2D grid = reader.read(null);

    BufferedImage image = new BufferedImage(grid.getGridGeometry().getGridRange2D().width,
        grid.getGridGeometry().getGridRange2D().height, BufferedImage.TYPE_4BYTE_ABGR);

    MapContent mapContent = new MapContent();
    Layer rasterLayer = new GridCoverageLayer(grid, createStyle(1,-0.4,0.2));
    GTRenderer draw = new StreamingRenderer();
    Graphics2D graphics = image.createGraphics();
    draw.paint(graphics, grid.getGridGeometry().getGridRange2D(), mapContent.getMaxBounds());
    File out = new File("test.png");
    ImageIO.write(image, "PNG", out);


  private static Style createStyle(int band, double min, double max) {

    FilterFactory2 ff = CommonFactoryFinder.getFilterFactory2();
    StyleFactory sf = CommonFactoryFinder.getStyleFactory();

    RasterSymbolizer sym = sf.getDefaultRasterSymbolizer();
    ColorMap cMap = sf.createColorMap();
    ColorMapEntry start = sf.createColorMapEntry();
    ColorMapEntry end = sf.createColorMapEntry();

    Style style = SLD.wrapSymbolizers(sym);

    return style;

With a bit more effort I could probably work out how to write the image back out as a PNG+WLD file but it isn't clear if that is what you need. Anyway this is what the result looks like:

enter image description here


For anyone who does want a world file etc to go with the output png here is the code:

File out2 = new File("test2.png");
final WorldImageWriter wiWriter = new WorldImageWriter(out2);

// writing parameters for png
final Format writerFormat = wiWriter.getFormat();

// setting write parameters
final ParameterValueGroup params = writerFormat.getWriteParameters();
final GeneralParameterValue[] gpv = {
GridCoverageFactory factory = CoverageFactoryFinder.getGridCoverageFactory(null);
GridCoverage2D coverage = factory.create("name", image, grid.getEnvelope());
// writing
wiWriter.write(coverage , gpv);
//write out the prj file too
File prj = new File("test2.prj");
PrintWriter pw = new PrintWriter(prj);
  • Looks very promising, thanks. Just to make sure: can this work headless (i.e., on the server-side, without a GUI)?
    – yby
    Sep 7, 2018 at 6:15
  • 1
    Should be fine on a headless machine, for example many GeoServer instances are headless
    – Ian Turton
    Sep 7, 2018 at 8:12
  • Yep, works like a charm. Thanks so much for the working example! Looking at the code, I'm wondering how would it work if I had more than a one band in the input, and I'd want to render each band to it's on PNG? The 'band' parameter of createStyle isn't used, and I don't see any reference to a band number when accessing the grid.
    – yby
    Sep 7, 2018 at 8:18
  • 1
    Whoops, I deleted that code as it wasn't needed since there was only one band. docs.geotools.org/latest/userguide/tutorial/raster/image.html shows an example of band selection - docs.geoserver.org/latest/en/user/styling/sld/reference/… discusses the theory
    – Ian Turton
    Sep 7, 2018 at 8:22

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