I'm triyng to use the python bindings of gdal to rasterize a raster using a shapefile. The code I'm using is rather simple:

gdal.RasterizeLayer(target_raster, [1], input_layer ,burn_values=[-9999],options=['INVERSE=TRUE'])

The code runs and doesn't produce any errors, but it is completely ignoring the "inverse" option meaning that it is removing the part of the raster I want to keep.

  • So if I understand you correctly you want to create a raster where, lets say 1 represents the areas that IS NOT covered by the vector file (I assume polygon) and 0 - or NoData - represents the areas that IS covered by the vector file? Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 8:54
  • Currently the RasterizeLayer burns the nodata value into everything below the polygon and ignores everything outside. What I want it to do is to leave everything below the polygon alone and instead burn the nodata value outside of the polygon. (This is what inverse=true should do)
    – Francis
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 16:34
  • Have proposed a solution. Hope it helps Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 20:45

1 Answer 1


I think I understand what you want. I have not had much success in passing option arguments for RasterizeLayer (e.g. options=['INVERSE=TRUE']). So I will propose an alternative. I have written the full code to give you perspective. I hope it helps.

from osgeo import gdal, osr, ogr

StructRas = 'E:/Path/to/your/Raster.tif' # Raster on which I will base the structure of the rasterized output (cell size, projection and extent)
OutRas = 'E:/Path/to/your/OutRaster.tif' # Output Raster (will contain the rasterized vectors)
Shapefile = 'E:/Path/to/your/shapefile/ToRasterize.shp' # vector file to be rasterized
UniqueNumerical = 'RstrField'   # OPTIONAL if you have a field in the vector layer you want to base the rasterazation on (instead of burning values)
                                # This needs to be the name of field column in the vector layer and it needs to be numerical

# Getting Vital signs from your structure raster
StructRas = gdal.Open(StructRas)
rasXsize = StructRas.RasterXSize
rasYsize = StructRas.RasterYSize
gt = StructRas.GetGeoTransform()
prjWKT = StructRas.GetProjection()
nowBand = StructRas.GetRasterBand(1)
NDvaule = StructRas.GetNoDataValue() # In your case the NoData value is -9999

# Opening the vector file
inVect = ogr.Open(Shapefile)
inLyr = inVect.GetLayer()

#Creating empty output raster in memory
RasterizedRas = gdal.GetDriverByName('MEM').Create('memory_raster', rasXsize, rasYsize,1 ,gdal.GDT_Float32)
inBand = RasterizedRas.GetRasterBand(1)
inBand.SetNoDataValue(NDvaule) # In your case -9999
inBand.Fill(NDvaule) # In your case -9999

# Use this is you want to rasterize with the values from your specified column "UniqueNumerical" - DO NOT USE BOTH RasterizeLayer's, choose 1
gdal.RasterizeLayer(RasterizedRas, [1], inLyr, options = ['ATTRIBUTE=%s' % UniqueNumerical]) 
# Use this if you want to burn in values (I have made the burn value 1) - - DO NOT USE BOTH RasterizeLayer's, choose 1
gdal.RasterizeLayer(RasterizedRas, [1], inLyr ,burn_values=[1])

# Writing out the final output raster
gdal.GetDriverByName('GTiff').CreateCopy(OutRas, RasterizedRas)

  • Hello and sorry for the late reply. I have decided to accept this as the solution, while it will not work for me exactly as the rasters are too large to recreate in memory it is still a workable option.
    – Francis
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 8:59
  • Hi, thanks. You don't have to create the raster in memory, sorry, that's just the way I do it. You can create it on your drive as well, just replace RasterizedRas=gdal.GetDriverByName('MEM').Create('memory_raster',rasXsize,rasYsize,1,gdal.GDT_Float32) with RasterizedRas=gdal.GetDriverByName('GTiff').Create('C:\Path\to\raster\Outras.tif', rasXsize, rasYsize,1 ,gdal.GDT_Float32) and then replace the gdal.GetDriverByName('GTiff').CreateCopy(OutRas, RasterizedRas) with RasterizedRas = None . I hope that would do it. Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 11:09

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