I have a RasterLayer with 500 bands in R (I exported the raster as a single image in Google Earth Engine, which was originally an ImageCollection). I know you can extract the band you want to use by number:

raster("raster.tif", band = 1)
raster("raster.tif", band = 2)
# etc.

But I was wondering if there was a way to call the band by its name instead in R.

  • 3
    Are the band names even stored in the GeoTIFF? Does gdalinfo("raster.tif") using the gdalUtils package show them anywhere? If not, I think you are stuck unless you have a list of the names from somewhere else, otherwise you need to extract them from the gdalinfo metadata and lookup the band number to pass to raster(...)
    – Spacedman
    May 7, 2020 at 8:36

1 Answer 1


It doesn't help you with your currently downloaded file, but the ability to select by band name is included in the rgee package. https://csaybar.github.io/rgee/

  • Thanks, I will check out the package!
    – rachell
    May 7, 2020 at 17:54

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