I need to crop a DEM raster file with a shapefile. This shapefile has many polygons. I need to calculate several variables after the crop operation.

The algorithm is written in C++ so I want to call GDAL C++ API. I do not need to write the warped file out to my disk and I intend to use either VRT or MEM once the test is passed.

I already obtain the coordinates of each polygon and I passed as a polygon using the cutline argument, but the operation has no effect so far.

            OGRLinearRing poExteriorRing;
            for (i = 0; i < nPt; i++) 
                dX = (*iIterator).vVertex.at(i).dX;
                dY = (*iIterator).vVertex.at(i).dY;
                double dDummy1 = (dX - dX_origin) / dResolution_elevation;
                long lColumn_index = long(round(dDummy1));
                double dDummy2 = (dY_origin - dY) / dResolution_elevation;
                long lRow_index = long(round(dDummy2));     
                poExteriorRing.addPoint(lColumn_index, lRow_index);
            OGRPolygon polygon;

            GDALDataset  *poVRTDS;
            poVRTDS = poDriver->CreateCopy( "./test.tiff", poDS_elevation, FALSE, NULL, NULL, NULL );

            GDALWarpOptions *psWarpOptions = GDALCreateWarpOptions();
            psWarpOptions->hCutline = &polygon;                
            GDALWarpOperation oOperation;
            oOperation.Initialize( psWarpOptions );
            oOperation.ChunkAndWarpImage( 0, 0,
                            GDALGetRasterXSize( poDS_elevation ),
                            GDALGetRasterYSize( poDS_elevation ) );
            GDALClose( poVRTDS );

I assume I need to construct the polygon vertex to image index according to: CUTLINE: This may contain the WKT geometry for a cutline. It will be converted into a geometry by GDALWarpOperation::Initialize() and assigned to the GDALWarpOptions hCutline field. The coordinates must be expressed in source pixel/line coordinates. Note: this is different from the assumptions made for the -cutline option of the gdalwarp utility! https://gdal.org/api/gdalwarp_cpp.html

  • What error messages are you getting? Which line is the error message being generated on? Aug 20, 2020 at 2:44
  • The code does not give error. The the result tif is the same with the input, so the warp operation does not has effect.
    – Chang
    Aug 20, 2020 at 3:01
  • Is your clip shape and raster input in the same coordinate reference system? If one is undefined or there isn't a geotransform you may see problems, though that scenario should trip a breakpoint. Aug 20, 2020 at 3:26
  • My input files have the same map projection. This is the part I am not sure. The hCutline option is "Optional OGRPolygonH for a masking cutline", it is not a shapefile. But it can be defined from the shapefile. gdal.org/doxygen/…
    – Chang
    Aug 20, 2020 at 4:24
  • OGR_G_AssignSpatialReference( hMultiPolygon, OGR_L_GetSpatialRef(hLayer) ); *phCutlineRet = hMultiPolygon; It appears the spatial reference is required for the geometry object.
    – Chang
    Aug 20, 2020 at 5:11

1 Answer 1


After several attempts, I was able to fix the issues following some blog post: http://www.jeepxie.net/article/293437.html

The core part is that we need to convert coordinates:

eError = TransformCutlineToSource( hWrkSrcDS, hCutline,
                                  psOptions->papszTO );

and we should not use both hCutline and cutline at the same time.

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