I have thousands raster maps (3652, named raster_name.1, raster_name.2,... raster_name.x,... raster_name.3652) and for each map I want to do the r.mapcalc-threshold operation below here: binary_raster_name.x = if ( raster_name.x > 293 , 1 , 0 ). My target is to create a binary threshold map for each raster I have in my project. Here is the script I tried:

GRASS 7.8.3 (LocationMatteo):~ >x=3652

GRASS 7.8.3 (LocationMatteo):~ >seq $x | parallel r.mapcalc expression="tas.binary{}=if(tasmax_day_CMCC-CMS_rcp45_r1i1p1_20300101-20391231.{}<293.15,1,0)"

It seems that parallel works as I get 3652 lines, but I get this error for each line:

IT: errore di sintassi vicino al token non atteso "("

EN: syntax error near the token not expected "(".

How can I run correctly r.mapcalc in parallel (or parallelized) in GRASS?

Which is the correct formula?

  • In addition to the answer by Micha, mind the white space around the equal sign " output = expression"
    – markusN
    Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 14:46

2 Answers 2


In general GRASS does not support parallelized operation. There are some workarounds: on the wiki.

However for this particular question, are you familiar with the r.reclass module? Creating a reclass raster is very "cheap". I guess the question is: what are you planning to do with these 3652 binary rasters after you create them?

(added after matteo.s comment)

Here's the procedure. I don't have 3600 maps on hand, so I created 99 maps with random values between 0 and 40). The commands below use some bash shell tricks. If you are on a different shell, or using the GUI, you'll have to adapt as needed.

# Create 99 random rasters, the -s flag sets a random seed
for i in `seq 1 99`; do r.mapcalc -s "precip_$i = rand(0, 40)"; done

# Prepare rules file for reclass
echo "0 thru 20 = 0 Less than 20                                                                    
20 thru 40 = 1 Greater than 20" > reclass.txt

# Run reclass for all precip rasters in a loop.
# The g.list command gets each precip raster to feed into r.reclass
for r in `g.list rast pattern=precip_* `; do r.reclass $r output=${r}_rcl rules=reclass.txt --o; done
# Now I have 99 reclass rasters, in addition to the originals.
# This took only a few seconds.

# Save a list of all precip reclass rasters for the r.series statement
# NOTE: In your case, with 3600 rasters you *must*
# put this list into a file, and use the file=... option to r.series.
rcl_list=`g.list rast pattern="precip*rcl" separator=comma`
r.series input=${rcl_list} output=precip_sum method=sum

That's it. HTH

  • I read running parallelized script on Grass was possible here: grasswiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Parallelizing_Scripts, hope it works with r.mapcalc. I am not familiar with r.reclass. I've run a r.series, but it does not have a "threshold" formula. My final output is a sum of all the binary maps, then divided /3652, so that I can have a final map where each pixel is defined by the ten-years (365x10=3650...) average number of "1" (rasters are daily climate maps, so my final output map is a ten-years average count of days in which temp is above 293.15 K, or 20°C). r.reclass is useful fot that?
    – matteo s.
    Commented Oct 9, 2020 at 11:23

I use GNU parallel and r.mapcalc a lot. I think the issue is quotes. Try this:

seq $x | parallel "r.mapcalc \"expression=tas.binary{}=if(tasmax_day_CMCC-CMS_rcp45_r1i1p1_20300101-20391231.{}<293.15,1,0)\""


seq $x | parallel "r.mapcalc 'expression=tas.binary{}=if(tasmax_day_CMCC-CMS_rcp45_r1i1p1_20300101-20391231.{}<293.15,1,0)'"
  • The first one WORKSSSS!!!! Thank you mankoff
    – matteo s.
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 14:08

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