I am getting different resutls when plotting a np.array with matplotlib than when doing it in an external software - QGIS. Here is what I have:

(1, 8433, 9254)




This is how it looks like when I plot it with matplotlib:

fig, ax = plt.subplots(figsize = (20,20))
ax.imshow(wiw[0][0,:,:], cmap='Greys_r');

enter image description here

Next, I save it with rasterio using the following code:

with rasterio.open(output_path + 'WIW_TEST.tif', 'w', **ras_meta) as dst:

Where ras_meta is:

{'driver': 'GTiff', 'dtype': 'float64', 'nodata': 0, 'width': 9254, 'height': 8433, 'count': 1, 'crs': CRS.from_epsg(32633), 'transform': Affine(20.0, 0.0, 300000.0,
       0.0, -20.0, 1600020.0), 'blockxsize': 640, 'blockysize': 640, 'tiled': True}

If I open this geotiff in QGIS, its appearence is differnet:

enter image description here

But surprisingly, if I open the saved geotiff again with rasterio and plot it with matplotlib, the visualization is correct. What is going on? Is it a dtype issue, a nodata problem?

  • 2
    QGIS and matplotlib both have to stretch/scale the data for display, they're just doing it slightly differently. You can tweak the stretch in QGIS layer symbology if you want.
    – user2856
    Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 12:29
  • Could be but in this case my array is formed by np.nan and 1. There are not intermediate values. For reference, this array was created with a np.where and a condition. Where it was met, 1. If not, a np.nan was put
    – GCGM
    Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 13:52
  • Why are you storing binary data as a float?
    – mikewatt
    Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 0:35
  • 1
    If I am not wrong, in order to have nan, float is needed as dtype
    – GCGM
    Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 6:16

1 Answer 1


I suspect this has to do with the styling when drawing on the QGIS canvas, not with any data differences. Have you tried changing your resampling options in the symbology panel of QGIS? For example, change from nearest neighbor to bilinear and tinker with the oversampling to see if that matches what you expect more closely.

You can also try plotting the histogram of the raster when you have it in QGIS to verify the underlying data is being read correctly. If the problem is purely how the raster looks in the QGIS canvas, and you can verify the underlying data is the same, I would not sweat it too much.

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