I have some ESRI grid data that I would like to import into Matlab. As a typical ESRI grid data I have the two folders with the *.adf files and *.dat, .nit and.dat files.

I would like to know how can I import the information stored in those files into Matlab.

Tank you all!

1 Answer 1


I would convert the GRID to ASCII format first using Raster to ASCII (Conversion). If you have many GRIDs, use the batch conversion by right-clicking on the tool and selecting "batch". Then you can easily bring in the ASCII files into MATLAB using arcgridread. Here's an example from Mathworks:

[Z,R] = arcgridread('MtWashington-ft.grd');
xlabel('x (easting in meters)'); ylabel('y (northing in meters)')

There is also a discussion here that may give you some ideas too.

Another option is to convert your ESRI grids to another format, such as a TIFF, and bring them into MATLAB using imread (source).

  • Thank you very much for your response. I have already tried that but it's not working. When I convert it to ASCII I only get like the 'mask' of my data , that is: -9999 and 2 indicating whether there is a value or no data but not the actual value at each given point. Any idea how to retrieve the value?
    – Maria
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 11:05

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