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I try to mask a raster with gdalwarp and I always get the answer: cannot compute bounding box of cutline. what is wrong with my cutline shapefile? or what requirements should it have to work?

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    Welcome to GIS.se! Could you give some more information (click 'edit' and change your post): how are you using gdalwarp - command line? What kind of raster and shapefile are you using? What projections are they in? – Simbamangu Mar 24 '14 at 12:34
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Make sure that raster file and shapefile have the same CRS. The raster should be a tif, with georeference stored inside, and the shapefile must be a polygon. Make sure that the extent of the raster and shapefile fit together.

The CRS should be suitable, e.g. it should not include the poles when using a mercator projection, and no part should be on the back of the globe for transverse mercator or UTM.

LCC projection might have similar restrictions.

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