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    Read and write raster and vector geospatial datasets straight from Node.js with this native asynchronous GDAL binding. To get started, browse the API Documentation or examples.

    When in doubt on how to use a method, check also the unit tests.

    Fork notes

    This project is a fork of which is a fork of

    It adds a number of features:

    • Support for asynchronous IO (since 3.0)
    • Full native TypeScript support with autocompletion in IDEs that support it (since 3.1)
    • Built-in networking support with native support for cloud services (since 3.2)
    • scijs/ndarray integration with zero-copy I/O (since 3.3)
    • Read-only support for the new Multidimensional Raster Data Model of GDAL 3.1 (since 3.3)
    • Library versions of GDAL's command-line utilities gdalinfo, gdal_translate, ogr2ogr and gdalwarp (since 3.4)
    • Node.js Streams API for raster datasets (since 3.4)
    • An alternative implementation supporting JS functions (since 3.4)
    • Support for curve geometries (since 3.1)
    • Progress callbacks (since 3.2)
    • Built-in support for HDF5, NetCDF, GRIB, WMS, WMTS, WCS and FlatGeobuf (since 3.3)
    • Numerous bugfixes including a number of memory leaks

    The default install is currently the 3.3 branch which is bundled with GDAL 3.3.3. GDAL 3.4.0 is available on the 3.4 branch which can be installed as gdal-async@next.

    Support for worker_threads is planned but it is not a priority project

    Project maturity

    gdal-async is a young and complex project that is currently evolving very fast.

    • gdal-async@3.3, the current stable branch
      • The raster data processing is used, in conjunction with Express and scijs on at least one production site ( - where it is serving requests to thousands of visitors with process uptimes measured in months, so most of the basic raster functions are to be considered stable and without any major leaks
      • The vector data processing is used occasionally and mostly in offline batch mode
    • gdal-async@3.4, the next branch, is still to be considered somewhat experimental


    Pre-built binaries are provided for most recent Linux distributions, Windows 64 bit and OS X 10.15:

    npm install gdal-async

    Linking with your own version of GDAL

    By default all dependencies are the latest versions and bundled out of the box, but if you would like to link against a custom GDAL library you will have to rebuild it when installing using the following flags:

    # --shared_gdal allows linking to the OS-provided libgdal, requires libgdal-dev
    # (debian: sudo apt-get install libgdal-dev)
    $ npm install gdal-async --build-from-source --shared_gdal

    If you have multiple versions of GDAL or your library is not in its standard location, you can use the usual CXXFLAGS and LDFLAGS variables:

    $ CXXFLAGS="-I/some/path/include" LDFLAGS="-L/some/path/lib" npm install gdal-async --build-from-source --shared_gdal

    Sample usage



    const gdal = require("gdal-async")
    const dataset ="sample.tif")
    console.log("number of bands: " + dataset.bands.count())
    console.log("width: " + dataset.rasterSize.x)
    console.log("height: " + dataset.rasterSize.y)
    console.log("geotransform: " + dataset.geoTransform)
    console.log("srs: " + (dataset.srs ? dataset.srs.toWKT() : 'null'))


    const gdal = require("gdal-async")
    const dataset ="sample.shp")
    const layer = dataset.layers.get(0)
    console.log("number of features: " + layer.features.count())
    console.log("fields: " + layer.fields.getNames())
    console.log("extent: " + JSON.stringify(layer.extent))
    console.log("srs: " + (layer.srs ? layer.srs.toWKT() : 'null'))


    Mixing of synchronous and asynchronous operations is supported.

    Mixing of synchronous and asynchronous operations

    Simultaneous operations on distinct dataset objects are always safe and can run it parallel.

    Simultaneous operations on the same dataset object are safe too but they won't run in parallel. This is a limitation of GDAL. The only way to have multiple parallel operations on the same file is to use multiple dataset objects. Keep in mind that Node.js/libuv won't be able to detect which async contexts are waiting on each other, so if you launch 16 simultaneous operations on 4 different datasets, there is always a chance that libuv will pick 4 operations on the same dataset to run - which will take all 4 slots on the thread pool. It is recommended to either increase UV_THREADPOOL_SIZE or to make sure that every dataset has exactly one operation running at any given time. Take a look at which explains this in detail.

    Also be particularly careful when mixing synchronous and asynchronous operations in server code. If a GDAL operation is running in the background for any given Dataset, all synchronous operations on that same Dataset on the main thread will block the event loop until the background operation is finished. This includes synchronous getters and setters that might otherwise be instantaneous.. It is recommended to retrieve all values such as raster size or no data value or spatial reference before starting any I/O operations or use the new asynchronous getters available in 3.3.2 and later.

    Does not support worker_threads yet

    The HDF5 driver is not thread safe on Windows

    With callbacks

    If the last argument of an xxxAsync function is a callback, it will be called on completion with standard (e,r) semantics

    In this case the function will return a resolved Promise

    const gdal = require('gdal-async');
    gdal.openAsync('sample.tif', (e, dataset) => {
            if (e) {
            dataset.bands.get(1).pixels.readAsync(0, 0, dataset.rasterSize.x,
            dataset.rasterSize.y, (e, data) => {
                if (e) {

    With promises

    If there is no callback, the function will return a Promise

    const gdal = require('gdal-async')
        .then((dataset) => dataset.bands.getAsync(1))
        .then((band) => band.pixels.readAsync(0, 0, band.ds.rasterSize.x, band.ds.rasterSize.y))
        .then((data) => console.log(data))
        .catch((e) => console.error(e))

    With async/await

    const gdal = require('gdal-async');
    try {
        const ds = await gdal.openAsync('sample.tif');
        const band = await ds.bands.getAsync(1);
        const rasterSize = await ds.rasterSizeAsync;    // starting with 3.3.2
        const data = await band.pixels.readAsync(0, 0, rasterSize.x, rasterSize.y);
    } catch (e => console.error(e));

    TypeScript (starting from 3.1)

    TypeScript support is available beginning with gdal-async@3.1.0

    import * as gdal from 'gdal-async'
    const ds1: gdal.Dataset ='sample.tif')
    const ds2: Promise<gdal.Dataset> = gdal.openAsync('sample.tif')

    In TypeScript gdal is a collection of named exports - as this is the preferred way of importing a native module in TypeScript and it does not impose the use of the esModuleInterop flag.

    MJS (Node.js ES6 modules)

    When importing from a so-called Michael Jackson Script environment (Node.js native ES6 modules), the correct import syntax is:

    import gdal from 'gdal-async'

    In MJS gdal is a default export - as this allows for maximum compatibility with existing CJS applications.

    Built-in networking (starting from 3.2)

    Built-in networking uses an embedded version of libcurl. It supports zlib compression through Node.js' own zlib support. It does not support brotli or zstd. Node.js includes brotli, but as of Node.js 16 it still does not export these symbols for use by add-ons (yes, go bug them - ask them for c-ares too). SSL on Linux uses OpenSSL through Node.js' own support. It uses the curl trusted root CA store by default and another store can be provided through the CURL_CA_BUNDLE environment variable or GDAL config option. SSL on Windows and OSX uses the OS-provided mechanisms - Schannel and SecureTransport respectively - and thus the trusted root CA store will be the one provided by the OS.

    Breaking changes relative to node-gdal / node-gdal-next

    • If you are coming from node-gdal-next

      • Starting with 3.2
        • gdal.Geometry.fromGeoJson now throws an Error on error instead of returning a null geometry
      • Starting with 3.3
        • Drop support for linking against a shared GDAL 1.x library
        • Drop support for Node.js 10.x and 15.x
        • Linux uses lazy-binding meaning that parts of the binary won't be loaded in memory until the first function call
        • gdal.DatasetBands.get{Async}() now throws an Error if an invalid band is requested instead of returning a null object
        • gdal.DatasetLayers.get{Async}() now throws an Error if an invalid layer is requested instead of returning a null object
        • gdal.FeatureDefnFields.get{Async}() now throws an Error if an invalid field definition is requested instead of returning a null object
        • gdal.FeatureFields.get{Async}() now throws an Error if an invalid field is requested instead of returning a null object
          • it can still return null if the field exists in the definition but it is not set in the feature
        • gdal.GDALDrivers.get() now throws an Error if an invalid driver is requested instead of returning a null object
        • gdal.GeometryCollectionChildren.get() now throws an Error if an invalid sub-geometry is requested instead of returning a null object
        • gdal.LayerFeatures.get{Async}() now throws an Error if an invalid feature is requested instead of returning a null object
        • gdal.LayerFields.get{Async}() now throws an Error if an invalid field is requested instead of returning a null object
        • gdal.LineStringPoints.get() now throws an Error if an invalid point is requested instead of returning a null object
        • gdal.PolygonRings.get() now throws an Error if an invalid ring is requested instead of returning a null object
        • All gdal.Geometry methods that return a gdal.Geometry throw an Error on error instead of returning a null object
      • Starting with 3.4
        • GDAL >= 2.1 is required
        • All platforms use lazy-binding meaning that parts of the binary won't be loaded in memory until the first function call
        • gdal.RasterBand.noDataValue now returns NaN if the original value was NaN instead of null; when setting it to null it correctly clears the NoDataValue instead of setting it to NaN; one should still exercise care when using NaN as a NoDataValue - since even if the binary representation is defined by IEEE 754, different formats, compilers or architectures may exhibit different behavior
        • TypeScript bindings now internally use strict: true mode with many getters and functions receiving an additional explicit null return type, consider using strictNullChecks: false in your tsconfig.json if you need to suppress these new errors in existing code
    • If you are coming from node-gdal, in addition to all of the above

      • With PROJ 6+, the order of coordinates for EPSG geographic coordinate reference systems is latitude first, longitude second. If you don't want to make large code changes, you can replace code like gdal.SpatialReference.fromEPSG(4326) with gdal.SpatialReference.fromProj4('+init=epsg:4326')

    With ndarray from scijs

    A separate plugin ndarray-gdal allows zero-copy I/O, with GDAL-backed interleaving in C++ using SIMD instructions, for all possible strides both for 2D raster data and N-dimensional MDArray data. The plugin requires at least gdal-async@3.3.

    Pruning the source tree

    A special NPM script target, npm run prune allows to delete most of the bundled source packages - these are not needed unless rebuilding from source. It significantly reduces the overall size of this module.

    Using in Amazon Linux Lambdas

    Amazon Linux will be supported starting from gdal-async@3.3.4. There is no shared GDAL support, only the bundled GDAL version is supported. It is highly recommended that you prune the module before deploying to an Amazon Lambda - when pruned the module is only 16MB zipped.

    Known issues

    • #2 When running multiple parallel async operations per Dataset and on multiple Datasets, thread starvation is possible as explained in
    • #11 Accessing a closed Dataset object results in a warning with a stack trace printed out to stdout
    • #17 HDF5 on Windows is not thread-safe

    Bundled Drivers

    When using the bundled GDAL version, the following drivers will be available: AAIGrid, ACE2, ADRG, AIG, AVCBin, AVCE00, AirSAR, BLX, BMP, BT, carto, CEOS, COASP, COSAR, CPG, CSV, CTG, CTable2, DGN, DIMAP, DIPEx, DOQ1, DOQ2, DTED, DXF, ECRGTOC, EDIGEO, EHdr, EIR, ELAS, ENVI, ERS, ESAT, ESRI Shapefile, MapInfo File, MBTiles, FAST, FIT, FlatGeobuf, FujiBAS, GFF, GML, GPSBabel, GPSTrackMaker, GPX, GRASSASCIIGrid, GRIB, GS7BG, GSAG, GSBG, GSC, GTX, GTiff, GenBin, GeoJSON, GeoRSS, Geoconcept, GPKG, HDF5, HF2, HFA, IDA, ILWIS, INGR, IRIS, ISIS2, ISIS3, Idrisi, JAXAPALSAR, JDEM, JPEG, KMLSUPEROVERLAY, KML, KRO, L1B, LAN, LCP, LOSLAS, Leveller, MAP, MEM, Memory, MFF2, MFF, MITAB, MVT, NDF, NetCDF, NGSGEOID, NITF, NTv2, NWT_GRC, NWT_GRD, OGR_GMT, OGR_PDS, OGR_SDTS, OGR_VRT, OpenJPEG, OSM, OpenFileGDB, PAux, PCIDSK, PDS, PGDUMP, PNG, PNM, REC, RMF, ROI_PAC, RPFTOC, RS2, RST, R, S57, SAGA, SAR_CEOS, SDTS, SGI, SNODAS, SQLite, SRP, SRTMHGT, SVG, SXF, TIL, TSX, Terragen, UK .NTF, USGSDEM, VICAR, VRT, vsiaz, vsicurl, vsigs, vsigzip, vsimem, vsioss, vsis3, WAsP, WCS, WMS, WMTS, XPM, XYZ, ZMap

    When compiling against a system-installed shared GDAL, all drivers and projections supported by it, should also be supported by gdal-async.


    This binding was originally the product of a collaboration between Natural Atlas and Mapbox. Its contributors are Brandon Reavis, Brian Reavis, Dane Springmeyer, Zac McCormick, and others.

    node-gdal-next is maintained by @contra.

    The async bindings, the curve geometries, the TypeScript support, the built-in networking and the multidimensional raster model are by @mmomtchev who is the current maintainer.

    Before submitting pull requests, please update the tests and make sure they all pass.

    $ npm test # test against bundled gdal
    $ npm run test:shared # test against most major versions
    # test against shared gdal on given Linux version and Node.js version
    $ npm run container dev {ubuntu|centos|fedora|debian|archlinux|amazon}:{version} 12|14|16|17|lts shared


    Copyright © 2015–2017 Natural Atlas, Inc. & Contributors

    Copyright © 2020-2021 Momtchil Momtchev, @mmomtchev & Contributors

    Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at:

    Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

    Unit-tested platforms with pre-built binaries

    Release binaries with pre-built bundled GDAL are tested against the full matrix of:

    • Node.js versions: 12.x, 14.x, 16.x, 17.x
    • OS: Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.10, CentOS 8, Fedora 33, Fedora 34, Debian 10 buster, Debian 11 bullseye, Arch Linux current, Amazon Linux, Windows Server 2019, macOS Catalina 10.15

    On Ubuntu 16.04, Amazon Linux, Windows and macOS only the bundled GDAL version is officially supported. On all other platforms both the bundled and the system-installed versions are supported.

    On ArchLinux rebuilding from source is mandatory since it uses a non-standard binary ABI.

    Development versions are unit tested for the following targets:

    Node OS GDAL
    Node.js 14.x CentOS 8 system-installed GDAL 3.0.4
    Node.js 14.x CentOS 8 bundled GDAL
    Node.js 14.x Debian 10 buster system-installed GDAL 2.1.2 (earliest unit-tested GDAL)
    Node.js 14.x Debian 11 bullseye system-installed GDAL 3.2.2
    Node.js 14.x Debian 11 bullseye bundled GDAL
    Node.js 14.x Fedora 33 system-installed GDAL 3.1.4
    Node.js 14.x Fedora 34 system-installed GDAL 3.2.2
    Node.js 14.x Fedora 34 bundled GDAL
    Node.js 16.x Arch Linux current system installed GDAL 3.2.3
    Node.js 16.x Arch Linux current bundled GDAL (requires rebuilding as Arch Linux has a non-standard ABI)
    Node.js 14.x Ubuntu 16.04 bundled GDAL (glibc target platform)
    Node.js 14.x Ubuntu 18.04 system-installed GDAL 2.2.3
    Node.js 14.x Ubuntu 18.04 bundled GDAL
    Node.js 12.x Ubuntu 20.04 system-installed GDAL 3.0.4
    Node.js 14.x Ubuntu 20.04 system-installed GDAL 3.0.4
    Node.js 16.x Ubuntu 20.04 system-installed GDAL 3.0.4
    Node.js 17.x Ubuntu 20.04 system-installed GDAL 3.0.4
    Node.js 12.x Ubuntu 20.04 bundled GDAL
    Node.js 14.x Ubuntu 20.04 bundled GDAL (code coverage platform)
    Node.js 16.x Ubuntu 20.04 bundled GDAL
    Node.js 17.x Ubuntu 20.04 bundled GDAL
    Node.js 14.x Amazon Linux bundled GDAL
    Node.js 12.x Windows Server 2019 bundled GDAL
    Node.js 14.x Windows Server 2019 bundled GDAL
    Node.js 16.x Windows Server 2019 bundled GDAL
    Node.js 17.x Windows Server 2019 bundled GDAL
    Node.js 12.x macOS Catalina 10.15 bundled GDAL
    Node.js 14.x macOS Catalina 10.15 bundled GDAL
    Node.js 16.x macOS Catalina 10.15 bundled GDAL
    Node.js 17.x macOS Catalina 10.15 bundled GDAL


    npm i gdal-async

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