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GDAL (Geospatial Data Abstraction Library) is a GIS translator library for accessing and transforming geospatial data. Most commonly it is used in file format or coordinate system changes.


GDAL is available with following versions:

  • 3.8.3 - in the newest QGIS in Puhti and LUMI
  • 3.6.2 - in the newest geoconda in Puhti
  • 3.4.3 stand-alone: gdal in Puhti
  • Also in Puhti: r-env and OrfeoToolBox


The stand-alone GDAL and R module don't have Python bindings installed so e.g gdal_calc works only in the geoconda and qgis modules. Also, the supported file formats vary between the modules. For example, the PostGIS driver is not available in stand-alone GDAL and r-env, but is included in the geoconda and qgis modules. Standalone GDAL also does not support virtual drivers to work with data from HTTPS or S3-links. To standalone and r-env GDAL installations it is possible to add more drivers, please ask. geoconda and qgis GDAL installation are impossible to change regarding drivers support.


Using GDAL

GDAL is included in the modules listed above, so it can be used when any of these modules is loaded.

If you need to use a stand-alone version of GDAL or plan to build software on top of GDAL, you can load GDAL with

module load gdal

By default the latest gdal module is loaded. If you want a specific version you can specify the version number

module load gdal/<VERSION>

You can test if GDAL loaded successfully with following

gdalinfo --version

With r-env gdal commands can be used as:

apptainer_wrapper exec gdalinfo --version

Using files directly from object storage services or cloud, inc Allas

GDAL supports virtual network based file systems for reading and sometimes writing from several cloud storage systems, inc CSC Allas, Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, Microsoft Azure etc. Please check CSC's Using geospatial files directly from cloud, inc Allas tutorial for instructions and examples.

Virtual rasters

With large quantities of raster data (also in Allas), the most convenient method of accessing them might be GDAL virtual rasters.


GDAL is licensed under an MIT/X style license


GDAL/OGR contributors (2022). GDAL/OGR Geospatial Data Abstraction software Library. Open Source Geospatial Foundation. URL, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.5884351


Please acknowledge CSC and Geoportti in your publications, it is important for project continuation and funding reports. As an example, you can write "The authors wish to thank CSC - IT Center for Science, Finland (urn:nbn:fi:research-infras-2016072531) and the Open Geospatial Information Infrastructure for Research (Geoportti, urn:nbn:fi:research-infras-2016072513) for computational resources and support".


Standalone GDAL was installed to Puhti using Spack and its GDAL package definition. For other installations, see respective application page.


Last update: March 18, 2024