The GDAL reader reads GDAL readable raster data sources as point clouds.

Each pixel is given an X and Y coordinate (and corresponding PDAL dimensions) that are center pixel, and each band is represented by “band-1”, “band-2”, or “band-n”. Using the ‘header’ option allows naming the band data to standard PDAL dimensions.

Default Embedded Stage

This stage is enabled by default

Basic Example

Simply writing every pixel of a JPEG to a text file is not very useful.


LAS Example

The following example assigns the bands from a JPG to the RGB values of an ASPRS LAS file using writers.las.

        "header": "Red, Green, Blue"


readers.gdal is quite sensitive to GDAL’s cache settings. See the GDAL_CACHEMAX value at for more information.



GDALOpen ‘able raster file to read [Required]


Maximum number of points to read. [Default: unlimited]


Spatial reference to apply to the data. Overrides any SRS in the input itself. Can be specified as a WKT, proj.4 or EPSG string. Can’t use with ‘default_srs’. [Default: none]


Spatial reference to apply to the data if the input does not specify one. Can be specified as a WKT, proj.4 or EPSG string. Can’t use with ‘override_srs’. [Default: none]


A comma-separated list of dimension IDs to map bands to. The length of the list must match the number of bands in the raster.


Use the GDAL MEM driver to copy the entire raster into memory before converting to points. This is useful if the raster driver has a lot of per-block overhead or you are willing to trade memory for performance.


A list of key/value options to pass directly to the GDAL driver. The format is name=value,name=value,… The option may be specified any number of times.