16.40. mapproject

The tool mapproject is used to orthorectify (map-project) a camera image onto a DEM or datum. ASP is able to use map-projected images to run stereo, see Section 6.1.7.

The mapproject program can be run using multiple processes and can be distributed over multiple machines (options --nodes-list and --processes).

This is particularly useful for ISIS cameras, as in that case any single process must use only one thread due to the limitations of ISIS. The tool splits the image up into tiles, distributes the tiles to sub-processes, and then merges the tiles into the requested output image. If the input image is small but takes a while to process, smaller tiles can be used to start more simultaneous processes (use the parameters --tile-size and --processes).

It is important to note that processing more tiles at a time may actually slow things down, if all processes write to the same disk and if processing each tile is dominated by the speed of writing to disk. Hence some benchmarking may be necessary for your camera type and storage setup.

The grid size, that is the dimension of pixels on the ground, set via the --tr option, should be in units as expected by the projection string obtained either from the DEM to project onto, or, if specified, from the --t_srs option. If the grid size is not set, it will be estimated as the mean ground sampling distance (GSD). See the --tr option for how this affects the extent of the output image.

If the resulting mapprojected images are used for stereo, it is very strongly suggested to use the same grid size for all images (Section

16.40.1. Examples

Mapproject assuming the longlat projection and setting the grid size in degrees:

mapproject --tr 0.0001 DEM.tif image.tif camera.tsai output.tif

Map-project a .cub file (it has both image and camera information) for the Moon. Use a custom stereographic projection:

proj="+proj=stere +lat_0=-85.3643 +lon_0=31.2387 +R=1737400 +units=m +no_defs"

The grid size is set to 1 meter/pixel:

mapproject --tr 1.0 --t_srs "$proj" DEM.tif image.cub output.tif

Map-project an image file with associated .xml camera file. Use bundle-adjusted cameras (Section 16.5):

mapproject -t rpc --bundle-adjust-prefix ba/run \
  DEM.tif image.tif image.xml output.tif

See Section 8.19 for other ways of specifying the camera model.

Mapproject using the CSM camera model (Section 8.12):

mapproject DEM.tif image.cub camera.json output.tif

Mapproject onto a datum rather than a DEM:

mapproject WGS84 image.tif image.xml output.tif

Valid datum names include WGS84, NAD83, NAD27, D_MOON, D_MARS, and MOLA.

If processing DigitalGlobe images, both the rigorous DG model (-t dg) and its RPC approximation (-t rpc) from the XML metadata file can be used for map projection. In practice, the latter is recommended for most applications. The former is slightly more accurate, but much slower.

If desired to change the range of longitudes from [0, 360] to [-180, 180], or vice-versa, post-process obtained mapprojected image with image_calc (Section 16.33).

16.40.2. Saved metadata

The output image will have the following metadata saved to its geoheader:

  • INPUT_IMAGE_FILE, the input image name.

  • BUNDLE_ADJUST_PREFIX, the bundle adjustment prefix. Set to NONE if not present.

  • CAMERA_MODEL_TYPE, this is the session name, such as set with -t rpc.

  • CAMERA_FILE, the camera file used on input. Can be empty if the camera is contained within the input image.

  • DEM_FILE, the DEM used in mapprojection.

These metadata values are used to undo the mapprojection in stereo triangulation (Section The geoheader can be inspected with gdalinfo (Section 16.24).

In addition, if the cameras have been bundle-adjusted, the translation and quaternion rotation from the .adjust file will be saved to the fields ADJUSTMENT_TRANSLATION and ADJUSTMENT_QUATERNION. This is useful for having mapprojection be reproducible if the separately stored .adjust files are not available.

These fields are editable with image_calc (Section, but this is not recommended except for very experimental work.

16.40.3. Usage

mapproject [options] <dem> <camera-image> <camera-model> <output-image>

16.40.4. Command-line options

--nodata-value <float(default: -32768)>

No-data value to use unless specified in the input image.

--t_srs <string (default: “”)>

Specify the output projection as a GDAL projection string (WKT, GeoJSON, or PROJ.4). If not provided, use the one from the DEM.

--tr <float>

Set the output file resolution (ground sample distance) in target georeferenced units per pixel. This may be in degrees or meters, depending on your projection. The center of each output pixel will be at integer multiples of this grid size (hence the output image will extend for an additional half a pixel at each edge).

--mpp <float>

Set the output file resolution in meters per pixel.

--ppd <float>

Set the output file resolution in pixels per degree.

--datum-offset <float>

When projecting to a datum instead of a DEM, add this elevation offset to the datum.

-t, --session-type <pinhole|isis|rpc>

Select the stereo session type to use for processing. Choose rpc if it is desired to later do stereo with the dg session.

--t_projwin <xmin ymin xmax ymax>

Limit the map-projected image to this region, with the corners given in georeferenced coordinates (xmin ymin xmax ymax). Max is exclusive.

--t_pixelwin <xmin ymin xmax ymax>

Limit the map-projected image to this region, with the corners given in pixels (xmin ymin xmax ymax). Max is exclusive.

--bundle-adjust-prefix <name>

Use the camera adjustment obtained by previously running bundle_adjust with this output prefix.

--ot <type (default: Float32)>

Output data type, when the input is single channel. Supported types: Byte, UInt16, Int16, UInt32, Int32, Float32. If the output type is a kind of integer, values are rounded and then clamped to the limits of that type. This option will be ignored for multi-channel images, when the output type is set to be the same as the input type.


Use nearest neighbor interpolation instead of bicubic interpolation.

--mo <string>

Write metadata to the output file. Provide as a string in quotes if more than one item, separated by a space, such as VAR1=VALUE1 VAR2=VALUE2. Neither the variable names nor the values should contain spaces.

--processes <integer>

Number of processes to use on each node (the default is for the program to choose).

--num-processes <integer>

Same as –processes. Used for backwards compatibility.


List of available computing nodes to use. If not set, use the local machine. See also Section 8.16.


Size of square tiles to break up processing into. Each tile is run by an individual process. The default is 1024 pixels for ISIS cameras, as then each process is single-threaded, and 5120 pixels for other cameras, as such a process is multi-threaded, and disk I/O becomes a bigger consideration.


Display the computed projection information and estimated ground sample distance (pixel size on the ground), and quit.

--parallel-options <string (default: “–sshdelay 0.2”)>

Options to pass directly to GNU Parallel.


Do not write information in the geoheader. Otherwise mapproject will write the camera model type, the bundle adjustment prefix used, the rotation and translation from the .adjust file, the DEM it mapprojected onto, and the value of the --mo option.


Suppress output from sub-processes.

--threads <integer (default: 0)>

Select the number of threads to use for each process. If 0, use the value in ~/.vwrc.

--cache-size-mb <integer (default = 1024)>

Set the system cache size, in MB, for each process.


Use the CSM model with ASTER cameras (-t aster).


Tell GDAL to not create bigtiffs.

--tif-compress <None|LZW|Deflate|Packbits>

TIFF compression method.

-v, --version

Display the version of software.

-h, --help

Display the help message.