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  • Chapter 6: Tips and tricks in configuring Delft-FIAT
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One of the major tasks in flood impact modelling is the acquisition and processing of object data in order to calculate damages, affected units or casualties.


Delft-FIAT does not come with an extensive GIS-package to manage this data processing, as each modeller will have its own comfortable choice in GIS-software. Delft-FIAT ships however with some help, providing highly efficient GDAL commands and non-tested python scripts for the most common conversions from vector to rasters, mainly useful for large areas.


The most common vector-to-raster conversions are point-to-raster, line-to-raster and polygon-to-raster conversions. Further, some raster optimization procedures are provided.

6.1       Point-to-raster


With a proper GDAL installation in a command line window (see the following command is of use when just simply burning values in a grid (the values after a command argument preceded with a – can be adjusted) based on the locations of the points:


gdal_rasterize –burn 25 –init 0 –a_srs EPSG:28992 –te 0 300000 280000 625000 –tr 5 5 –ot Byte input.shp output.tif


Instead of using the –burn argument, one can use the –a argument to use a attribute column in the shapefile for burning the values.


With this command, one can easily fullfill the most basic requirements of Delft-FIAT to its geographical input data:

- identical coordinate reference system with -a_srs[1];

- an identical extent and origin with –te;

- an identical cell size with –tr.


The full range of possibilities can be found here:


For a little more possibilities, one may use the osgeo library in python. As such, a modeller gets full control on the properties of the in- and output; e.g. think of use of multiple attributes from one shape to a set of tiffs, use of formulas in value calculation, as well as adding values when two points are in the same gridcell. A specific example is provided on the wiki as: <>

6.2       Line-to-raster


In order to calculate the exact length of a line segment per grid cell in a very effective way (e.g. for infrastructure), a python script is available on the wiki as: <>



6.3       Polygon-to-raster


Polygon conversions to raster are most complex and can be very time-consuming pre-processing task, certainly when areas are large and expected precision is high. For example, the exact calculation of area of a polygon shapefile in a high resolution grid is not optimized yet.


One way to circumvent this, but without precise solution is to execute a gdal_rasterize command on a higher raster resolution (e.g. 5m) than needed, and subsequently aggregate the values to lower resolutions (make use of <> available from the wiki), or just use gdal_rasterize on resolution you want.

6.4       General comments


Four other standard GDAL commands have proven to be very useful in pre-processing.

6.4.1       gdal_translate to compress large tiffs significantly


gdal_translate -a_srs EPSG:28992 -a_nodata 0 -co "COMPRESS=LZW" input.tif output.tif

6.4.2       gdalwarp to adjust origin and extent and to compress large tiffs significantly


gdalwarp -t_srs EPSG:28992 -te 0 300000 300000 625000 -tr 5 5 -co "COMPRESS=LZW" input.tif output.tif

6.4.3       gdal_translate and gdaladdo to optimize viewing performance of large geotiffs


gdal_translate -of GTiff -co "TILED=YES" input.tif output.tif

gdaladdo -r average output.tif 2 4 8 16 32 64 128 256

6.4.4       ogr2ogr to reproject one shapefile to the other


ogr2ogr -t_srs some_shapefile.prj output_vector.shp input_vector.shp

[1] Note the options using a .prj file for setting your coordinate system and projection

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