The KEA image file format

Peter Bunting*, Sam Gillingham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (SciVal)


There are a large number of image formats already in use within the remote sensing community but currently there is no format that provides the features of: compression, support for large file sizes, ground control points, raster attribute tables and inbuilt image pyramids. Therefore, a new image format, named KEA, after the New Zealand bird, has been proposed. The KEA format provides a full implementation of the GDAL data model and is implemented within a HDF5 file. A software library with a GDAL driver have been freely provided to the community allowing use through any GDAL based software. The new format has comparable performance with existing formats while producing smaller file sizes and is already within active use for a number of projects within Landcare Research, New Zealand, and the wider community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54–58
Number of pages5
JournalComputers and Geosciences
Early online date18 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • Image
  • Storage
  • Attribute tables
  • GOAL


Dive into the research topics of 'The KEA image file format'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this