Map Algebra

Given a set of raster layers, it may be desirable to combine and filter the content of those layers. This is the function of map algebra. Two classes of map algebra operations are provided by GeoPySpark: local and focal operations. Local operations individually consider the pixels or cells of one or more rasters, applying a function to the corresponding cell values. For example, adding two rasters’ pixel values to form a new layer is a local operation.

Focal operations consider a region around each pixel of an input raster and apply an operation to each region. The result of that operation is stored in the corresponding pixel of the output raster. For example, one might weight a 5x5 region centered at a pixel according to a 2d Gaussian to effect a blurring of the input raster. One might consider this roughly equivalent to a 2d convolution operation.

Note: Map algebra operations work only on TiledRasterLayers, and if a local operation requires multiple inputs, those inputs must have the same layout and projection.

Before begining, all examples in this guide need the following boilerplate code:

import geopyspark as gps
import numpy as np

from pyspark import SparkContext
from shapely.geometry import Point, MultiPolygon, LineString, box

conf = gps.geopyspark_conf(master="local[*]", appName="map-algebra")
pysc = SparkContext(conf=conf)

# Setting up the data

cells = np.array([[[3, 4, 1, 1, 1],
                   [7, 4, 0, 1, 0],
                   [3, 3, 7, 7, 1],
                   [0, 7, 2, 0, 0],
                   [6, 6, 6, 5, 5]]], dtype='int32')

extent = gps.ProjectedExtent(extent = gps.Extent(0, 0, 5, 5), epsg=4326)

layer = [(extent, gps.Tile.from_numpy_array(numpy_array=cells))]

rdd = pysc.parallelize(layer)
raster_layer = gps.RasterLayer.from_numpy_rdd(gps.LayerType.SPATIAL, rdd)
tiled_layer = raster_layer.tile_to_layout(layout=gps.LocalLayout(tile_size=5))

Local Operations

Local operations on TiledRasterLayers can use ints, floats, or other TiledRasterLayers. +, -, *, /, **, and abs are all of the local operations that currently supported.

(tiled_layer + 1)

(2 - (tiled_layer * 3))

((tiled_layer + tiled_layer) / (tiled_layer + 1))


2 ** tiled_layer

A Pyramid can also be used in local operations. The types that can be used in local operations with Pyramids are: ints, floats, TiledRasterLayers, and other Pyramids.

Note: Like with TiledRasterLayer, performing calculations on multiple Pyramids or TiledRasterLayers means they must all have the same layout and projection.

# Creating out Pyramid
pyramid = tiled_layer.pyramid()

pyramid + 1

(pyramid - tiled_layer) * 2

Focal Operations

Focal operations are performed in GeoPySpark by executing a given operation on a neighborhood throughout each tile in the layer. One can select a neighborhood to use from the Neighborhood enum class. Likewise, an operation can be choosen from the enum class, Operation.

# This creates an instance of Square with an extent of 1. This means that
# each operation will be performed on a 3x3
# neighborhood.

A square neighborhood with an extent of 1.
o = source cell
x = cells that fall within the neighbhorhood

x x x
x o x
x x x

square = gps.Square(extent=1)


tiled_layer.focal(operation=gps.Operation.MEAN, neighborhood=square)


tiled_layer.focal(operation=gps.Operation.MEDIAN, neighborhood=square)


tiled_layer.focal(operation=gps.Operation.MODE, neighborhood=square)


tiled_layer.focal(operation=gps.Operation.SUM, neighborhood=square)

Standard Deviation

tiled_layer.focal(operation=gps.Operation.STANDARD_DEVIATION, neighborhood=square)


tiled_layer.focal(operation=gps.Operation.MIN, neighborhood=square)


tiled_layer.focal(operation=gps.Operation.MAX, neighborhood=square)


tiled_layer.focal(operation=gps.Operation.SLOPE, neighborhood=square)


tiled_layer.focal(operation=gps.Operation.ASPECT, neighborhood=square)

Miscellaneous Raster Operations

There are other means to extract information from rasters and to create rasters that need to be presented. These are polygonal summaries, cost distance, and rasterization.

Polygonal Summary Methods

In addition to local and focal operations, polygonal summaries can also be performed on TiledRasterLayers. These are operations that are executed in the areas that intersect a given geometry and the layer.

Note: It is important the given geometry is in the same projection as the layer. If they are not, then either incorrect and/or only partial results will be returned.


Polygonal Min

poly_min = box(0.0, 0.0, 1.0, 1.0)
tiled_layer.polygonal_min(geometry=poly_min, data_type=int)

Polygonal Max

poly_max = box(1.0, 0.0, 2.0, 2.5)
tiled_layer.polygonal_min(geometry=poly_max, data_type=int)

Polygonal Sum

poly_sum = box(0.0, 0.0, 1.0, 1.0)
tiled_layer.polygonal_min(geometry=poly_sum, data_type=int)

Polygonal Mean

poly_max = box(1.0, 0.0, 2.0, 2.0)
tiled_layer.polygonal_min(geometry=poly_max, data_type=int)

Cost Distance

cost_distance() is an iterative method for approximating the weighted distance from a raster cell to a given geometry. The cost_distance function takes in a geometry and a “friction layer” which essentially describes how difficult it is to traverse each raster cell. Cells that fall within the geometry have a final cost of zero, while friction cells that contain noData values will correspond to noData values in the final result. All other cells have a value that describes the minimum cost of traversing from that cell to the geometry. If the friction layer is uniform, this function approximates the Euclidean distance, modulo some scalar value.

cost_distance_cells = np.array([[[1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 1.0],
                                 [1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 1.0],
                                 [1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 1.0],
                                 [1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 1.0],
                                 [1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 0.0]]])

tile = gps.Tile.from_numpy_array(numpy_array=cost_distance_cells, no_data_value=-1.0)
cost_distance_extent = gps.ProjectedExtent(extent=gps.Extent(xmin=0.0, ymin=0.0, xmax=5.0, ymax=5.0), epsg=4326)
cost_distance_layer = [(cost_distance_extent, tile)]

cost_distance_rdd = pysc.parallelize(cost_distance_layer)
cost_distance_raster_layer = gps.RasterLayer.from_numpy_rdd(gps.LayerType.SPATIAL, cost_distance_rdd)
cost_distance_tiled_layer = cost_distance_raster_layer.tile_to_layout(layout=gps.LocalLayout(tile_size=5))

gps.cost_distance(friction_layer=cost_distance_tiled_layer, geometries=[Point(0.0, 5.0)], max_distance=144000.0)


It may be desirable to convert vector data into a raster layer. For this, we provide the rasterize() function, which determines the set of pixel values covered by each vector element, and assigns a supplied value to that set of pixels in a target raster. If, for example, one had a set of polygons representing counties in the US, and a value for, say, the median income within each county, a raster could be made representing these data.

GeoPySpark’s rasterize function can take a [shapely.geometry], (shapely.geometry), or a PythonRDD[shapely.geometry]. These geometries will be converted to rasters, then tiled to a given layout, and then be returned as a TiledRasterLayer which contains these tiled values.

Rasterize MultiPolygons

raster_poly_1 = box(0.0, 0.0, 5.0, 10.0)
raster_poly_2 = box(3.0, 6.0, 15.0, 20.0)
raster_poly_3 = box(13.5, 17.0, 30.0, 20.0)

raster_multi_poly = MultiPolygon([raster_poly_1, raster_poly_2, raster_poly_3])
# Creates a TiledRasterLayer with a CRS of EPSG:4326 at zoom level 5.
gps.rasterize(geoms=[raster_multi_poly], crs=4326, zoom=5, fill_value=1)

Rasterize a PythonRDD of Polygons

poly_rdd = pysc.parallelize([raster_poly_1, raster_poly_2, raster_poly_3])

# Creates a TiledRasterLayer with a CRS of EPSG:3857 at zoom level 5.
gps.rasterize(geoms=poly_rdd, crs=3857, zoom=3, fill_value=10)

Rasterize LineStrings

line_1 = LineString(((0.0, 0.0), (0.0, 5.0)))
line_2 = LineString(((7.0, 5.0), (9.0, 12.0), (12.5, 15.0)))
line_3 = LineString(((12.0, 13.0), (14.5, 20.0)))
# Creates a TiledRasterLayer whose cells have a data type of int16.
gps.rasterize(geoms=[line_1, line_2, line_3], crs=4326, zoom=3, fill_value=2, cell_type=gps.CellType.INT16)

Rasterize Polygons and LineStrings

# Creates a TiledRasterLayer from both LineStrings and MultiPolygons
gps.rasterize(geoms=[line_1, line_2, line_3, raster_multi_poly], crs=4326, zoom=5, fill_value=2)