An HDF5 Based Raster File Format

KEALib provides an implementation of the GDAL data model. The format supports raster attribute tables, image pyramids, meta-data and in-built statistics while also handling very large files and compression throughout.

Based on the HDF5 standard, it also provides a base from which other formats can be derived and is a good choice for long term data archiving. An independent software library (libkea) provides complete access to the KEA image format and a GDAL driver allowing KEA images to be used from any GDAL supported software.

Development work on this project has been funded by Landcare Research.



Once you have installed Conda, run the following commands on the command line to install kealib and GDAL:

conda config --add channels conda-forge
conda config --set channel_priority strict
conda create -n myenv gdal
conda activate myenv

Fedora and EPEL 8 (Centos etc) plugins for GDAL are available from Fedora COPR

Packages are also avaible for SUSE and Alpine Linux.


KEALib requires: HDF5 with the C++ libraries and headers. GDAL is required to build the GDAL driver. Download releases through Git at GitHub


C++ documentation is available here and documentation of the Python interface is documented here.

Some documentation on compilation is available in the KEALib wiki.

Documentation on the GDAL data model and API is available from the GDAL website.

There is also a paper describing the features of the format.