Project a Raster object

Project the values of a Raster* object to a new Raster* object with another projection (coordinate reference system, (CRS)). You can do this by providing the new projection as a single argument in which case the function sets the extent and resolution of the new object. To have more control over the transformation, and, for example, to assure that the new object lines up with other datasets, you can provide a Raster* object with the properties that the input data should be projected to.

projectExtent returns a RasterLayer with a projected extent, but without any values. This RasterLayer can then be adjusted (e.g. by setting its resolution) and used as a template 'to' in projectRaster.

projectRaster(from, to, res, crs, method="bilinear", alignOnly=FALSE, over=FALSE, filename="", ...)
projectExtent(object, crs)
Raster* object
Raster* object with the parameters to which 'from' should be projected
single or (vector of) two numerics. To, optionally, set the output resolution if 'to' is missing
character or object of class 'CRS'. PROJ.4 description of the coordinate reference system. In projectRaster this is used to set the output CRS if 'to' is missing, or if 'to' has no valid CRS
method used to compute values for the new RasterLayer. Either 'ngb' (nearest neighbor), which is useful for categorical variables, or 'bilinear' (bilinear interpolation; the default value), which is appropriate for continuous variables.
logical. Use to or other parameters only to align the output (i.e. same origin and resolution), but use the projected extent from from
logical. If TRUE wrapping around the date-line is turned off. This can be desirable for global data (to avoid mapping the same areas twice) but it is not desireable in other cases
character. Output filename
additional arguments as for writeRaster
Raster* object

There are two approaches you can follow to project the values of a Raster object.

1) Provide a crs argument, and, optionally, a res argument, but do not provide a to argument.

2) Create a template Raster with the CRS you want to project to. You can use an existing object, or use projectExtent for this or an existing Raster* object. Also set the number of rows and columns (or the resolution), and perhaps adjust the extent. The resolution of the output raster should normally be similar to that of the input raster. Then use that object as from argument to project the input Raster to. This is the preferred method because you have most control. For example you can assure that the resulting Raster object lines up with other Raster objects.

Projection is performed using the PROJ.4 library accessed through the rgdal package.

One of the best places to find PROJ.4 coordinate reference system descriptions is

You can also consult this page: to find the parameter options and names for projections.

Also see projInfo('proj'), projInfo('ellps'), and projInfo('datum') for valid PROJ.4 values.


RasterLayer or RasterBrick object.


Vector (points, lines, polygons) can be transformed with spTransform.

projectExtent does not work very well when transforming projected circumpolar data to (e.g.) longitude/latitude. With such data you may need to adjust the returned object. E.g. do ymax(object) <- 90

See Also

resample, CRS-class, projInfo, spTransform

  • projectRaster
  • projectExtent
# create a new (not projected) RasterLayer with cellnumbers as values
r <- raster(xmn=-110, xmx=-90, ymn=40, ymx=60, ncols=40, nrows=40)
r <- setValues(r, 1:ncell(r))
# proj.4 projection description
newproj <- "+proj=lcc +lat_1=48 +lat_2=33 +lon_0=-100 +ellps=WGS84"

# we need the rgdal package for this
if (require(rgdal)) {

#simplest approach
pr1 <- projectRaster(r, crs=newproj)

# alternatively also set the resolution
pr2 <- projectRaster(r, crs=newproj, res=20000)

# inverse projection, back to the properties of 'r'
inv <- projectRaster(pr2, r)

# to have more control, provide an existing Raster object, here we create one
# using projectExtent (no values are transferred)
pr3 <- projectExtent(r, newproj)
# Adjust the cell size 
res(pr3) <- 200000
# now project
pr3 <- projectRaster(r, pr3)

## Not run: 
# # using a higher resolution
# res(pr1) <- 10000
# pr <- projectRaster(r, pr1, method='bilinear')
# inv <- projectRaster(pr, r, method='bilinear')
# dif <- r - inv
# # small difference
# plot(dif)
# ## End(Not run)

Documentation reproduced from package raster, version 2.5-8, License: GPL (>= 3)

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