[R-SIG-Mac] HDF4 Support for GDAL

Matt Strimas-Mackey me@335 @end|ng |rom corne||@edu
Wed Jun 24 18:20:54 CEST 2020

Thanks for the suggestion! Looked into it and gdalUtils uses system() calls to access gdalwarp at the command line, which is what previous versions of the MODIS package did and what the maintainers of that package are trying to avoid with the current version. I believe the thinking is that since sf includes self contained GDAL binaries it makes more sense to use that rather than have users install GDAL from source and get the MODIS package to connect to it, which is challenging for many users.


From: David Winsemius <dwinsemius using comcast.net>
Date: Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 12:11 PM
To: Matt Strimas-Mackey <mes335 using cornell.edu>, "r-sig-mac using r-project.org" <r-sig-mac using r-project.org>
Subject: Re: [R-SIG-Mac] HDF4 Support for GDAL

Have you attempted installing and using https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/gdalUtils/gdalUtils.pdf

I don't have any experience with it but it says it can extract sub_datasets from HDF4


On 6/24/20 7:00 AM, Matt Strimas-Mackey wrote:

Hi all,

The MODIS package uses gdalwarp to process MODIS data. Previously it called gdalwarp via system(), however, it recently switched to using the function sf::gdal_utils() to access gdalwarp, which is more portable and avoids users having to install GDAL on their system. The catch is that HDF4 support is required for processing MODIS data. The Windows sf binaries already come with HDF4 support for GDAL, however, the Mac OS binaries do not, which makes the MODIS package unusable on Mac unless sf is compiled from source, which is challenging. More context on this issue is available here: https://github.com/MatMatt/MODIS/issues/78

In the above GH issue, Tim Salabim suggested this listserv would be a good place to connect with someone that could get HDF4 support into the Mac OS binaries. Any suggestions for how to proceed would be appreciated!



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