Output Format

Data organization

The data are organized in a gridded data structure, i.e. data cubes. The tiles manifest as directories in the file system, and the images are stored within.

See also

Check out this tutorial, which explains what a datacube is, how it is parameterized, how you can find a POI, how to visualize the tiling grid, and how to conveniently display cubed data.

Data Cube definition

The spatial data cube definition is appended to each data cube, i.e. to each directory containing tiled datasets, see Data Cube definition.

Naming convention

The names of the output files (sample, response and coordinates) can be defined in the parameter-file.

File format

The images are provided with signed 16bit datatype and band sequential (BSQ) interleaving in one of the following formats:

  • GeoTiff

    This is the recommended output option. Images are compressed GeoTiff images using LZW compression with horizontal differencing. The images are generated with internal blocks for partial image access. These blocks are strips that are as wide as the TILE_SIZE and as high as the BLOCK_SIZE.

  • ENVI Standard format

    This produces flat binary images without any compression. This option might seem tempting as there is no overhead in cracking the compression when reading these data. However, the transfer of the larger data volume from disc to CPU often takes longer than cracking the compression. Therefore, we recommend to use the GeoTiff option.


Metadata are written to all output products. For ENVI format, the metadata are written to the ENVI header (.hdr extension). For GeoTiff format, the metadata are written into the GeoTiff file. If the metadata is larger than allowed by the GeoTiff driver, the excess metadata will be written to an “auxiliary metadata” file with .aux.xml extension. FORCE-specific metadata will be written to the FORCE domain, and thus are probably not visible unless the FORCE domain (or all domains) are specifically printed:

gdalinfo -mdd all 20160823_LEVEL2_SEN2A_BOA.tif

Product type

  • File with sampled features

  • File with the response variable corresponding to the sampled features

  • File with the coordinates corresponding to the sampled features