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g.bands - Prints available band reference information used for multispectral data.


general, imagery, band reference, image collections


g.bands --help
g.bands [-e] [pattern=string] [operation=string] [--help] [--verbose] [--quiet] [--ui]


Print extended metadata information
Print usage summary
Verbose module output
Quiet module output
Force launching GUI dialog


Band reference search pattern (examples: L, S2, .*_2, S2_1)
Operation to be performed
Options: print
Default: print

Table of contents


g.bands prints available band references information of multispectral data defined by GRASS GIS. The following multispectral sensors are supported by default (other band reference registry files can be added, see below):

Generic multispectral system:





Band references to be printed can be filtered by a search pattern (or fully defined band reference identifier) which can be specified by pattern option. For pattern syntax see Python regular expression operations documentation. By default, g.bands prints all available band references.

Extended metadata (central wavelength, spatial resolution, etc.) is printed only when the -e flag is given.


Specific band reference can be assigned to a raster map by module.

Band reference concept is supported by temporal GRASS modules, see t.register, t.rast.list, and t.rast.mapcalc modules for examples.

Image collections

Image collections are the common data type to reference time series of multi band data. It is used in many frameworks (see Google Earth Engine API for example) to address multi spectral satellite images series. GRASS supports a multi-band raster layer approach basically with the imagery group concept ( A new band reference concept is designed in order to support image collections in GRASS GIS.

Band reference registry files

Band reference information is stored in JSON files with a pre-defined internal data structure. A minimalistic example is shown below.
    "Sentinel2": {
        "description": "The Sentinel-2 A/B bands",
        "shortcut": "S2",
        "instruments": "MultiSpectral Instrument (MSI) optical and infrared",
        "launched": "23 June 2015 (A); 07 March 2017 (B)",
        "source": "",
        "bands": {
            "1": {
                "Sentinel 2A" : {
                    "central wavelength (nm)": 443.9,
                    "bandwidth (nm)": 27
                "Sentinel 2B" : {
                    "central wavelength (nm)": 442.3,
                    "bandwidth (nm)": 45
                "spatial resolution (meters)": 60,
                "tag": "Visible (Coastal/Aerosol)"
            "2": {
                "Sentinel 2A" : {
                    "central wavelength (nm)": 496.6,
                    "bandwidth (nm)": 98
                "Sentinel 2B" : {
                    "central wavelength (nm)": 492.1,
                    "bandwidth (nm)": 98
                "spatial resolution (meters)": 10,
                "tag": "Visible (Blue)"
Each series starts with an unique identifier ("Sentinel2" in example above). Required attributes are only two: a shortcut and bands. Note that a shortcut must be unique in all band reference registry files. Number of other attributes is not defined or even limited (in example above only description and instruments attributes are defined). List of bands is defined by a bands attribute. Each band is defined by an identifier ("1", "2" in example above). List of attributes describing each band is not pre-defined or limited. In example above each band is described by a central wavelength (nm), bandwidth (nm), and a tag.

Band reference identifier defined by pattern option is given by a shortcut in order to print band reference information for whole series or by specific shortcut_band identifier.

System-defined registry files are located in GRASS GIS installation directory ($GISBASE/etc/g.bands). Note that currently g.bands allows to manage only system-defined registry files. Support for user-defined registry files is planned to be implemented, see KNOWN ISSUES section for details.


Print all available band references


S2_1 Visible (Coastal/Aerosol)
S2_2 Visible (Blue)
L7_1 Visible (Blue)
L7_2 Visible (Green)
L8_1 Visible (Coastal/Aerosol)
L8_2 Visible (Blue)
The module prints band reference and related tag if defined.

Filter band references by a shortcut

Only band identifiers related to Sentinel-2 satellite will be printed.
g.bands pattern=S2

S2_1 Visible (Coastal/Aerosol)
S2_12 SWIR 2

Filter band references by a regular expression

Print all available 2nd bands:
g.bands pattern=.*_2

S2_2 Visible (Blue)
L7_2 Visible (Green)
L8_2 Visible (Blue)

Print extended metadata for specified band identifier

Extended metadata related to the first band of Sentinel-2 satellite will be printed.
g.bands -e pattern=S2_1

description: The Sentinel-2 A/B bands
shortcut: S2
instruments: MultiSpectral Instrument (MSI) optical and infrared
launched: 23 June 2015 (A); 07 March 2017 (B)
    band: 1
        Sentinel 2A:
                central wavelength (nm): 443.9
                bandwidth (nm): 27
        Sentinel 2B:
                central wavelength (nm): 442.3
                bandwidth (nm): 45
        spatial resolution (meters): 60
        tag: Visible (Coastal/Aerosol)


g.bands has currently very limited functionality. Only system-defined band references are supported. The final implementation will support managing (add, modify, delete) user-defined band references.

Only very limited number of band references is currently defined, namely Sentinel-2, Landsat7, and Landsat8 satellites. This will be improved in the near future.




Martin Landa
Development sponsored by mundialis GmbH & Co. KG (for the openEO EU H2020 grant 776242)


Available at: g.bands source code (history)

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