[GRASS-user] Raster Hole/NODATA filling programs

Hamish hamish_b at yahoo.com
Wed May 14 23:14:34 EDT 2008

> > The r.fillnulls *appears* to scan the entire boundary
> > of a nodata area to build a point list of boundary
> > values used for spline based interpolation.

yes, it is good for filling small holes.

> > I'm concerned this would not work well for situations like contour  
> > data with large nodata areas or for situations where relatively
> > sparse data has been applied to a raster and we need to interpolate
> > from that (so essentially most of the image might be one connected 
> > nodata area!).

probably not. In the case of contour lines have a look at the r.surf.contour module, it seems to do a nice job there. In the case of sparse data starting points, v.surf.rst will do a nice job. The method to use depends heavily on the input data, I'm not sure if you will find a one size fits all solution..

> Yeah, r.fillnulls has problems with large holes.  I used it
> on the SRTM data, and large holes get block anomalies, probably
> because of the SEGMAX (for v.surf.rst) used by r.fillnulls.
> I played with that a bit in a customized r.fillnulls, but the bigger
> the SEGMAX the longer the processing, and it only helped a little.
> I didn't pursue any further improvements to fillnulls, though I
> did experiment with filling at a coarser resolution, converting
> to points and using v.surf.rst with those as an enhancement to a
> similar process to r.fillnulls (it gave the full resolution
> v.surf.rst a little more interior meat to work from).

Right. v.surf.rst has problems when the density of the data points changes suddenly. (such as a dense ring of points with a huge gap in the middle)
If you have randomly spaced starting points of a constant density, v.surf.rst (tps) is a hard thing beat.
see http://grass.osgeo.org/wiki/RST_Spline_Surfaces#Troubleshooting

I recently updated the v.random.cover module in the wiki addons for that task William, ie create a idealized surface from just the loose density points using v.surf.rst + use v.hull (or if using r.surf.nnbathy it does the hull cropping automatically), then use v.random.cover to create n random points and take the elevation from the newly interpolated helper map. Patch the supplimental pseudo-points into your original dataset and then run v.surf.rst without the problems cause by the starting points density change.

It would be interesting to explore radial basis functions like r^2log(r) or r^4log(r) with continous derivates to get away from the poorly patched segment problems. But maybe that doesn't scale well past 10k start points?
or maybe that is the same as segmax=n starting points?

other modules which may be of interest, 

* r.surf.contour: sounds like what you are looking, but be careful that it needs an update for floating point output and not to treat 0 as no-data. 
To work around this in the past I have multiplied the elevation map by 100000 before starting, then reclassifyling 0 as 1. After processing I divide the resulting map by 100000. The search time can be long if the starting image includes big gaps, but the results are rather nice.

* see also r.surf.idw2. Be careful with these modules, they may be on the "waiting for FP update" queue as well; I'm not sure.

* r.surf.nnbathy from the wiki addons:
(nn= natural neighbor) It does a nice job and offers a few different methods. It is well worth the time spent to have a look at.
I'm not sure about its FP/int status.



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