Add an ENVI header to JAXA Global Mangrove Watch PALSAR tiles

This is an update to a script I wrote a while ago for working with PALSAR tiles from JAXA’s Global Mangrove Watch.

Untar files
Using GNU parallel [1] you can untar a directory of files at once:

ls *tar.gz | parallel -j 2 tar -xf 

Which will untar two files at a time (depending on how fast your disk is you may wish to set more running at once).

Add ENVI format header
Adding an ENVI header to each of the files (using information from the JAXA header file) allows the files to be easily read using GDAL. Following a similar method outlined in previous posts the script to add ENVI headers can be downloaded from

It is run using:

python KC_*

This will add a header for all files in each directory matching ‘KC*’

Create mosaic using RSGISLib

Using the ‘’ utilities from RSGISLib, a mosaic can be created for each dataset using: -i . -s '*HH' -o palsar_hh.kea -ot UInt16 -i . -s '*HV' -o palsar_hv.kea -ot UInt16 -i . -s '*_linci' -o palsar_linci.kea -ot Byte -i . -s '*_mask' -o palsar_mask.kea -ot Byte -i . -s '*_date' -o palsar_date.kea -ot UInt16

A similar procedure should work for other datasets by modifying the Python script used to produce the ENVI header files.

[1] O. Tange (2011): GNU Parallel – The Command-Line Power Tool, ;login: The USENIX Magazine, February 2011:42-47.


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