PCRaster is a software suite for the creation and execution of spatiotemporal simulation models. It is mainly used in the environmental sciences (e.g. geography, hydrology). The software has its own binary (raster) format that is used for storing 2-D geographical data.
The format has no default file extension, although both '.map' and '.csf' are commonly used. The PCRaster software uses part of the file name for designating time step numbers in time series of maps, with the effect that the extension is often a (variable) number (e.g. '.001', '.999').
The format was originally named CSF (or Cross System Format), which may lead to confusion between this format and a number of unrelated formats that also use a '.csf' extension. However PCRaster maps contain a unique file signature ('RUU CROSS SYSTEM MAP FORMAT') that allows them to be identified reliably.
- PCRaster home (PCRaster software - released under GPLv3 as of version 4).
- GDAL - Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (supports PCRaster Map format).
- The gdalinfo tool can be used to extract technical information.
- ArcGIS (supports PCRaster Map format).
- QGIS (an open-source GIS) can read PCRaster maps as well.