Open Core

What is WhiteboxTools
Open Core?

WhiteboxTools is an advanced geospatial software package and a data analysis platform developed at the University of Guelph’s Geomorphometry and Hydrogeomatics Research Group (GHRG). The project began in January 2017 and quickly evolved in terms of its analytical capabilities. Some of WhiteboxTools features include:

  • Contains more than 450 tools for processing various types of geospatial data
  • Many tools operate in parallel, taking full advantage of your multi-core processor.
  • Written in the safe and cross-platform systems programming language Rust and compiled to highly efficient native code. No virtual machine or interpreter required is needed to run WhiteboxTools.
  • Small stand-alone application with no external dependencies, making installation as easy as downloading the small zip file and decompressing it.
  • Simple yet powerful Python scripting interface that allows users to develop custom scripted workflows
  • Embed WhiteboxTools functions into hetergeneous scripting environments along with ArcPy, GDAL, and other geoprocessing libraries.
  • Serves as an analytical back-end for other GIS, remote sensing, and geospatial software (e.g. the QGIS Whitebox for Processing plugin). See more on the many front-ends developed for WhiteboxTools here.
  • Permissive MIT open-source license allows for ready integration with other software.
Are you planning on using WhiteboxTools for Python-based geoprocessing? Consider upgrading to Whitebox Workflows for Python for even better performance and more powerful scripting abilities.

What can WhiteboxTools do?

Hydrological Applications

WhiteboxTools contains advanced tooling for spatial hydrological analysis (e.g. flow-accumulation, watershed delineation, stream network analysis, sink removal)

Terrain Analysis

WhiteboxTools contains tools for terrain analysis for calculating common terrain indices such as slope, curvatures, wetness index, hillshading; hypsometric analysis; multi-scale topographic position analysis.

LiDAR Processing

LiDAR point clouds can be interrogated (LidarInfo, LidarHistogram), segmented, tiled and joined, analyzed for outliers, interpolated to rasters (DEMs, intensity images), and ground-points can be classified or filtered.

Remote Sensing

WhiteboxTools is capable of preforming remote sensing and image processing tasks include image enhancement, image mosaicing, filtering operations, simple classification (k-means), and common image transformations.

GIS Analysis

WhiteboxTools can be used to perform common geographical information systems (GIS) analysis operations, such as cost-distance analysis, distance buffering, raster reclassification and many others.


WhiteboxTools contains tools to process, clean, and map yield data.

Take a look at what it can do

Here are some outputs from a few tools in WhiteboxTools Open Core
Feature Preserving Smoothing DEMGeospatial Software

Feature-preserving DEM smoothing

Click the image for an interactive feature

Shadow Animation Time in Daylight DSM

Shadow animation modelling

Click the image for an interactive feature

Hillshade and Time in Daylight Geospatial Software

Time-in-daylight for relief visualization

Click the image for an interactive feature

Topographic Position Animation Whitebox Geospatial General Toolset

Advanced multi-scale relative topographic position analysis

Click the image for an interactive feature

Hillshade DEM Multidirectional Hillshade Geospatial Software

Create hillshades with multi-directions

Click the image for an interactive feature

Elogation Tool WhiteboxTools Geospatial Software

Patch shape analysis

Click to read more about this tool

LiDAR Point Statistics LAS Flight lines Geospatial Software

LiDAR stats distribution modelling

Click to read more about this tool

Downtown Kitchener Shadow Model WhiteboxTools Geospatial Software

Whitebox Toolset
Extension (WTE)


Our extension is built with the same philosophy we have developed over the years. To build smarter algorithms that take advantage of advancements in computing.


Our extension provides novel and everyday solutions to common and complex GIS and Geospatial problems.


By purchasing a software license to the Whitebox Toolset Extension (WTE), you are helping to support WhiteboxTools and the open-source nature of the project.

Interested in our WhiteboxTools extension?

Read more about the tools and see what they can do