GeoTIFF Format


GeoTIFF is a standard for storing georeferencing and geocoding information in a TIFF 6.0 compliant raster file. TIFF (Tagged-Image File Format) is a public-domain, platform-independent file format created by Aldus-Adobe for storing raster data and ancillary information in a single file. Ancillary information is encoded in a TIFF file using a flexible mechanism called tags, and GeoTIFF uses a standardized set of tags to encode georeferencing information for the raster data in the file. The GeoTIFF standard accommodates multi-band imagery as well as single-band DEMs. GeoTIFF was developed through something of a grass roots effort beginning in the early nineties as a non proprietary and vendor- and platform-independent format for georeferenced imagery.

NOTE: GeoTIFF DEMs are not yet common. RiverTools only supports GeoTIFF DEMs which use the UTM projection or Geographic coordinates.

Data Source

There is no single source of GeoTIFF data. However, several organizations are or soon will be providing data in the GeoTIFF format/standard. A partial list can be found at:
The ASTER DEMs from NASA are made available in GeoTIFF format and can be imported by RiverTools. Since many programs, including RiverTools, can now export data to the GeoTIFF format, this format is frequently used for sharing data between GIS applications.

Data Availability

See comments for Data Source.

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