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Raster file formats

The geodatabase is the native data model in ArcGIS for storing geographic information, including raster datasets, mosaic datasets, and raster catalogs; however, there are many file formats you can work with that are maintained outside a geodatabase. The following table gives a description of the supported raster formats (raster datasets) and their extensions and identifies if they are read-only or if they can also be written by ArcGIS.

Format DescriptionExtensionsRead / WriteSupported data types Supports multiband Supports compression Supports color map

Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (AIRSAR) AirSar NASA website Polarimetric

AIRSAR is an instrument designed and managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). ArcGIS supports the polarimetric AIRSAR data (POLSAR).

Multiple files with an L, C, or P in the file name followed by .dat. For example: mission_l.dat (L-Band) and mission_c.dat (C-Band).

Read-only

64-bit complex

Yes

(Six bands)

No

No

ARC Digitized Raster Graphics (ADRG)

Distributed on CD-ROM by the National Geospatial-Intelligence AgencyNGA website (NGA). ADRG is geographically referenced using the equal arc-second raster chart/map (ARC) system in which the globe is divided into 18 latitudinal bands, or zones. The data consists of raster images and other graphics generated by scanning source documents.

Multiple files

Data file—extension *.img or *.ovr

Legend file—extension *.lgg

Read-only

8-bit unsigned integer

Yes

(Always three bands)

No

No

ADRG Legend

ADRG Overview

ASCII Grid

The ArcGIS Desktop Advanced ASCII Grid format is an ArcGIS Desktop Advanced Grid exchange file.

Single file—extension *.asc

Read-only

(Write—requires ArcGIS Spatial Analyst extension)

16-bit signed integer

No

No

No

32-bit floating point

No

No

No

Band interleaved by line (BIL), band interleaved by pixel (BIP), band sequential (BSQ)

This format provides a method for reading and displaying decompressed, BIL, BIP, and BSQ image data. By creating an ASCII description file that describes the layout of the image data, black-and-white, grayscale, pseudo color, and multiband image data can be displayed without translation into a proprietary format.

Multiple files

Data file—extension *.bil, *.bip, or *.bsq

Header file—extension *.hdr

Color map file—extension *.clr

Statistics file—extension *.stx

Read and write

1- and 4-bit unsigned integer

Yes

No

Yes

8-, and 16-bit signed and unsigned integer

Yes

No

Yes

32-bit signed and unsigned integer

Yes

No

No

Bathymetric Attributed Grid (BAG)

The Bathymetric Attributed Grid is a nonproprietary file format for storing bathymetric data.

Single file—extension *.bag

Read-only

32-bit floating point

Yes

(Always two bands)

Yes

No

Binary Terrain (BT)

The Binary Terrain format was created by the Virtual Terrain Project (VTP) to store elevation data in a more flexible file format. The BT format is flexible in terms of file size and spatial reference system.

Single file—extension *.bt

Projection file—extension *.prj

Read-only (Write—developer only)

16-, and 32-bit signed integer

No

No

No

32-bit floating point

No

Unknown

No

Bitmap (BMP), device-independent bitmap (DIB) format, or Microsoft Windows bitmap

BMP files are Windows bitmap images. They are usually used to store pictures or clip art that can be moved between different applications on Windows platforms.

Single file—extension *.bmp

World file—extension *.bpw

Read and write

8-bit unsigned integer

Yes

(Limited to one or three bands)

No

Yes

BSB

This is a compressed raster format used in the distribution of raster nautical charts by MapTechMapTech website and NOAANOAA website.

Multiple files—extensions *.bsb, *.cap, and *.kap

Read-only

8-bit unsigned integer

Yes

Yes

Yes

Committee on Earth Observing Sensors (CEOS) CEOS website Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)

This format reads CEOS SAR image files—specifically those radar images provided from Radarsat and ERS data products.

.raw

Read-only

8-bit unsigned integer

Yes

No

No

Compressed ARC Digitized Raster Graphics (CADRG)

Distributed by the NGA. CADRG/ECRG is geographically referenced using the ARC system in which the globe is divided into 18 latitudinal bands, or zones. The data consists of raster images and other graphics generated by scanning source documents. CADRG achieves a nominal compression ratio of 55:1. ECRG uses JPEG 2000 compression using a compression ratio of 20:1

File extension is based on specific product.

Read-only

8-bit unsigned integer

No

Vector quantization

Yes

Controlled Image Base (CIB)

Panchromatic (grayscale) images that have been georeferenced and corrected for distortion due to topographic relief distributed by NGA. Thus, they are similar to digital orthophoto quads and have similar applications, such as serving as a base or backdrop for other data or as a simple map.

File extension is based on specific product.

Read-only

8-bit unsigned integer

No

Vector quantization

Yes

Digital Geographic Information Exchange Standard (DIGEST) Arc Standard Raster Product (ASRP), UTM/UPS Standard Raster Product (USRP)

DIGEST datasets are digital replicas of graphic products designed for seamless worldwide coverage. ASRP data is transformed into the ARC system and divides the earth's surface into latitudinal zones. USRP data is referenced to UTM or UPS coordinate systems. Both are based on the WGS84 datum.

Multiple files

Main raster image—extension *.img

General information file—extension *.gen

Georeference file—extension *.ger

Source file—extension *.sou

Quality file—extension *.qal

Transmission header file—extension *.thf

Read-only

1-, 4-, and 8-bit unsigned integer

No

Run length encoding

Yes

Digital Image Map

The DIMAP format is an open format in the public domain; however, its primary purpose was for the distribution of data from the SPOT satellite. The format is composed of a GeoTIFF file and a metadata file.

Directory

Read-only

8- and 16-bit unsigned integer

Yes

TIFF

TIFF

16-bit signed integer

Yes

TIFF

TIFF

Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED) Level 0, 1, and 2

A simple, regularly spaced grid of elevation points based on 1 degree latitude and longitude extents. Created by NGA.

Single file—various file extensions *.dt0, *.dt1, *.dt2. All possible file extensions are available by default (*.dt0, *.dt1, *.dt2).

Read

Write using the Raster to DTED tool

16-bit signed integer

No

No

No

Earth Resources Laboratory Applications Software (ELAS)

This format is from the ELAS remote sensing system used within NASA.

Single file—extension *.elas

Read-only

8-bit unsigned integer

Yes

(Always three bands)

No

No

Enhanced Compressed ARC Raster Graphics (ECRG)

Distributed by the NGA. CADRG/ECRG is geographically referenced using the ARC system in which the globe is divided into 18 latitudinal bands, or zones. The data consists of raster images and other graphics generated by scanning source documents. CADRG achieves a nominal compression ratio of 55:1. ECRG uses JPEG 2000 compression using a compression ratio of 20:1

File extension is based on specific product.

Read-only

8-bit unsigned integer

Yes

(Always three bands)

JPEG 2000

No

Enhanced Compressed Wavelet (ECW)

ECW is a propriatary format. It is a wavelet-based, lossy compression, similar to JPEG 2000.

Single file—extension *.ecw

Read-only

8-bit unsigned integer

Yes

Wavelet

No

Envisat

Envisat (Environmental Satellite) is an Earth-observing satellite operation by the European Space agency (ESA). This format supports Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) Level 1 and above products, and some Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) and Advanced Along Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR) products.

Multiple data files

Read-only

8-bit unsigned integer

Yes

No

No

ENVI Header

When ENVIENVI website works with a raster dataset it creates a header file containing the information the software requires. This header file can be created for multiple raster file formats.

Header file—extension *.hdr

Multiple data files—extension *.raw, *.img, *.dat, *.bsq, etc.

Read and write

(.dat—via UI)

(.bsq, .img, and .raw—developer only

8-bit unsigned integer

Yes

Yes

Yes

16- and 32-bit unsigned/signed integer, and 32-, and 64-bit floating point

Yes

Yes

No

EOSAT FAST

The Earth Observation Satellite (EOSAT) FAST format support consists of the following: FAST-L7A (Landsat TM) and FAST Rev. C. (IRS).

Single file—extension *.fst

Read-only

8-bit unsigned integer

Yes

No

No

ER Mapper ERS

A proprietary raster format from ER Mapper. Produced using the ER Mapper image processing software.

Multiple files

Header file—extension *.ers

Data file—usually same as header file without the *.ers extension but could be any and is defined in the header file.

Read-only

8-, 16-, and 32-bit unsigned/signed integer, and 32-bit floating point

Yes

No

No

ERDAS 7.5 GIS

Single-band thematic images produced by ERDAS 7.5 image processing software.

Multiple files

Data file—extension *.GIS

Color map file—extension *.trl

Read-only

1-, 2-, 4-, 8-, and 16-bit unsigned integer

No

No

Yes

ERDAS 7.5 LAN

Single- or multiband continuous images produced by the ERDAS 7.5 image processing software.

Single file—extension *.lan

Read-only

8- and 16-bit unsigned integer

Yes

No

No

ERDAS 7.5 RAW

Provides a method for reading and displaying files that are not otherwise supported by another format but are formatted in such a way that the arrangement of the data can be described by a relatively small number of parameters. By creating an ASCII file that describes the layout of the raster data, it can be displayed without translation in a proprietary format. The format is defined in the ERDAS IMAGINE software.

Single file—extension *.raw

Read-only

1-, 2-, 4-, 8-, and 16-bit unsigned integer

No

No

Yes

ERDAS IMAGINE

Produced using IMAGINE image processing software created by ERDAS. IMAGINE files can store both continuous and discrete single-band and multiband data.

Single file—extension *.img

If image is bigger than 2 GB—extension *.ige

World file—extension *.igw

Read and write

1-, 2-, and 4-bit unsigned integer

Yes

Adaptive run length compressed, or None

Yes

8-, 16-bit unsigned/signed integer

Yes

Adaptive run length compressed, or None

Yes

32-bit unsigned/signed integer

Yes

Adaptive run length compressed, or None

No

32-bit floating point

Yes

No

No

64-bit double precision

Yes

No

No

Esri Grid

A proprietary Esri format that supports 32-bit integer and 32-bit floating-point raster grids. Grids are useful for representing geographic phenomena that vary continuously over space and for performing spatial modeling and analysis of flows, trends, and surfaces such as hydrology.

Directory

color map file—extension *.clr

Read and write

32-bit signed integer

No

Adaptive run length compressed

No

32-bit floating point

No

No

No

Esri Grid stack

Used to reference multiple Esri Grids as a multiband raster dataset. A stack is stored in a directory structure similar to a grid or coverage.

Directory

Read and write

32-bit signed integer

Yes

Adaptive run length compressed

No

32-bit floating point

Yes

No

No

Esri Grid stack file

Used to reference multiple Esri Grids as a multiband raster dataset. A stack file is a simple text file that stores the path and name of each Esri Grid contained within it on a separate line.

Single file—possible file extension *.stk

Read and write

32-bit signed integer

Yes

Adaptive run length compressed

No

32-bit floating point

Yes

No

No

Extensible N-Dimensional Data Format(NDF)

Format used for storing data representing n-dimensional arrays of numbers, such as images. Uses container files (directories containing files and directories) to manage the data objects.

Directory—extension *.sdf

Read-only

8-bit unsigned integer

Yes

Unknown

No

Floating point file

A floating-point file is a binary file of floating-point values that represent raster data.

Single file—extension *.flt

Read-only (Write—Only via Raster To Float tool, or developer code)

32-bit floating point

No

No

No

GDAL Virtual Format (VRT)

This is a file format created by the Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL). It allows a virtual dataset to be derived from other datasets that GDAL can read.

Single file—extension *.vrt

Read-only (Write—developer only)

8-, 16-, and 32-bit unsigned integer and 64-bit complex integer

Yes

Unknown

Geodatabase Raster

The geodatabase is the native data structure for ArcGIS and is the primary data format for representing and managing geographic information, including raster datasets and mosaic datasets.

The geodatabase is a collection of various types of GIS datasets held in a file system folder.

Raster datasets stored within *.gdb folder

Read and write

1- and 4-bit unsigned integer

Yes

Adaptive run length compressed, or None

Yes

8-bit unsigned/signed integer

Yes

Adaptive run length compressed, JPEG, JP2, or None

Yes

16-bit unsigned/signed integer

Yes

Adaptive run length compressed, JP2, or None

Yes

32-bit unsigned/signed integer, or floating point

Yes

Adaptive run length compressed, or None

No

32-bit floating point

Yes

Adaptive run length compressed, or None

No

64-bit double precision

Yes

Adaptive run length compressed, or None

No

Golden Software Grid (.grd)

There are three types of Golden Software Grids that are supported: Golden Software ASCII GRID (GSAG), Golden Software Binary Grid (GSBG), and Golden Software Surfer 7 Binary Grid (GS7BG).

Single file—extension *.grd

Read-only (Write—developer only for GSAG and GSBG)

32-bit floating point and 64-bit double precision

No

Unknown

No

Graphic Interchange Format (GIF)

A bitmap image format generally used for small images.

Single file—extension *.gif

World file—extension *.gfw

Read and write

8-bit unsigned integer

No

LZW

Yes

GRIB

The gridded binary format is used for the storage, transmission, and manipulation of meteorological archived data and forecast data. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is responsible for the design and maintenance of this format standard.

Single file—extension *.grb

Read-only

64-bit double precision

Yes

Unknown

Unknown

GRIB 2

The next generation standard for GRIB.

Subdataset support is not available.

Single file—extension *.grb2

Read-only

64-bit double precision

No

Unknown

Unknown

Grid eXchange File

This is an ASCII format, primarily used in GeosoftGeosoft website. The GXF Revision 3 (GXF-3) is supported.

Single file—extension *.gxf

Read-only

32- and 64-bit floating point

No

No

No

Heightfield

This is a compressed heightfield format used to support terrain data as a raster.

Single file—extension *.hf2

Gzip file—extension *.hfz

Read-only

32-bit floating point

No

No

No

HGT

Raw SRTM height files containing elevation measured in meters above sea level, in a geographic projection (latitude and longitude array), with voids indicated using -32768.

Single file—extension *.hgt

Read-only

16-bit signed integer

No

Unknown

No

Hierarchical Data Format (HDF) 4

A self-defining file format used for storing arrays of multidimensional data.

Subdataset support is not available.

Single file—extension *.h4 or *.hdf

Read-only (Write—developer only)

8- and 16-bit signed integer

Yes

Yes

No

8- and 16-bit unsigned integer

Yes

Yes

Yes

32-bit unsigned/signed integer, or floating point

Yes

Yes

No

Hierarchical Data Format (HDF) 5

The next generation standard for HDF.

Subdataset support is not available.

Single file—extension *.h5 or *.hdf5

Read-only

8- and 16-bit signed integer

Yes

Yes

No

8- and 16-bit unsigned integer

Yes

Yes

Yes

32-bit unsigned/signed integer, or floating point

Yes

Yes

No

High Resolution Elevation (HRE)

HRE data is intended for a wide variety of National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and National System for Geospatial Intelligence (NSG) partners and members, and customers external to the NSG, to access and exploit standardized data products. HRE data replaces the current non-standard High Resolution Terrain Elevation/Information (HRTE/HRTI) products and also replaces non-standard products referred to as DTED level 3 thru 6.

This data format is similar to NITF.

Multiple files

Raw image—extension *.hr*

Metadata—extension *.xml

Read-only

16-bit signed integer and 32-bit floating point

No

No

No

IDRISI Raster Format (RST)

File format native to IDRISIIDRISI website.

Multiple files

Raw image—extension *.rst

Descriptor—extension *.rdc

Color map—extension *.smp

Georeference file—extension *.ref

Read-only (Write—developer only)

8-bit unsigned integer

Yes

Yes

Yes

16-bit signed integer

Yes

Yes

Yes

32-bit floating point

Yes

Yes

Yes

ILWIS

ILWIS format for raster maps and map lists.

Raster Map—*.mpr, Maplist—*.mpl

Read-only

Byte, 16- and 32bit unsigned integer, and 64-bit floating point

Yes

No

No

Image Display and Analysis (IDA)

File format used by WinDisp 4.

Single file—extension *.img

Read-only

8-bit binary

No

No

No

Integrated Software for Imagers and Spectrometers (ISIS)

ISIS Cube format as created by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) for the mapping of planetary imagery. Versions 2 and 3 are supported.

Single file—extension *.cub

Read-only

8-bit unsigned integer and 32-bit floating point

No

Unknown

No

Intergraph CIT

Intergraph's proprietary format for 16-bit imagery (CIT).

Binary imagery—extension *.cit

Read-only

1-bit

No

CCITT Group 4

No

Intergraph COT

Intergraph's proprietary format for 8-bit unsigned imagery (COT).

Grayscale imagery—extension *.cot

Read-only

8-bit unsigned integer

No

Run length encoding

No

Japanese Aerospace eXploration Agency (JAXA) PALSAR

This format was created by the Japanese Aerospace eXploration Agency (JAXA) to store data from processed PALSAR data. Level 1.1 and Level 1.5 are supported.

Single file—extension *1.5GUD, or *1.1__A.

Read-only

16-bit signed integer

Yes

Unknown

No

Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) File Interchange Format (JFIF)

A standard compression technique for storing full-color and grayscale images. Support for JPEG compression is provided through the JFIF file format.

Single file—extension *.jpg, *.jpeg, *.jpc, or *.jpe

World file—extension *.jgw

Read and write

8-bit unsigned integer

Yes

(Limited to one or three bands)

JPEG (lossy)

No

JPEG 2000

A compression technique especially for maintaining the quality of large imagery. Allows for a high-compression ratio and fast access to large amounts of data at any scale.

Single file—extension *.jp2, *.j2c, *.j2k, or *.jpx

Read and write

8- and 16-bit unsigned integer

Yes

Wavelet (lossy)

No

Magellan Mapsend BLX/XLB format

Magellan's BLX/XLB file format is primarily used for storing topographic data. The tile size for these files must be a multiple of 128 pixels by 128 pixels. The projection for these files is WGS84. When the file is ordered using littleendian, the file extension is BLX. If bigendian is used, the file extension is XLB format.

Single file—extension *.blx or *.xlb

Read-only (Write—developer only)

16-bit signed integer

No

Yes (proprietary)

No

MAP

PCRaster's PCRaster website raster format.

Single file—extension *.map

Read-only (Write—developer only)

8-bit unsigned integer

Single band

No

No

32-bit signed integer

Single band

No

No

32-bit floating point

Single band

No

No

Map service cache

A map cache created by ArcGIS Server can be viewed as a single raster dataset. You cannot build pyramids or calculate statistics. It should not be used for any analysis or processing.

Directory

Read-only (in Desktop); write using ArcGIS Server

8-bit unsigned integer

Yes

Yes

Yes

Multiresolution Seamless Image Database (MrSID)

A proprietary compression technique especially for maintaining the quality of large images. Allows for a high compression ratio and fast access to large amounts of data at any scale. The MrSID Encoder is developed and supported by LizardTech, Inc.LizardTech website

Supports generations 2, 3, and 4.

Single file—extension *.sid

World file—extension *.sdw

Read-only

8- and 16-bit unsigned integer

Yes

Generation 2 and generation 3—limited to 1 or 3 bands

Generation 4—unlimited

Wavelet (lossy)

No

MrSID Lidar

MrSID generation 4 (MG4) format, used to support point clound (lidar) data. Will be rendered as a raster.

View files GDAL website can be used to define how the point cloud data will be viewed.

Single file—extension *.sid

Optional View file—extension *.view

Read-only

64-bit double precision

No

No

No

National Imagery Transmission Format (NITF) 2.0

A collection of standards and specifications that allow interoperability in the dissemination of imagery and its metadata among various computer systems. Developed by the NGA.

Subdataset support is not available.

Single file—extension *.ntf

Read-only

1-, 8-, and 16-bit unsigned integer

Yes

Yes

Yes

NITF 2.1/NSIF 1.0

1-, 2-, 4-, 8-, and 16-bit unsigned integer

Yes

Yes

Yes

1-, 2-, 4-, 8-, and 16-bit signed integer

Yes

No

Yes

National Land Archive Production System (NLAPS)

The NLAPS data format (NDF) is used by the USGS to distribute their Landsat MSS and TM data.

Multiple files

Main File (Header)—extension *.H1, *.H2, or *.HD

Image data—extension *.I1, *.I2, etc.

Read-only

8-bit unsigned integer

Yes

No

No

NOAA Polar Orbiter Level 1b

Support for NOAA's Polar Orbiter Data (POD); specicically for the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Level 1b digital data.

Multiple Files—extension *.1b, *.sv, *.gc

Read-only

16-bit unsigned integer

Yes

No

No

PCI .aux

This is a simple ASCII file used and created by PCI to read raw binary raster data.

Single File — extension *.aux

Read-only

8-bit, 16-bit unsigned integer, 16-bit signed integer, and 32-bit

Yes

No

No

PCIDSK

PCI Geomatics PCI Geomatics website raster dataset format.

Single file—extension *.pix

Read-only (Write—developer only)

8- and 16-bit unsigned integer

Yes

Not supported

Not supported

16-bit signed integer

Yes

Not supported

No

32-bit floating point

Yes

Not supported

No

Planetary Data System (PDS)

The Planetary Data System (PDS) is managed by NASA to archive and distribute data from its planetary missions. PDS version 3 is supported.

Single file—possible extensions *.img and *.lbl

Read-only

16-bit signed integer

No

Unknown

No

Portable Network Graphics (PNG)

Provides a well-compressed, lossless compression for raster files. It supports a large range of bit depths from monochrome to 64-bit color. Its features include indexed color images of up to 256 colors and effective 100 percent lossless images of up to 16 bits per pixel.

Single file—extension *.png

Read and write

Note: ArcGIS is able to read an alpha band from an existing PNG; however, it will only write one- or three-band PNG files.

1-, 2-, and 4-bit unsigned integer

No

Deflate/Inflate

Yes

8-bit unsigned integer

*Yes (limited to one or three bands only, no alpha channel)

Deflate/Inflate

Yes

16-bit unsigned integer

*Yes (limited to one or three bands only, no alpha channel)

Deflate/Inflate

No

RADARSAT-2

RADARSAT-2 satellite produces imagery using the C-band SAR and X-band frequencies.

Directory

Read-only

16-bit unsigned integer and 32-bit complex integer

Yes

Unknown

No

Raster Product Format (RPF)

The underlying format of CADRG and CIB.

Single file—no standard file extension

Read-only

8-bit unsigned integer

No

No

Yes

RPF (CIB)

8-bit unsigned integer

No

Vector quantization

No

RPF (CADRG)

8-bit unsigned integer

Yes

Vector quantization

Yes

RPF (ADRG)

8-bit unsigned integer

Yes

(Always three bands)

No

No

RPF (ADRG)

8-bit unsigned integer

No

No

Yes

SAGA GIS Binary Grid

SAGA binary grid datasets are composed of an ASCII header (.sgrd) and a binary data (.sdat) file with a common basename. Select the .sdat file to access the dataset.

Multiple files—extension *.sdat and *.sgrd.

Read-only

8-, 16-and 32-bit unsigned, integer, 16- and 32-bit signed integer, 32- and 64-bit floating point

Yes

No

No

Sandia Synthetic Aperture Radar (GFF)

Sandia National Laboratories created a complex image format to accommodate the data from its synthetic aperture radar.

Single file —extension *.gff

Read-only

16-bit and 32-bit complex integer

Unknown

Unknown

No

Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) JPL website

The HGT format is used to store elevation data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). SRTM-3 and SRTM-1 v2 files can be displayed.

Single file—extension *.hgt

Read-only (Write—developer only)

32-bit signed integer

No

No

No

Spatial Data Transfer Standard (SDTS) USGS SDTS website digital elevation model (DEM)

The Spatial Data Transfer Standard (SDTS) was created by the USGS. The purpose of this format was to transfer digital geospatial data between various computer systems in a compatible format that would not lose any information.

Multiple files—extension *.ddf

Read-only

16-bit signed integer or 32-bit floating point

No

No

No

Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) (GeoTIFF tags are supported.)

Widespread use in the desktop publishing world. It serves as an interface to several scanners and graphic arts packages. TIFF supports black-and-white, grayscale, pseudo color, and true color images, all of which can be stored in a compressed or decompressed format.

BigTIFF is supported.

Single file—possible file extensions *.tif, *.tiff, and *.tff

World file—extension *.tfw

Read and write

1-bit unsigned integer

No

CCITT (1D), CCITT Group 3, CCITT Group 4, Packbits, LZW, or None

Yes

4-bit signed integer

No

Packbits, LZW, or None

Yes

8-bit unsigned integer

Yes

Packbits, LZW, JPEG (lossy), or None

Yes

8-bit signed integer

No

LZW

No

16-bit unsigned integer

Yes

LZW

Yes

16-bit signed integer

No

LZW

No

32-bit unsigned/signed integer, or floating point

No

LZW

No

Terragen terrain

The Terragen Terrain file was created by Planetside Software. It stores elevation data.

Single file—possible file extensions *.ter, *.terrain

Read-only (Write—developer only)

16-bit signed integer

No

Unknown

No

TerraSAR-X

The TerraSAR-X radar satellite produces earth observation data using the X-band SAR.

Directory

Read-only

16-bit unsigned integer and 32-bit complex integer

No

No

No

Transformation Grids

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) files used for shifting a vertical datum.

Single file — extension *.gtx

Read-only

32-bit floating point

No

No

No

United States Geological Survey (USGS) digital elevation model (DEM)

This format consists of a raster grid of regularly spaced elevation values derived from the USGS topographic map series. In their native format, they are written as ANSI-standard ASCII characters in fixed-block format.

Single file—extension *.dem (need to change .dat extension to .dem)

Read-only

16-bit signed integer

No

No

No

USGS Digital Orthophoto Quadrangels (DOQ)

This is the new, labeled DOQ (DOQ2) format from the USGS.

Single file—possible file extensions *.doq, *.nes, *.nws, *.ses, *.sws

Read-only

8-bit unsigned integer

Yes

Yes

No

XPixMap (XPM)

Stores color images in a format consisting of an ASCII image and a C library.

Single file—extension *.xpm

Read-only (Write—developer only)

8-bit unsigned integer

No

No

Yes

Technical specifications for raster formats
Tip:

TIFF is recommended for most applications.

Dive-in:

Most raster formats are supported using the Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL). For more details on specific formats, see www.gdal.org.

Note:

An A.TOC file cannot be copied and pasted since it requires a specific folder hierarchy and references to other files.

Bit depth capacity for supported export formats

Supported = is supported

NA = not applicable

IMGTIFFGRIDJPEGJP2BMPGIFPNGBIL/BIP/BSQ DATNote

1 bit

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

NA

NA

Converts to 8 bit for JPEG, JP2, BMP, GIF, PNG, BIL, BIP, BSQ, and DAT.

2 bit

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

Yes

NA

NA

4 bit

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

NA

NA

Converts to 8 bit for JPEG, JP2, BMP, GIF, PNG, BIL, BIP, BSQ, and DAT.

4-bit color map

Yes

Yes

Yes

NA

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

NA

NA

Converts to 8 bit for BMP, GIF, PNG, BIL, BIP, and BSQ.

8-bit unsigned

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

8-bit signed

Yes

Yes

Yes

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

Yes

NA

8-bit color map

Yes

Yes

Yes

NA

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

NA

8-bit 3 band

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

NA

NA

Yes

Yes

8-bit > 3 band

Yes

Yes

Yes

NA

Yes

NA

NA

NA

Yes

Yes

16-bit unsigned

Yes

Yes

Yes

NA

Yes

NA

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

16-bit signed

Yes

Yes

Yes

NA

Yes

NA

NA

NA

Yes

Yes

32-bit unsigned

Yes

Yes

Yes

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

Yes

Yes

32-bit signed

Yes

Yes

Yes

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

Yes

Yes

32-bit floating point

Yes

Yes

Yes

NA

Yes

NA

NA

NA

Yes

Yes

Bit depth capacity for supported raster export formats

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