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I received a tiff file from someone, but I'm not sure if it's georeferenced. Is there an easy way to check this?

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What software are you using? If you are using ArcMap, load it into a dataframe, right-click on it and select properties, you can find out file information from there. I am sure other software has similar procedures. –  Dan Patterson Jan 10 '12 at 16:32
    
thanks, easy enough. I didn't know if there was a command line tool I could run (maybe using gdal or something). –  Jeff Storey Jan 10 '12 at 16:37
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5 Answers

up vote 23 down vote accepted

Looks like gdalinfo will tell you:

A non-georeferenced figure exported from ArcMap layout:

C:\Temp>gdalinfo figure1.tif
Driver: GTiff/GeoTIFF
Files: figure1.tif
Size is 244, 210
Coordinate System is `'
Metadata:
  TIFFTAG_XRESOLUTION=96
  TIFFTAG_YRESOLUTION=96
  TIFFTAG_RESOLUTIONUNIT=2 (pixels/inch)
Image Structure Metadata:
  INTERLEAVE=PIXEL
Corner Coordinates:
Upper Left  (    0.0,    0.0)
Lower Left  (    0.0,  210.0)
Upper Right (  244.0,    0.0)
Lower Right (  244.0,  210.0)
Center      (  122.0,  105.0)
Band 1 Block=244x11 Type=Byte, ColorInterp=Red
Band 2 Block=244x11 Type=Byte, ColorInterp=Green
Band 3 Block=244x11 Type=Byte, ColorInterp=Blue

A aerial photo:

C:\Temp>gdalinfo Adona_1.tif
Driver: GTiff/GeoTIFF
Files: Adona_1.tif
       Adona_1.tif.ovr
       Adona_1.tfw
       Adona_1.tif.aux.xml
Size is 5426, 5522
Coordinate System is:
PROJCS["NAD83 / Arkansas North",
    GEOGCS["NAD83",
        DATUM["North_American_Datum_1983",
            SPHEROID["GRS 1980",6378137,298.2572221010002,
                AUTHORITY["EPSG","7019"]],
            AUTHORITY["EPSG","6269"]],
        PRIMEM["Greenwich",0],
        UNIT["degree",0.0174532925199433],
        AUTHORITY["EPSG","4269"]],
    PROJECTION["Lambert_Conformal_Conic_2SP"],
    PARAMETER["standard_parallel_1",36.23333333333333],
    PARAMETER["standard_parallel_2",34.93333333333333],
    PARAMETER["latitude_of_origin",34.33333333333334],
    PARAMETER["central_meridian",-92],
    PARAMETER["false_easting",1312333.333333333],
    PARAMETER["false_northing",0],
    UNIT["US survey foot",0.3048006096012192,
        AUTHORITY["EPSG","9003"]],
    AUTHORITY["EPSG","26951"]]
Origin = (1045317.554567784100000,261147.746197238540000)
Pixel Size = (0.500000000000000,-0.500000000000000)
Metadata:
  TIFFTAG_SOFTWARE=Adobe Photoshop CS4 Windows
  TIFFTAG_DATETIME=2010:08:04 07:39:30
  TIFFTAG_XRESOLUTION=1
  TIFFTAG_YRESOLUTION=1
  TIFFTAG_RESOLUTIONUNIT=2 (pixels/inch)
  AREA_OR_POINT=Area
Image Structure Metadata:
  INTERLEAVE=PIXEL
Corner Coordinates:
Upper Left  ( 1045317.555,  261147.746) ( 92d53'31.49"W, 35d 2'50.94"N)
Lower Left  ( 1045317.555,  258386.746) ( 92d53'31.19"W, 35d 2'23.64"N)
Upper Right ( 1048030.555,  261147.746) ( 92d52'58.86"W, 35d 2'51.19"N)
Lower Right ( 1048030.555,  258386.746) ( 92d52'58.56"W, 35d 2'23.88"N)
Center      ( 1046674.055,  259767.246) ( 92d53'15.03"W, 35d 2'37.41"N)
Band 1 Block=5426x1 Type=Byte, ColorInterp=Red
  Overviews: 2713x2761, 1357x1381, 679x691, 340x346, 170x173
Band 2 Block=5426x1 Type=Byte, ColorInterp=Green
  Overviews: 2713x2761, 1357x1381, 679x691, 340x346, 170x173
Band 3 Block=5426x1 Type=Byte, ColorInterp=Blue
  Overviews: 2713x2761, 1357x1381, 679x691, 340x346, 170x173
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Just what I was looking for, thanks. –  Jeff Storey Jan 10 '12 at 16:45
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Adding on to Chad's answer: Is there a .TFW file accompanying the TIF? If so, the image has georef info that isn't embedded in the header. I don't know if GDALINFO will catch that or not.

Unfortunately a TFW only gives you coordinates and cell sizes. It doesn't specify which CRS/projection/datum the image is referenced to, nor what units are used for the projection.

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Good point, Kevin. –  Chad Cooper Jan 10 '12 at 17:07
    
there is no tfw, so I was hoping it was embedded in the header. I will do some testing to see what info gdal gives on the file. thanks. –  Jeff Storey Jan 10 '12 at 17:44
    
I wouldn't say that's a good indication; ArcMap 10 creates GeoTIFFs with embedded georeferencing and redundant tfw files. –  Will Oct 11 '13 at 19:20
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There's also listgeo, part of libgeotiff.

Also, if you're using windows, there's a handy GUI application for it and geotifcp(also part of libgeotiff) which allows you to easily dump and restore metadata to a geotiff - useful if you want to edit your geotiff in a non-spatially enabled image editing software or for applying spatial metadata to the results of a classification, etc.

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In the ESRI world, if the image is georeferenced, but not rectified, gdalinfo won't return the projection information

Driver: GTiff/GeoTIFF
Files: COVE_COGEO.tif
       COVE_COGEO.aux
       Cove_COGEO.rrd
       COVE_COGEO.tif.aux.xml
Size is 6618, 8176
Coordinate System is `'
Metadata:
  TIFFTAG_IMAGEDESCRIPTION=
  TIFFTAG_MAXSAMPLEVALUE=1
  TIFFTAG_MINSAMPLEVALUE=0
  TIFFTAG_RESOLUTIONUNIT=2 (pixels/inch)
  TIFFTAG_XRESOLUTION=300
  TIFFTAG_YRESOLUTION=300
Image Structure Metadata:
  INTERLEAVE=PIXEL
Corner Coordinates:
Upper Left  (    0.0,    0.0)
Lower Left  (    0.0, 8176.0)
Upper Right ( 6618.0,    0.0)
Lower Right ( 6618.0, 8176.0)
Center      ( 3309.0, 4088.0)
Band 1 Block=6618x512 Type=Byte, ColorInterp=Red
  Overviews: 1655x2044, 828x1022, 414x511, 207x256, 104x128, 52x64
Band 2 Block=6618x512 Type=Byte, ColorInterp=Green
  Overviews: 1655x2044, 828x1022, 414x511, 207x256, 104x128, 52x64
Band 3 Block=6618x512 Type=Byte, ColorInterp=Blue
  Overviews: 1655x2044, 828x1022, 414x511, 207x256, 104x128, 52x64

If you look in the tif.aux.xml you will find the projection information:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>-
<GeodataXform xmlns:typens="http://www.esri.com/schemas/ArcGIS/9.2" xmlns:xs="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:type="typens:PolynomialXform">
<PolynomialOrder>1</PolynomialOrder>-<SpatialReference xsi:type="typens:ProjectedCoordinateSystem">  <WKT>PROJCS["NAD_1983_UTM_Zone_15N",GEOGCS["GCS_North_American_1983",DATUM["D_North_American_1983",SPHEROID["GRS_1980",6378137.0,298.257222101]],PRIMEM["Greenwich",0.0],UNIT["Degree",0.0174532925199433]],PROJECTION["Transverse_Mercator"],PARAMETER["False_Easting",500000.0],PARAMETER["False_Northing",0.0],PARAMETER["Central_Meridian",-93.0],PARAMETER["Scale_Factor",0.9996],PARAMETER["Latitude_Of_Origin",0.0],UNIT["Meter",1.0]]</WKT>
      <XOrigin>-5682839.5944962</XOrigin>
      <YOrigin>-10997760.6594148</YOrigin>
      <XYScale>409501512.793437</XYScale>
      <ZOrigin>-100000</ZOrigin>
      <ZScale>10000</ZScale>
      <MOrigin>-100000</MOrigin>
      <MScale>10000</MScale>
      <XYTolerance>0.001</XYTolerance>
      <ZTolerance>0.001</ZTolerance>
      <MTolerance>0.001</MTolerance>
      <HighPrecision>true</HighPrecision>
    </SpatialReference>-<SourceGCPs xsi:type="typens:ArrayOfDouble">
    <Double>1.57734892030567</Double>
    <Double>25.8359122977818</Double>
    <Double>20.4046417720032</Double>
    <Double>25.9084153582944</Double>
    <Double>20.4733053142072</Double>
    <Double>3.14623602371285</Double>
    <Double>1.61802731006583</Double>
    <Double>3.1060187781668</Double>
    </SourceGCPs>-<TargetGCPs xsi:type="typens:ArrayOfDouble">
    <Double>362267.039129157</Double>
    <Double>3818630.52804079</Double>
    <Double>373747.691530917</Double>
    <Double>3818468.79669514</Double>
    <Double>373558.508499628</Double>
    <Double>3804605.04409216</Double>
    <Double>362064.5523863</Double>
    <Double>3804768.11127776</Double>
    </TargetGCPs>
    </GeodataXform>

However, once rectified gdalinfo will work and the data will no longer be in the tif.aux.xml so you may have to look in both places.

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How to determine if a tiff is georeferenced or not?

Download ftp://ftp.remotesensing.org/geotiff/libgeotiff/listgeo_GUI.zip

In listgeo_GUI.zip:

GeoTIFF Tools in GUI Form

(1). "listgeo.exe" - utility program for dumping the metadata of a GeoTIFF file. (2). "geotifcp.exe" - utility program for applying metadata to a TIFF file, making it a GeoTIFF file.

They have been freely distributed with the popular libgeotiff library.

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