I am looking for a tool to convert raster (TIF, JPG) to ECW. I found this two year old question/answer How to convert orthophotomap to .ecw file? The answer is to use GDAL with an ERDAS SDK. I checked the current free versions of ERDAS SDK: The free version of ERDAS SDK is still read-only.

Is there meanwhile another way/tool as GDAL/ERDAS-API to convert a raster to ECW?

(I prefer a free program. If it is not free, information about the approximate cost is helpful.)


If you find any version of GDAL which is built with ECW SDK version 3.x you can compress images up to 500 MB file size without a license. See http://www.gdal.org/frmt_ecw.html : "For those still using the ECW 3.3 SDK, images less than 500MB may be compressed for free, while larger images require licensing from ERDAS." You can check if GDAL is compiled with suitable driver as

gdalinfo --formats
ECW (rw): ERMapper Compressed Wavelets

I checked that FWTools packages including the last 2.4.7 version can write to ECW format. However, all the download links in http://fwtools.maptools.org/ are dead at the moment. Be aware that GDAL in this package is of version "GDAL 1.7.0b2, FWTools 2.4.7, released 2010/01/19" and for general GDAL tasks it is better to use a more recent version. Also some old GDAL versions from http://gisinternals.com/sdk can write ECW and the driver is named then as "ECW (rw): ERDAS Compressed Wavelets (SDK 3.x)"

  • You can get GDAL 1.7.4 at: gisinternals.com/sdk (Scroll to the very bottom, it is packaged with mapserver) It has support for: ECW (rw): ERMapper Compressed Wavelets – HeikkiVesanto Jun 13 '14 at 9:43
  • Fine. The GDAL version can of coarse be higher than 1.7.4 what counts is the ECW (rw) part, read/write support for ECW. I'll edit my answer. – user30184 Jun 13 '14 at 9:59
  • 1
    +1 I found FWTools 2.4.7 at softpedia.com. It works. Thanks. – Jens Jun 13 '14 at 10:16

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