How do I get the extent out of the GeoTiff format? I want something like this:


AKA the xmin, xmax, ymin, ymax coordinates from the GeoTiff?

Edit: I'm implementing my own reader so I will need to know how the file format tells me this information.

  • 1
    Do you have a particular software or API in mind? – artwork21 Jul 7 '14 at 17:52
  • Sorry, I was unclear, editing the question. – Johan S Jul 7 '14 at 17:55
  • Listgeo gives you a rather low level access to geotiff tags remotesensing.org/geotiff/listgeo.html – user30184 Jul 8 '14 at 7:24
  • hi, yes the problem is that I don't know which tags give me the information. Do you know? – Johan S Jul 8 '14 at 9:38

The tags you're interested in are: ModelTiepointTag, ModelPixelScaleTag, and ModelTransformationTag. The specification describes how they stored the information:


You could have a look at how GDAL implements them in this file:


  • 1
    I'm done with the implementation and these are the tags I used. What happened was that my reader didn't have to do the actual projections so the extent was all I needed, and to get them I used the tags you mentioned above. – Johan S Aug 3 '14 at 20:07

Building on what @David mentioned you may use open source gdal library using python module to get image extent like this:

import gdal
from gdalconst import GA_ReadOnly

data = gdal.Open('C:/Temp/myimage.tif', GA_ReadOnly)
geoTransform = data.GetGeoTransform()
minx = geoTransform[0]
maxy = geoTransform[3]
maxx = minx + geoTransform[1] * data.RasterXSize
miny = maxy + geoTransform[5] * data.RasterYSize
print [minx, miny, maxx, maxy]
data = None

[-86.20782844487971, 40.7246942570317, -84.5446284448797, 41.8290942570317]

Reference: Find Extents of GDAL Raster

  • Hi, thanks. As I have mentioned before I need the Keys/Tags that correspond to these values. The GeoTiff has a ModelTransformationTag, is that the transformation tag your using? – Johan S Jul 8 '14 at 9:41

Using the arcpy site package in Python, you can accomplish this by converting your geotiff to a raster object and using the extent and *max&*min classes.

import arcpy

arcpy.env.workspace = r'C:\path\to\ws'

rasters = arcpy.ListRasters()

for ras in rasters:
    f = arcpy.Raster(ras)
    xmin = f.extent.XMin
    ymin = f.extent.YMin
    xmax = f.extent.XMax
    ymax = f.extent.YMax
    rectangle = "%s %s %s %s" % (xmin, xmax, ymin, ymax)
  • 1
    It's going to be faster if you set f equal to the extent, instead of accessing it each time. I had code similar to this in a tight loop (building raster indices), and it cut execution time in half by making that simple change. It's actually a two liner with getattr(). – Paul Jul 31 '14 at 19:17
  • Thanks for the comment @Paul. My benchmark tests indicate 0.05 seconds to extract the extent using this method. Two-liners are not necessarily better than larger sections of code--after all "Readability counts." (from the Zen of Python: import this) – Aaron Jul 31 '14 at 19:27
  • Huh, I noticed a substantial difference in my benchmarks over 1000 rasters. But for a few, yeah there won't be any noticeable difference. – Paul Jul 31 '14 at 19:30
  • The source for import this is amusing indeed. ;) I find [getattr(extent, x) for x in ("XMin", "YMin", "XMax", "YMax")] pretty readable, but that's just me. – Paul Jul 31 '14 at 19:36
  • I'm sorry but I want to know how the arcpy library does this, I'm writing my own reader in Scala. – Johan S Jul 31 '14 at 19:43

You can use Rasterio to get the bounding box as follows:

>>> import rasterio

>>> dataset = rasterio.open('example.tif')

>>> dataset.bounds
BoundingBox(left=358485.0, bottom=4028985.0, right=590415.0, top=4265115.0)

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