In QGIS 2.18.3 on Windows 7, I have geotiffs that were created by georeferencing rasters in ArcGIS 10.2. These rasters do not project correctly in QGIS.

Opening images georeferenced (.aux.xml) in ArcMap in QGIS? refers to the world file associated with each raster as being necessary for proper projection. The world files exist for each raster. However, the created files end with x, as in ".tfwx" and the question I referred to said that x at the end is approximate and that could cause a problem for QGIS.

I closed QGIS, edited the .tfwx to .tfw, and opened the file in a new instance of QGIS, but the raster still doesn't project properly. I tried warping the file and that didn't fix it. (I have several rasters and would rather not reproject them anyway.)

In Properties>Metadata>Origin the values for one of the rasters is 0,601, which doesn't seem correct. They all project fine in ArcGIS. How do I get the files to project correctly in QGIS?

Edit per request for tfwx and aux.xml:

Here is the tfw(x):



<SpatialReference xsi:type="typens:ProjectedCoordinateSystem">

  <CoeffX xsi:type="typens:ArrayOfDouble">
  <CoeffY xsi:type="typens:ArrayOfDouble">
  <InverseCoeffX xsi:type="typens:ArrayOfDouble">
  <InverseCoeffY xsi:type="typens:ArrayOfDouble">

Sorry this edit took so long. It took me a while to figure out how to get the XML to show up without being garbled.

  • Do you have also .aux.xml file?
    – user30184
    Apr 17, 2017 at 18:10
  • 1
    Do the rasters come into QGIS with the correct projection? If not you may want to set their coordinate system to match it. It might be helpful to others to know if you used the Update Georeferencing or Rectify option in ArcGIS.
    – John
    Apr 17, 2017 at 20:46
  • @user30184 yes, there is an accompanying .aux.xml.
    – shea
    Apr 17, 2017 at 20:48
  • @johns yes, the projection appears to be correct: EPSG 26914/UTM 14N. I think it was Update Georeferencing. The option that updates the file, without creating a new file.
    – shea
    Apr 17, 2017 at 20:50
  • Could you show the contents of both .tfw and aux.xml file? webhelp.esri.com/arcgisdesktop/9.3/… suggests that aux.xml is created if georeferencing is not possible to express with just the world file. In that case renaming tfwx into tfw may not be the best thing to do.
    – user30184
    Apr 17, 2017 at 21:26

2 Answers 2


Georeferencing Tif images in ArcGIS 10.2 results to following files: *.tfwx or *.tfw, and *.aux.xml. *.tfw seems to be written, if only affine transformation is involved, otherwise *.twfx.

I loaded some ArcGIS georeferenced images into QGIS and find, that QGIS recognized the coordinate system, but not the georeference parameters from .tfw/.tfwx files. I suppose that ArcGIS writes coordinate system information into the image without changing the file attributes (eg file creation date keeps unchanged).

GDAL, as used by QGIS to read the image, uses the *.tfw file, if NO GEOREFERENCE INFORMATION IS FOUND IN the image file (according GDAL documentation).

To verify this, I again saved the georeferenced image with an image viewer. Now QGIS does not recognize a coordinate system, but takes the information from the *.tfw file. A *.prj file was not accepted.

By setting the coordinate system explicitly as layer properties QGIS is able to display the image correctly (supposed only affine transformation was used).


You probably need to create a prj file with the correct coordinate system information for each of your rasters. Since ArcGIS provides no good solution for this (their white paper suggests using the old Arcview 3x projection utility to do this!) you need to find a prj file elsewhere with the correct projection information. Copy and paste it as many times as you have rasters (assuming they were all georeferenced in the same project) and then rename each one to match each raster name excluding the extension of course. Having said all that, I have found that my current QGIS (2.18.6) is not properly recognizing a UTM projection with non-standard units, such as UTM Nad83 Zone 19 ft instead of meters, so that may also be a source of problems. If so you may want to reproject your data into a standard UTM.

  • I thought that .prj files were for vector files? EPSG 26914 is not a standard projection?
    – shea
    Apr 18, 2017 at 17:38
  • Prj files work with rasters; most software doesn't recognize ArcGIS's aux.xml. As for EPSGs. I right now have two shapefiles in a QGIS project, one in "standard" UTM Nad83 Zone19 meters and one in the "non standard" UTM Nad83 Zone 19 feet. QGIS is treating both as EPSG:26919 and thus one is displayed properly, one isn't.
    – John
    Apr 18, 2017 at 17:49
  • Okay, thanks. Let me see what I can figure out. It looks like the rasters use meters as units, so they appear standard, but that doesn't seem to count for much at this point.
    – shea
    Apr 18, 2017 at 17:53
  • I looked at .prj files for nearby vectors and the .prjs seemed the same, one had a few parameters in different order, but same parameters and values. I created new .prj for each raster and added a few rasters and they still don't project correctly; they are drawn overlapped. I guess I'll try to reproject.
    – shea
    Apr 18, 2017 at 21:10

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