I'm quite new to GIS format and conversions, so be patient with a newbie. I got stuck on a file conversion and I'm looking for some help this to fix my scripts. I have a big 5 GB tif file with a precision of 5 meters and these features:

Dimensions X: 27176 Y:.49586 Band: 1 Origin 555121,4.4447e+06 Pixel dimension 5,-5 No value:-9999 AREA_OR_POINT=Area STATISTICS_MAXIMUM=2237.2060546875 STATISTICS_MEAN=520.43425935058 STATISTICS_MINIMUM=-2.8499999046326 STATISTICS_STDDEV=429.22835999081 Data type: Float32 +proj=utm +zone=33 +datum=WGS84 +units=m +no_defs Layer extension (original layer projection) 555120.6040000000502914,4196769.7539999997243285 : 691000.6040000000502914,4444699.7539999997243285

I'm getting that each hgt file covers 1 degree lat and 1 degree lon, and has to have a size of 1201x1201.

My intent is to convert this single tif into one or more hgt files. I suppose that given the tif dimensions (X: 27176 Y:.49586) I have first to split into multiple tif files and then convert into multiple hgt file. To do this I'm using GDAL scripts from QGIS:

enter image description here

If I try a direct conversion to hgt I get this warning and error:

Warning 1: The corner coordinates of the source are not properly aligned on plain latitude/longitude boundaries. ERROR 1: Image dimensions should be 1201x1201, 3601x3601 or 1801x3601.

So I defined these scripts below:

Step 1:

gdalwarp -of GTiff -srcnodata 32767 -t_srs "+proj=utm +zone=33 +datum=WGS84" -rcs -order 3 -ts 1201 1201 -multi C:/Users/C012426/Desktop/geocoding/5m_33N/DEM_5m_33N.tif C:/Users/C012426/Desktop/geocoding/5m_33N/DEM_5m_33N_warped.tif

Step 2:

gdal_translate -of SRTMHGT C:/Users/C012426/Desktop/geocoding/5m_33N/DEM_5m_33N_warped.tif C:/Users/C012426/Desktop/geocoding/5m_33N/DEM_5m_33N_warped.hgt

What I get instead is one file only named: N4196770E55.hgt

while I was expecting to get 27176 / 2101 = about 22 hgt files...

What is wrong in my theory and most of all in my scripts ?

  • You must also define the extents of each tile to match with the definition dds.cr.usgs.gov/srtm/version2_1/Documentation/Quickstart.pdf
    – user30184
    Oct 3, 2017 at 19:12
  • Thanks @user30184, as I'm in SRTM3 zone of the world, it should be 1201x1201, but I can set these in the scripts ? Oct 3, 2017 at 20:52
  • It is not only to set output into 1201x1201 but you must set also the input, the region you want to store into each file. With gdal_translate that is set with -projwin. And then the same thing again for all your about 22 regions.
    – user30184
    Oct 3, 2017 at 21:24
  • Thanks again @user30184, unfortunately I can write just java code, while GDAL APIs seem to be for other languages. Last question: are you aware of any tool able to do the splitting of the tif into smaller tif files ? Oct 3, 2017 at 22:18
  • GDAL has java bindings. I know tile cutting tools but not any that knows out-of-the box how to cut hgt tiles.
    – user30184
    Oct 4, 2017 at 4:37

1 Answer 1


After some researches I found that I can do tif splitting via ArcGIS, py console:

enter image description here

Then i will have to translate all tif files to HGT but this look like an half of the problem.

Script is:

import arcpy arcpy.SplitRaster_management("C:/Users/Desktop/geocoding/DEM_Calabria_5m_33N/DEM_Calabria_5m_33N.tif", "C:/Users/Desktop/geocoding/EM_Calabria_5m_33N/", "ras", "SIZE_OF_TILE", "TIFF", "NEAREST", "#", "1201 1201", "10", "PIXELS", "#","#","#", "#","#","-32767")

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