I'm trying to read\load BigGeoTIFF multi-band raster (>4GB), using GDAL module in python but I can't seem to make it. At first the error was that BigGeoTIFF format is not supported by GDAL and libtiff versions, but according to this document I have the required versions. I also saw somewhere (can't find it now for some reason) that you need to specifically enable the BigGeoTIFF format in GDAL but I don't know how to do so. Anyways, now when I try to read the raster with:

source = r"C:\Users\Administrator\Desktop\california_merge.tif"
dataset = gdal.Open(source)
print type(dataset)

When I use this code on <4GB multi-band raster I get the desired result

source = r"C:\Users\Administrator\Desktop\california_merge_clip.tif"
dataset = gdal.Open(source)
print type(dataset)

What can I do to be able to read (and later process) BigGeoTIFF file in Python (version 2.7 on win 10)

  • How much memory does your pc have?
    – Liam G
    Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 11:36
  • How many bands does BigGeotiff raster have? In this case, for reducing size, you can use gdal_translate command (by using -b parameter) to extract each individual band previously and try it out.
    – xunilk
    Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 13:40
  • 8GB, 4-band raster
    – user88484
    Commented Dec 23, 2017 at 7:34
  • Please edit your question and specify what version of GDAL and where you installed it from.
    – user2856
    Commented Dec 23, 2017 at 21:23
  • 3
    Possible duplicate of Cannot install a version of GDAL via Anaconda that permits reading BigTIFFs
    – user2856
    Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 20:13

1 Answer 1


I believe, you can check if BigTIFF is supported like this:

md = gdal.GetDriverByName('GTiff').GetMetadata()
if md['DMD_CREATIONOPTIONLIST'].find('BigTIFF') == -1:
    return 'BigTIFF is not supported'

You can also enable exceptions to see the reason why the image can't be read (gdal.Open() will raise an exception):

  • I ran this code and I got 'BigTIFF is not supported', I don't now how to enable it since I have the required version of 'gdal' and 'libtiff'. Is there any other module that supports BigGeoTiff?
    – user88484
    Commented Dec 23, 2017 at 7:50

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