I have 4139 ecw files of aerial photography that I would like to be able to open fairly easily and quickly in a QGIS project. I thought a virtual raster would be the way but when I have tried it comes up with the error:

enter image description here

I did this through Raster > Miscellaneous > Build Virtual Raster (Catalog)...

Could it be the length of the file path? Don't think it's too long.

Can you join several virtual rasters together?

1 Answer 1


Most of the time it is due to the length of the command line generated in the dialog box.

Look how the command is structured and/or rather type something like the following :

gdalbuildvrt my_vrt.vrt *.ecw 

It will "pick" all the *.ecw files located in your source folder.

  • Ah ok. I'm not very good with writing commands. Do I need to substitute some of the wording above? I just tried copying and pasting that command but it came up with this error: ERROR 4: `*.ecw' does not exist in the file system, and is not recognized as a supported dataset name. Warning 1: Can't open *.ecw. Skipping it Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 12:51
  • u have to ensure your are using the right locations : before my_vrt you must add the location of the file u want to create (u must have write permission ...) and before "*.ecw" u must add your source folder. it could be something like : gdalbuildvrt d:\myfolder\my_vrt.vrt s:\mysourcefolder\ *.ecw
    – Snaileater
    Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 12:53
  • And yes u have to subsitute the whole content by this command and it should be fine.
    – Snaileater
    Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 12:59
  • I've copied and pasted these locations and it comes up with errors saying the locations don't exist? Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 13:30
  • 1
    Why do you have question marks in the naming of your folders ? You should also avoid spaces. If there's any space the whole path must be put in brackets.If it still doesn't work make a test with a simplified file tree ...
    – Snaileater
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 10:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.