I have ~1000 1GB images that I want to make into a COG w/ JPEG compression. Any time I try to use gdalbuildvrt to create a vrt of my entire directory of images then I get big quality loss.

Can someone show me what I'm doing wrong?

Left image is a sample of how I'd like to make my entire directory of images into a single COG. This VRT has only 2 images, N00-E000_ur and N00-E000_ul.

gdalbuildvrt test.vrt *.tif

gdal_translate test.vrt testjpg90vrt.tif -of COG -co COMPRESS=JPEG -co QUALITY=90

Right image is just a comparison of making a COG from just 1 of the images:

gdal_translate N00-E000_ur.tif N00-E000_ur_cog_jpeg.tif -of COG -co COMPRESS=JPEG -co QUALITY=90

Left image is 2 images in a .vrt, Right image is just 1 image

  • Does the image look similar if you open them with QGIS? Now you seem to use GeoServer and the intergrated viewer.
    – user30184
    May 28, 2021 at 13:53
  • Yes the imagery looks the same in QGIS.
    – A. Mort
    May 28, 2021 at 14:20
  • Could you share some test data?
    – user30184
    May 30, 2021 at 16:36

1 Answer 1


Turns out I needed to use

gdalbuildvrt -resolution highest

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