I have a folder full of tiles, and I'd like to convert them into a single GeoTIFF file.

The folder structure looks like this:

10 //the zoom
    554 //y
        860.jpg //x

Not quite sure what that structure is called Mapbox Tiles? XYZ? Slippy tiles?

Either way, I tried the following:

gdal_translate.exe -if MBTiles -of GTiff "C:\maps\tiles" "C:\maps\output.tiff"

But it returns:

ERROR 4: "C:\maps\tiles": Permission denied

Does GDAL support conversion of folders full of tiles?

  • 1
    does your user have permission to that directory?
    – Ian Turton
    Nov 13, 2021 at 11:21
  • 2
    I was under the impression that the MBTiles format was sqlite DB based not file based (see GDAL MBTiles driver doc and the MBTiles specification)
    – user2856
    Nov 13, 2021 at 11:38
  • 1
    If your folder is full of georeferenced Tiff files, you could create a virtual raster (VRT) first and translate it to a single GeoTIFF file afterwards. See gis.stackexchange.com/questions/230553/… for more info.
    – christoph
    Nov 13, 2021 at 13:14
  • If your tiles are not georeferenced, you need to create World files for each of them at first step.
    – christoph
    Nov 13, 2021 at 13:21
  • 3
    The GDAL driver that supports using a x/y/z folder as source is WMS driver with the TMS minidriver gdal.org/drivers/raster/wms.html#tms.
    – user30184
    Nov 13, 2021 at 13:44

2 Answers 2


You can do this, by saving it in a text file and changing the extension to .bat:

set pathin=F:\mydirectoryname\In
set pathout=F:\mydirectoryname\Out
set filename=merged_file

gdalbuildvrt -allow_projection_difference index.vrt %pathin%\*.tif 
gdal_translate index.vrt %pathout%\%filename%.tif -tr 0.3 0.3 -co COMPRESS=LZW -co BIGTIFF=YES -a_nodata 0

Then simply run the bat file. This has the cool bonus of resampling if needed. I do this through the OSGeo4W shell that comes with QGIS - there you already have the GDAL library.

  1. Download GDAL. Windows binaries can be found here.

  2. Create a file called tiles.xml, which describes your folder structure. For example:

        <Service name="TMS">
            <ServerUrl>file://C:/map data/Sydney/${z}/${y}/${x}.jpg</ServerUrl>
  3. Open a console window and set up an environment variable:

    set PROJ_LIB="C:\Portable\gdal\release-1928-x64-gdal-3-3-3-mapserver-7-6-4\bin\proj7\share"
  4. Run the following commands:

    cd "C:\Portable\gdal\release-1928-x64-gdal-3-3-3-mapserver-7-6-4\bin\gdal\apps\"
    gdal_translate.exe -of GTiff "C:\map data\Sydney\tiles.xml" "C:\map data\sydney.tiff" -projwin 151.033285 -33.743981 151.300567 -33.957583

Information about gdal_translate.exe can be found here.

Information about the WMS/TMS xml file can be found here.

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