I have a TIFF file of Poland and a self drawn vector map of Poland. The vector map has no spatial information.

I am intending to reference the TIFF exactly to the shape of the self drawn map.

My problem is, that the TIFF is not choosable in the georeferencing tool. I suspect it is because it already has a CRS and so on. Unreferenced data like a JPEG can be choosed and referenced.

Is there a way to rereference my raster data?

It is very important to contain the exact shape of the self drawn map and I think the geoeferencing tool should do well to fix my raster appropriately. It is furthermore important to contain the classification info, it would not be suficient to convert it to a jpg.


4 Answers 4


you can try to copy raster and set the unknown crs by tool from toolbox. Than try to set georeference to new file

EDIT technicly you can do this by this tool (from your screenshoot I figured, that you have arcgis 10.x) so:

  1. copy raster by arctoolbox->data Managment->Raster->Raster Dataset->copy raster
  2. in ArcCatalog find new copied raster and that right mouse button on it->properties->Spatial reference->Edit->Clear

so no you have tiff with no georeferencing. Try now to georectify raster.

  • This sounds like a very good solution. Could you specifiy which tool you mean by "unknown crs" tool?
    – Gideon
    Jan 25, 2013 at 1:09
  • That's step 2. You use ArcCatalog to 'clear' (remove) the spatial reference/coordinate system from the raster.
    – mkennedy
    Jan 25, 2013 at 12:10
  • yes, earlier I worked with arcMap 9.3 and I thought, that there were no option to 'clear' CRS unless you copy raster. Although when I check it in 10 it appears that you can clear CRS without coping it. I didn't want to change my answer very much so I splitted it into 2 steps. @Gideon please write - was my answer good.
    – Krystian
    Jan 25, 2013 at 13:36

You can try deleting the current georef points...or copy the .tiff file (only) to a new folder location and georeference on that copy.

Unless it is a geo-Tiff the cordinate information will be stored in an external file. If you are able to locate this file and remove it, your tiff becomes unreferenced again.

  • I already tried to locate the external file, but it looks like it is the same file, which gives the information on the color values and so on.
    – Gideon
    Jan 25, 2013 at 1:11
  • Did you try copying the file to a new folder location...just the .tiff file and nothing else? I am beginning to suspect it is a geo-tiff...
    – ujjwalesri
    Jan 25, 2013 at 1:22
  • OK...try to clear the coordinate system information from the tiff using ArcCatalog...
    – ujjwalesri
    Jan 25, 2013 at 1:24
  • If it is a geotiff: open the tif in an image viewer software (e.g. irvan view). Save it to a new file (tif). The new tif will be a "normal" tif - not a geotiff.
    – Jens
    Jan 25, 2013 at 7:17
  • 2
    @gideon: you want to adjust the tif to the vector data. You can also use this alternative: Adjust the vector data to the tiff. Use the Spatial Adjustment toolbar for this.
    – Jens
    Jan 25, 2013 at 7:24

First of all, in your case (where the vector is not georeferenced), I would like to suggest that you georeference your vector on the tif instead of the tif on the vector (maybe your tif is already correctly georeferenced, by the way). You could add some base layer or, better, try to find absolute GCP to achieve a good georeferencing (or to check if the tiff is correctly georeferenced). But here my answer to the question :

No need to remove the CRS of your tif. You should simply make sure that your data frame and your TIFF file are in the same reference system to activate the georeferencing tool for the TIF. Right-Click and your data frame and select properties, then, go to coordinate system and choose the reference system of your tif in the "layers" folder.


I have the same problem, in my case it was because I save the project with all the files (tif, jp2...) and when i try to choose the tif in georef tool it doesn't appear. So, I delete the project and when I open tif, this appear in georef tool.

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