what is the difference between the ArcInfo ASCII format and the geotiff file format when downloading the SRTM data.

I downloaded the tiles (21) for the Tibetan Plateau and imported thme into ArcMap 10. It looks quite different. The ArcInfo ASCII looks like a puzzle and the geotiff ones are very grey... but no puzzle. Has anyone an idea?

  • Welcome to GIS SE! Can you post pictures? Or upload the screenshots and we'll fix it for you. That way we can better understand your situation. – R.K. May 27 '13 at 12:40
  • Can you provide links to where we can download the same data to test it? – PolyGeo May 27 '13 at 12:52

In a nutshell, the ESRI ASCII grid format is human-readable and is text. This means you can open it in a text editor and see the actual values for yourself without needing specialized software. TIFFs are binary and are therefore not human-readable. You'd need some specialized software like GIS to read it. TIFFs are supported by almost all GIS packages though. SRTM images are available for download in those two formats due to their ease of use of use and widespread support in most GIS and Remote Sensing software applications. The two files should contain the same information.

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