I have two identical rasters, one has been georeferenced, the other has not. I would like to georeference the second raster automatically using the first one. I do not want to create links by hand and the raster has been warped so simply shifting xy position does not work.

Let me know if you have any ideas... most comfortable working in model builder but would love any solution.



If they are exactly identical and one has a world file (.tfw) you could copy and rename the file to match the basename of the other raster. If the cell sizes are different or if it is in another format you may have a trickier time of it.

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  • They are exactly identical and on has a world file. But the one that is already georeferenced was done by hand in arc... I'm not sure if the world file gets updated with new info after georeferencing and since it only contains the upper left coordinate, it wouldn't account for any warping that resulted from the georeferencing. Does that make sense? – Hannah K Aug 20 '13 at 17:48
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    If there's also a .aux.xml file, you'll need to copy that, too. All of the information ArcGIS uses to georeference image files is split between that and the world file. – nmpeterson Aug 20 '13 at 17:54
  • If you rectify the dataset it will update the world file. I am not sure what happens if you simply update it. I wouldn't copy the aux file since there is a lot of unrelated information in there that almost certainly won't match (histograms). I would just define the projection off the other existing dataset. – Bryan Luman Aug 20 '13 at 18:32
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    Perhaps the XML files can store unrelated information, but they certainly don't have to. I have several TIFFs that have been georeferenced in ArcMap, and the only data in the XML file is the spatial reference, the source control points, target control points and polynomial order for the transformation. – nmpeterson Aug 20 '13 at 19:03
  • That is a good point, I suppose the best tact would be to check out the file before using and see what ESRI stuffed in there before using it. – Bryan Luman Aug 21 '13 at 16:55

Here is an idea, create a tool to register the 4 corners of the new image to the warped corners, inside the rectified image. OSSIM has a command line tool named, Extract_Vertices, to derive the original corners inside a georeferenced image. I believe these are the pixels closest to the extent corner that are not null. If Extract_Vertices outputs the correct coordinates you can build a model to run arcpy.warp_management, passing in the control points, to georeference the raw image. I have not tested this.

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