The ArcPad Team Blog

Unofficial stuff from the team behind the World's leading mobile GIS platform

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Raster Tips #2 - Creating smaller/faster TIFFs

Want to create fast and small TIFF files for ArcPad?

I'll show you how to convert your rasters into high performance TIFF-LZW or a TIFF-ZIP image for ArcPad 7 using a combination of ArcGIS 9.X and IrfanView.

A. Install IrfanView
1. Go to
2. Download and install the free software

B. Check your File Explorer settings
(You need this step so that you can find the BMP world and BMP projection files later)
1. Start File Explorer
2. Tools > Folder Options
3. Click View tab
4. Uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types"
5. Click OK
6. Close File Explorer

C. Use ArcMap to generate BMP, BMP world and BMP projection files
1. Start ArcMap with a blank empty map
2. Add your original raster image to the Table of Contents
3. Right click on the image > Data > Export Data (an Export Raster Data dialog should appear)
4. Set Format: BMP
5. Check Use Renderer
6. Check Force RGB (required for aerial photos/satellite images other you may leave unchecked)
7. Click Save button
8. This will create a BMP, BMP world file (filename.bpw) and a BMP projection file (filename.bmp.aux.xml)
9. Quit ArcMap

D. Use IrfanView to convert BMP to TIFF with LZW (or ZIP) compression
1. Start IrfanView
2. Open the BMP that you generated in step C
3. Save As
4. Save as type: TIF
5. Save Compression: LZW or ZIP (ArcPad supports both, but ArcGIS supports LZW only)
6. Click Save
7. Quit IrfanView

E. Manually create TIFF world files and TIFF projection files
1. Start File Explorer
2. Copy and rename your filename.bpw file as a filename.tfw file creating the TIFF world file
3. Open your BMP project file (i.e. filename.bmp.aux.xml)
4. Locate the projection string, (usually inside the SRS tags)
5. Copy only the projection string to clipboard
6. Start Notepad
7. Paste the projection string to Notepad (usually looks like PROJCS[... ] )
8. Save the projection file as a TIFF projection file (filename.prj)
9. Close Notepad
10. Close File Explorer

That's it, the TIFF, TIFF world and TIFF projection file are ready to use in ArcPad.


  • At Friday, May 02, 2008 12:59:00 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    Don't we have to georeference the BMP file first?

  • At Monday, May 12, 2008 10:36:00 am, Blogger Stephen Quan said…

    Hi Tengkar, I was assuming your original TIFF was geo-referenced. My suggestion to use Data > Export Data in ArcMap is so that we can extract the projection and world map files from the original TIFF image. If they didn't exist, then, there should be a data preparation step where the original TIFF is assign both the right projection and registered to the right coordinates.

  • At Wednesday, March 03, 2010 5:39:00 am, Blogger Jody said…

    I used this post to create imagery for use in ArcPad 8. My question is whether the TIFF LZW file can be re-projected. The geodatabase we are using for ArcPad data check-out is in NAD1983 Lambert Conformal Conic projection. Is it possible to also get our imagery in this projection? How is this done?

  • At Monday, July 12, 2010 11:57:00 am, Blogger Stephen Quan said…

    Hi Jody, you can reproject Raster (including Raster Catalogs) in ArcGIS by using Project Raster toolbox (Open your toolbox and navigate to Data Management Tools > Projections and Transformations > Raster > Project Raster).

  • At Saturday, August 28, 2010 8:42:00 am, Blogger onojane said…

    You can export a TIFF in ArcMap using File > Export Map. There are options that let you select LZW compression and to create a world file. I have not tried your method, but I'm wondering if you have tried this method and know of any benefits to justify all these steps.

  • At Monday, August 30, 2010 8:36:00 am, Blogger Gareth Walters said…

    Hi Onojane,

    If you check out the blog article we wrote on creating Local Map Tiles
    you will see that we have actually used that exact approach just implemented via a python script using the new ArcGIS 10 ArcPY module. This is definately a tried and trusted method.


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