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Tiff file import-max file size?

J. Wallace

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Hello everyone

I have a question that I haven't been able to answer as of yet.

I just imported some shapefile contour lines from a drone survey and the 185 acre site model creation was quick and painless...yeah!


The high resolution Tiff file (overhead view of site) is about 1.6 GB and will not import into VW or any other software I have which is not a total surprise. The drone operator has asked me what is the max size I can handle??? No idea...I do see that I've used images that are 200+ mb but I'm not sure of VW limitations. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks 😀

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I regularly and very frequently import huge image files, 200 - 500 megapixels, with no problem whatsoever. There must be something else going wrong than VW's basic capabilities. One thing to check though may be if the image exceeds 30,000 pixels in any given direction. Not sure where VW stands on this thing, but many programs have such a limitation, even older versions of Photoshop. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

@J. Wallaceas @jeff prince already mentioned, splitting the images in tiles is they way to go. If the Tiff image is georeferenced, which I assume it is, it best to use a GIS program (QGIS, GlobalMapper, ArcGIS etc). to keep the georeferencing intact. That way you can seamlessly import the tiles and they should align properly without having to manually align them.


When creating the tiles it is best to save them as georefenced jpg files instead of georeferenced tiff files. Even when there is no size limit for TIFF, importing jpg files is quicker than importing TIFF files because VW does not have to compress them internally as jpg/png . At least that is my experience. Because JPG files usually compress tiff files by a factor of 10, I would aim for tiles of approx. 400 megabytes uncompressed maximum, which creates jpg files of approx. 40 megabytes that should import without issues.


I've been able to import 20+ GB georeferenced TIFF files that way into VW without problems. (Though you do end up with a big pile of tiles 😁)

Edited by Art V
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