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GeoTIFF

(Sources:
Ritter, Niles (28 December, 2000). GeoTIFF Format Specification, Version: 1.8.2. Retrieved February 2, 2004. http://www.remotesensing.org/geotiff/spec/geotiff1.html .
Warmerdam, Frank (15 January, 2003). GeoTIFF. Retrieved February 2, 2004. http://www.remotesensing.org/geotiff/geotiff.html .)

GeoTIFF (Georeferenced Tagged Image File Format) represents an effort by over 160 different remote sensing, Geographic Information System (GIS), cartographic, and surveying related companies and organizations to establish a TIFF-based interchange format for georeferenced raster imagery.

Initial efforts to define a TIFF "geotie" specification began in the early 1990's. In 1994, a formal GeoTIFF mailing list was created and maintained by Niles Ritter at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). This mailing list quickly grew to over 140 subscribers from government and industry, and culminated in a conference in March of 1995 hosted by France's Systeme Pour l'Observation De La Terre (SPOT) Image. Representatives from United States Geological Survey (USGS), Intergraph, ESRI, ERDAS, SoftDesk, MapInfo, NASA/JPL, and others attended the conference and outlined a working proposal for GeoTIFF. Niles Ritter and Mike Ruth of SPOT Image condensed the outline into a prerelease GeoTIFF specification document. Following discussions with Dr. Roger Lott of the European Petroleum Survey Group (EPSG), the GeoTIFF projection parameterization method was extensively modified and brought into compatibility with both the Petrotechnical Open Software Corporation (POSC) Epicentre model and the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) metadata approaches.

GeoTIFF is based on the widely used TIFF format, whose embedded "tags" and "keys" carry image metadata indicating color model (bilevel, grayscale, palette color, and Red, Green, Blue (RGB)) and several compression schemes. GeoTIFF makes use of the extensible nature of TIFF tags by defining tags that describe cartographic information associated with TIFF imagery, so as to tie a raster image to a known model space or map projection, and to describe those projections. GeoTIFF uses a small set of reserved TIFF tags to store a broad range of georeferencing information applicable to geographic as well as projected coordinate systems needs. These tags comply with the TIFF recommendations and allow the full scope of raster data supported by TIFF.

GeoTIFF supports coordinate systems based on Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM), US State Plane, and National Grids, as well as the underlying projection types such as Transverse Mercator, Lambert Conformal Conic, etc. It also handles latitude and longitude according to several geodetic datums. Specifically, GeoTIFF uses version 2.1 (1995) of the European Petroleum Survey Group (EPSG) tables of coordinate systems and reference parameters.

Detailed description of GeoTIFF.