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TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) Reader/Writer

Licensing options for this format begin with FME Professional Edition.

The TIFF Reader/Writer module provides FME with access to data in the TIFF format.


TIFF uses the data reading and writing functionality of the Geospatial Data Abstraction Library. The first element of the raster corresponds to the lower-left hand corner of the raster. For each raster, there is only a single feature returned, since this feature will contain the entire raster.

TIFF files can be raster files containing elevation data, or image files containing color data. Each elevation sample in a raster file is a point in a single FME raster feature, while each pixel color value in an image file is a value in a single FME raster feature.

The reader and writer support band types of Byte, UInt16, Int16, UInt32, Int32, Float32, and Float64. Classified (Paletted) images will return class dictionary (palette) information associated with the band.

The reader and writer produces non-georeferenced TIFF files, but the writer can generate an Esri world file with the extension .tfw.

The TIFF writer supports the following options:

  • Tiled TIFF files: This option specifies whether to create tiled or stripped TIFF files.
  • Tile/Strip size: These options specify the size of tiles or strips to create.
  • Compression (jpeg/lzw/pack-bits/ccitt-rle/ccitt-fax3/ccitt-fax4/none): This option sets the compression to use.
  • JPEG Compression Level

    This option sets the JPEG quality when using JPEG compression.

    Note: Repeatedly reading and saving files may decrease the quality for this format. In addition, Workbench may not know which format data comes from, and whether it used lossy compression. If you know that source data comes from files with lossy compression, you should also set the compression level to 0. Although this compression still does not guarantee the exact copy of the source file, the output will be very close to the original.

  • JPEG Compression Level: This option sets the JPEG quality when using JPEG compression.
  • Arbitrary bit depths: This option allows writing datasets with any bit depth between 1 and 32.

  • BigTIFF: Enabling this option allows an output TIFF file larger than 4GB.
  • Interleaving: The organization of the bands in the file.
  • Photometric Interpretation: The color space of the image data.
  • Byte order: The byte order used in the file.

Reader Overview

FME considers a single TIFF file to be a dataset.

Writer Overview

FME considers a dataset to be a folder name. The names of the TIFF output files written to the output dataset folder are determined from the FME Feature Type. The folder does not have to exist before the translation occurs. Any existing files in the folder which have the same name are overwritten with the new feature data. The TIFF writer distinguishes duplicate output files by appending numbers to the filenames. Please see About FME Rasters for details.

The TIFF writer has an option for setting the bit depth of the output file. The option is exposed as a feature type parameter Number of Bits Per Cell on the feature type level and as a feature attribute “tiff_number_of_bits_per_cell” on the feature level.

Another option in the TIFF writer is the BigTIFF support. The option is exposed as a feature type parameter Enable BigTIFF on the feature type level and as a new feature attribute “tiff_enable_bigtiff” on the feature level.

FME Raster Features

FME raster features represent raster data and use several concepts that are unlike those used in the handling of vector data. The topics below describe how FME processes raster data.

About FME Rasters Tiling and Mosaicking
Raster Properties Band Combining and Separating
Band Properties Band and Palette Selection
Palette Properties Raster Processing
Compression Raster versus Vector Features
Pyramiding Raster File Naming
Interleaving World Files
Interpretation and Data Type TAB Files
Palette Resolution  

TIFF files can be written with non-square pixel dimensions.

TIFF supports rasters with an arbitrary number of bands, provided all bands are the same data type and no band has a palette. TIFF also supports rasters with a single band that has a palette.

FME Knowledge Center

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