Create a world file from a GeoTIFF image using ArcInfo Workstation

Last Published: June 16, 2020


The information in this article applies to a retired product, ArcInfo Workstation. For further guidance, see the Related Information section.

The geospatial information contained in the GeoTIFF file can be used to generate a world file. There are third party utilities that can be used to extract worldfile information from a GeoTIFF image. A search on the internet can locate these. If ArcInfo Workstation is available, the procedure described herein provides another approach.


The following AML extracts the spatial information from a GeoTIFF image and creates a worldfile. To make this function available from any Arc session, regardless of workspace, copy the AML in the $ARCHOME/atool/arc directory.

/* worldfile.aml 1.0 Sep 7 '00 
/*  NAME:     worldfile.aml 
/*  MODULE:   Arc 
/*  PURPOSE:  Extracts the spatial information from a GeoTIFF image
/*            and creates a world file.
/*  Usage:    WORLDFILE <In_Image> {Out_Worldfile}
/*            - When no Out_Worldfile name is specified, the name of 
/*            the input image will be used. 
/*            - The AML will not overwrite an existing world file.
/*  Note:     Do not use .tfw extension on output worldfile name.  It
/*            will be applied automatically.
/* This is not an ESRI supported AML. Please use at your own risk.
/* Also, please make a backup of your data before running this AML
/* and carefully check the output.  This is just a skeleton AML with
/* no real error checking. It is meant only as a guide to developing an
/* AML specific to your data inputs and desired outputs.

&args in_image out_wrld

&if [null %in_image%] and [null %out_wrld%] &then &goto usage

&if [null %out_wrld%] &then &do 
  &sv out_wrld = %in_image% 

/* check if file already exists
&if [exists %out_wrld%.tfw -file] &then &do
   &type '  Specified output worldfile name already exists.'

/* obtain spatial parameters of image
&describe %in_image%

/* calculate values to be used in output worldfile
&sv xdim = %IMG$DX% 
&sv ydim = %IMG$DY%
&sv xul  = [calc %IMG$XMIN% + [calc  %IMG$DX% / 2 ]]
&sv yul  = [calc %IMG$YMAX% - [calc  %IMG$DX% / 2 ]]

/* write world file
&sv worldfile = [open %out_wrld%.tfw openstat -write]
&sv writestat = [write %worldfile% %xdim%]
&sv writestat = [write %worldfile% 0.000000000000]
&sv writestat = [write %worldfile% 0.000000000000]
&sv writestat = [write %worldfile% -%ydim%]
&sv writestat = [write %worldfile% %xul%]
&sv writestat = [write %worldfile% %yul%]
&sv closestat = [close %worldfile% ]

/* display usage 
&label usage 
  &type ' ' Usage:  WORLDFILE <In_Image> {Out_Worldfile}

Article ID:000002115

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