"Unable to locate georeferencing information" in tifs from QGIS

paalexan's Avatar


06 Jan, 2021 07:40 AM


I'm trying to add some tifs to a map, and am finding that CalTopo can't read the georeferencing information in any of my tifs. I ran across this discussion:


And thought I'd try using the tif in EPSG:3857 that is linked there, as this is presumably one that should work. And it does! However, if I open it in QGIS and save it, CalTopo can no longer read the georeferencing. I tried saving a tif from R using the 'raster' package, too, just out of curiosity. CalTopo can't read the georeferencing information from that one, either. Anyone know what's up or how to fix it?

Here's the tif that works, from that previous discussion:


I've attached one from QGIS that does not work. I'm using QGIS 3.15.0 in macOS 10.15.7.


  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Ben Lantow on 06 Jan, 2021 04:37 PM

    Ben Lantow's Avatar

    Thanks for reaching out.
    GeoTIFF is an extensive and complex spec, it appears QGIS isn’t storing the information in a manner that we can currently read. We'll take a look at it and can likely fix the underlying issue.


  2. Ben Lantow closed this discussion on 06 Jan, 2021 04:37 PM.

  3. paalexan re-opened this discussion on 06 Jan, 2021 05:43 PM

  4. 2 Posted by paalexan on 06 Jan, 2021 05:43 PM

    paalexan's Avatar

    Thanks! What programs write CalTopo-friendly tifs? That might be the
    path of least resistance, if making CalTopo QGIS-friendly is a hassle.


  5. Support Staff 3 Posted by Julie on 09 Jan, 2021 01:58 AM

    Julie's Avatar

    Hi Patrick,

    We aren't familiar with other programs that might do that. Is there a way to export a different format from QGIS? Such as a PDF file?

    We're going to look into the QGIS Tif and see about making it compatible, but it could be a while.


  6. 4 Posted by paalexan on 11 Jan, 2021 08:15 PM

    paalexan's Avatar


    QGIS has a bunch of raster export options, but I think most are pretty
    obscure. I've attached an image with the list. Although geospatial PDF
    is in the list, if I try to use that option it gives me an error message
    suggesting that only vector layers are supported in that format. For
    what it's worth, I tried exporting a tif from ArcGIS Pro, and that
    didn't work either... I guess I haven't tried a geospatial PDF from
    ArcGIS Pro, though. The layers I'm working with at the moment don't lose
    much in conversion to vector, so I think I'll try kmz.


  7. Support Staff 5 Posted by matt on 13 Jan, 2021 06:55 PM

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    I'm guessing GeoPDF is the only other one that we can read. Investigating the GeoTIFF issue is on my list and I hope to get to it soon. Sorry it's taking a while but we have a lot going on at the moment.

  8. Support Staff 6 Posted by matt on 14 Jan, 2021 03:42 PM

    matt's Avatar

    This has been fixed. It wasn't directly related to the projection, but rather to a subtle difference between our test and prod environments.

  9. matt closed this discussion on 14 Jan, 2021 03:42 PM.

  10. paalexan re-opened this discussion on 14 Jan, 2021 05:51 PM

  11. 7 Posted by paalexan on 14 Jan, 2021 05:51 PM

    paalexan's Avatar

    Awesome, thanks, I'll give it a try!

  12. Julie closed this discussion on 14 Jan, 2021 06:51 PM.

  13. paalexan re-opened this discussion on 14 Jan, 2021 09:40 PM

  14. 8 Posted by paalexan on 14 Jan, 2021 09:40 PM

    paalexan's Avatar

    On another tif I ran into some trouble with pixel dimensions--looks like
    my pixels need to be square--but that was easy enough to fix once I
    figured out what the problem is. Otherwise, looks like it's working
    nicely, thanks!

  15. Julie closed this discussion on 18 Jan, 2021 11:05 PM.

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