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How would I export metadata from .tfw format to FGDC?

09-24-2015 11:00 AM
New Contributor


I have roughly 3,000 seperate .tfw metadata files that were a part of a LiDAR dataset (each file corresponds to a specific .las file), and I need to get this into an FGDC metadata format. This metadata does not have any sort of xml tag to it, so I'm guessing I may have to create a script to get the tags added. Whether it involves writing a script or not, does anyone know of an easy way to get these files in to an FGDC format?


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3 Replies
MVP Regular Contributor

Files with a .tfw extension are usually "world​ files" that contain georeferencing information for TIFF rasters.  I'm not all that familiar with lidar data formats, but I'd be surprised if a tfw was associated with a las file. Do you have any .tif files as well?

You could try right clicking on one of the LAS files in ArcCatalog, selecting Item Description and then export that to FGDC:


If that works, you may be able to batch or script all of the LAS files using the Export Metadata​​ or Export Metadata Multiple​ tools  .

New Contributor


Thanks for your suggestion but unfortunately, I was only able to view the .Las dataset that I created in Catalog, not the standalone .Las files.  The metadata is just a folder of .tfw files with and unfortunately there are no .tif files to be found.  I guess I can try and export the .tfw files as a text and try to import as an xml file in notepad++.


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MVP Alum

As Luke said... The tfw file does not actually contain any information about what the actual coordinate system for the data is. For raster files it is just a reference for the corner coordinate and the cell size / rotation of the grid.

This doesn't seem appropriate for LAS point files.

If you still have access to the supplier, get them to tell you the exact parameters of the coord sys of the information. (projection system with its parameters and the datum on which it is based).

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