A GeoTIFF is a special form of a TIFF image, that is a file format for storing image data (file name extension. Geotiff, often only. Tif). Since the TIF format allows for lossless storage, it is well suited to the management of geographic data, as it often arrives in satellite and aerial imagery or other raster data at high imaging accuracy.

The peculiarity of GeoTIFF compared to the normal TIF format is that specific data on the georeference in addition to the visible raster data embedded in the image file. These include coordinates for geo-referencing the image section and the used map projection: The file contains information specific to the coordinate reference system.

The information is being six tags are used for geo-information in contrast to the normal GeoJPEG or TIF format not in a separate file (world file), but stored directly in the meta tags of the image. If necessary, these tags are extensible with additional fields.

GeoTIFF files can be compressed with all the algorithms that are possible for the TIF format, in addition to various lossless method, therefore, also with a lossy JPEG compression with which, if necessary, at the expense of image quality can achieve a significant reduction in file size. However, not every application supports all permitted by the TIF format compression algorithms.

The initiative to create the GeoTIFF format goes back to the company Intergraph. Since the early 1990s, we addressed this issue and was able to win a lot of companies and representatives of government organizations as supporters. They include well-known companies and institutions in the GIS sector such as ESRI, ERDAS, and the USGS. GeoTIFF has emerged as the de facto standard for the representation of raster data and is used by most data processing raster GIS programs as well as some image editing programs (eg Adobe Photoshop) support. The image information can be displayed in any program that supports the normal TIFF standard.