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How to use ECW images with MapInfo?

How to use ECW images with MapInfo?


I'm wondering if there is a way to use ECW images in MapInfo without having to 'register' the image as I bring it in?

I mean, ECW images are already rectified (well the ones I use for GIS are anyway) with coordinate system information embedded into the header of the image. Other GIS applications such as ArcGIS, Quantum GIS, gvSIG etc will load an ECW image generally without any problems… and without trying to rectify, that which is already rectified!

Of course, my valid fear is that by choosing the 'register' option when I open the ECW in MapInfo, I'll alter (possibly for the worse) the geo-rectification already applied to the image. I don't want to do that.

I have a potential client who's already acquired MapInfo and needs to help setting up.

Any thoughts &/or help appreciated.

(Summit GIS and Mapping).

EDIT (27/10/2011): Using MapInfo Professional 11.0


Nicholas Lawrence kindly shared a MapBasic script for creating tab files from ECW files on MapInfo-L: http://groups.google.com/group/mapinfo-l/browse_thread/thread/366d3489343dc1ad

You need to compile this script with a MapBasic compiler and you might also have to add you own coordinatesystem (datum and projection) to the logic of the script

Thanks goes to Nicholas Lawrence for sharing!


There is a free plugin (with a commercial option with more features) that allows MapInfo to read ECWs natively. As I have only used up until MapInfo 8.5, I cannot speak for later versions, but it certainly works with earlier versions back to version 5.0.

Get it here at MapImagery's Ecw for MapInfo


MapInfo struggles to read the georeferencing information from ECWs, but you can provide the same information in an accompanying world file (.eww) that will be read by MapInfo. It may be possible to write a script that uses the GDAL library to read the ECW and create the world file, but I'm not aware that such a script already exists.

Update: The NCSFileReporter command line utility that comes with the ERDAS Image Web Server 2011 Utilities produces a textual report containing the ECW georeferencing information that could be restructured into a TAB file using a script, this would allow the extraction of georeferencing from multiple ECW images automatically.


Forgive what may be an obvious question, but are you using the ECW for MapInfo Plugin? It is supposedly found in the Utilities section of the MapInfo install disc.

See my comments in Kelso's reply regarding this plugin, and why I think this isn't a good answer.


Watch the video: How to save map into image format bmp, jpg, etc in mapinfo