Welcome to Grid Convert 1.0 help

Please visit Geospatial Designs on the web at www.geospatialdesigns.com

or email us at: info@geospatialdesigns.com

For technical support and questions, please email support@geospatialdesigns.com

Grid Convert was developed in a Windows XP environment, using the Microsoft .NET Framework.  It should run on Windows 2000 and XP with no problems.  If you have not previously installed a program using the .NET Framework, or you haven't download the latest Windows updates, you may not have the necessary runtime files installed on your machine.  Please visit the Microsoft .NET Framework website to check if you need these files installed.  If you do not have them installed, the program will not run.

Grid Convert is a stand-alone utility for converting file formats.  It does not use Surfer or ArcGIS automation, so no other software is required to be installed.

Grid Convert will import a variety of image/grid/bitmap formats, and export to another image/grid format.  Grid Convert works by opening the selected file, loading the file's georeferencing information, and displaying that info along with a preview of the image (if it's a supported bitmap it will be color, but grid files will be grayscale).  You can then edit the georeferencing information in the boxes provided, if needed.  When you choose to convert to another format, the georeferencing information from the Grid Convert window is copied into the new file, as well as all of the data from the original image.  This data is converted to the correct format for the output file type selected, so the new file will be readable by applications that support the chosen format.

Note that with tiff images, georeferencing info can be embedded in the file (this is a GeoTiff).  Grid Convert will read this information.  However, tiff images are also often referenced with a "world file" that contains the geo-information (with file extension "tfw" or "tifw").  If a worldfile is present, the information it contains will override the embedded file information (matching ArcView's behavior).  If you have a world file for your GeoTiff, but you want to use the embedded information, make sure you move the worldfile out of the directory your tiff is in before conversion.  Other common bitmaps can also be georeferenced by creating a worldfile or by editing the information in the georeferencing text boxes, if so desired.


Grid Convert has the following menu system:

Open a new grid file (File Menu)

Grid Convert can currently open the following file types:

Close grid file (File Menu)

You must close the currently open image before you can open a new one.


Convert to a new format (Tools Menu)

Grid Convert can output the following file types:

Batch convert (Tools Menu)

You can also batch process a large number of files.  In the batch window, browse for any files that you would like to convert (you can shift or ctrl select multiple files), select the output folder from the tree view, and select the format.  Note that multiple different file types can be opened at once, but they all have to be converted the same output format.


Step-by-step instructions:

1.  To start, double click the Grid Convert executable or shortcut.

Open a grid or other image file using the File/Open menu item.  An open file dialog box will appear, allowing you to browse for a file of the type chosen in the file type list.

Georeferencing details will be provided in the appropriate boxes, and other ancillary file information may be displayed in the "Other File Information" box.  A preview of the image will be displayed in the box to the left, and Tiff image information tags will be listed in the file information box if applicable.  If a world file is present for the file, the information it contains will override any internal georeferencing information.  If you need to, you may edit the georeferencing information if the applicable box is not grayed-out (some info is not editable, such as the number of rows/columns).

You cannot open a new file until you close the current one using the File/Close menu item.  This clears out the previous file's georeferencing information and resets the main window contents.

2.  Convert to a new format using the Tools/Convert menu item.  A file must currently be open for this menu item to be available.  A save file dialog box will appear, allowing you to specify the directory and filename for your new file.  The output file type can be selected in the file type list.

Grid Convert will then load the original file's data into memory, re-format it according to the specifications of the output file type, and write it out to a new file.

Batch Conversion Step-by-step instructions:

A file does not need to be currently open in order to use this option, and it doesn't matter if one currently is open. 

1. Click the Tools - Batch menu item. A new window will open where you specify the parameters of the batch conversion, including the list of files to convert, the output directory, and the output type.  Make sure all of the options on the batch processing window are filled out and press OK to run the batch conversion.

2. Select the "Browse" button for an open file dialog to appear where you can select any number of files from the supported formats.  When you click "Ok" the list will be added to the "Files to process" window.  You can add more (i.e., from a different folder) by clicking "Browse" again, and the new files will be added to the list.  If you want to remove a file, delete the line it is on entirely.

3. Navigate to the folder you would like your new files to be placed in using the tree view to the right.  Please note that if any files in this folder have the same name as one of the output files from the batch process, they will be overwritten  It is a good idea to make a new empty directory for your output files.  The currently selected directory will be shown in the white box above.  You may also type the output directory directly into this box if desired.

4.  Select the output format from the drop-down menu at the lower left.

5.  Click "Ok" and allow the files to be processed.  The main Grid Convert window will not show previews of the images or other file information while processing, however, the status bar will report the progress of each file.  Note that because file information is not displayed, you cannot edit the georeferencing information during a batch convert.  Therefore, if the georeferencing information is missing or incorrect for a given file, it may not be correct in the output file, and the output file may not be readable in the application it is intended for use with.


Important notes:

1.  Raster data is stored in many formats, including 16-bit integer, 4-byte floating point, 8-byte floating point, etc.  If your input grid has a data format that is "bigger" than the type used by the selected output grid, there may be conversion issues.  For instance, the Surfer s7 grid uses 8-byte floating point, while the s6 format uses 4-byte floating point.  It is therefore possible for the s7 grid to have greater data precision or a larger number than what the s6 format can hold.  In these cases, the input grid data will be set to the "no data" value in the output grid, if it exceeds the largest value that the output grid can hold.

2.  When converting from any of the bitmap formats (*.jpg, *.gif, *.png, *.bmp, *.tif), the RGB color value is always used.  This is an integer value representing the unique color calculated from the red, green, and blue components of the image, and it corresponds to the color that would be displayed in a typical photo/image program.  A future version of Grid Convert may include the ability to export a separate grid for each RGB component.

3.  Grid Convert always makes a temporary copy of your original file to work from during conversion.  This is done to ensure that no damage is ever done to your source files.  When your input files are very large (>100MB), this may slow down the conversion process considerably.  However, in our experience, it is likely that files this large may exceed the available system memory and fail to convert anyway.  Grid Convert loads the entire file contents into RAM before converting, so very large files may cause an out of memory error.  A future version of Grid Convert may support line-by-line conversion to preserve RAM, however, the current list of supported formats does not present a very high likelihood for this out of memory scenario.  If you need to convert extremely large files please contact our services department to discuss the creation of a custom utility that would meet your needs.