Display ASTER DEM TIF files in OpenJUMP

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Loading an ASTER GDEM (Global Digital Elevation Model) tif file in OpenJUMP could be difficult as OpenJUMP correctly decodes the geographic position of the file (which is automatically saved in a .tfw file in the same folder of the TIF) but it doesn't decode file raster data. The file is displayed into the layer tree of OpenJUMP but not in the view.

In order to correctly load these files in OpenJUMP they should be transformed using an external software. This procedure shows how to transform an ASTER GDEM file using ImageJ (https://imagej.nih.gov/ij/) with Bioformat plugin (https://imagej.net/Bio-Formats).

To simplify the process, I recommand to download Fiji (https://imagej.net/Fiji/Downloads), a binding of ImageJ with already embedded all the plugins we need (and more). Fiji is available for Windows, Linux and MacOSX.

  • Load the original aster.tif file into OpenJUMP. Even if the file is not displayed in the view, OpenJUMP decodes its own geographical location that will save, in the same folder as the original file, as a file aster.tfw.
  • Start Fiji and load the aster.tif file using 'Bioformat' plugin (Plugin>Bio-Format>Bio-Format importer)
  • From the Fiji toolbar type on Image>Type. The uploaded file is indicated as 16-bit. 'Click on 32-bit'
  • From Fiji toolbar type on File>Save as>TIF and save back the file as aster.tif
  • On OpenJUMP remove the file aster.tif from the layer tree (click on the file and then right click>remove selected file
  • Reopen again the file aster.tif on OpenJUMP.

At this point the file should be correctly displayed on OpenJUMP. I reccomand to save this file in another format (FLT or ASC) to prevent possible errors if you want to save this file into and OpenJUMP project