Compressing TIFF files in R and Windows

Compressing TIFF files is an easy way to save disk space when working with raster files or image outputs for research papers. But this is rarely the default option causing used diskspace to quickly inflate heavily. For instance this figure 7000 by 5000 pixel image as a TIFF uses 136MB.

While after lossless compression with the libtiff command tiffcp it is only 8MB. To install libtiff on windows download and run the latest setup from To compress a tiff file you need to run the following command (assuming that tiffcp is in your path). Make sure to specify a different output file name, otherwise the original will be overwritten with a broken and incomplete copy of the original.
tiffcp -c lzw uncompressed_input.tif compressed_output.tif

In R you can also write compressed raster (geo)tiff files by adding extra options to the writeRaster function from the raster package.


x <- raster("uncompressed_input.tif")
tifoptions <- c("COMPRESS=DEFLATE", "PREDICTOR=2", "ZLEVEL=6")
writeRaster(x, "compressed_output.tif",
            options = tifoptions, overwrite = FALSE)

No comments: