ArcView 3.x - Viewing USGS DOQ/DOQQs


Viewing the USGS DOQQs in ArcView requires the use of the "Create HDR file from Uncompressed DOQ" script.

Scripts and instructions for using them are provided here.


1. What is a DOQ and a DOQQ?


A DOQ is a digital image of the earth’s surface that has been digitally scanned and processed to remove the distortion inherent in aerial photography. Using a digital elevation model and advanced image processing techniques, radial and topographic distortion is removed from the image providing a true planimetric product. A DOQ image typically covers one-quarter of a 1:24,000 scale USGS topographic map plus a little overlap. The resolution of the image is quite high at one square meter per pixel. As a result of this fine cell size, these images consume large quantities of disk space. A DOQQ is a subset of a DOQ, in that it refers to a Digital Orthophoto Quarter Quad. There are four DOQQ's in a DOQ.


For a further description of DOQ's go to the source of our data:


The UW Map Collection has almost 1800 USGS DOQQs for the State of Washington. These quads are available in compressed format, along with file-specific metadata through the website Uncompressed DOQ/DOQQ files are on CD-ROMs stored in the Map Collection.These CDs do not circulate. Patrons can come in, find the CD they need, do some initial reformatting if necessary, and use either FTP or a CD, DVD, or thumb drive to transport the files. Please bring your own media for transporting files. If you have any questions, please contact

Viewing the USGS DOQQs in ArcView requires the use of the "Create HDR file from Uncompressed DOQ" script which we have placed here

2. Finding your DOQQs

  1. First of all, find out if the Map Library has a DOQQ for your area. Look at for a coverage index. The DOQQs are listed both by Washington State Department of Natural Resources Numbering Scheme, and by USGS Quad Name. Look at a UGSG topographic index map for the State of Washington to find out your quad names (this index is available in the Map Collection).
  2. Click on the area of the map for the quads you need. This will take you to a chart which looks like this:

    quadrant/quad      DNR# image date lower left CDROM CDROM file download file Mbytes zipfile meta
    NE Seattle North 1122 1990-7-10 47°41'15" -122°18'45" 231031_4 o4712222_nes 47122f3_ne_1990.tif 42M 36M text

  3. To view metadata for your selected DOQQs, click on the "text" link in the right-hand column.
  4. Compressed DOQ files are linked to the chart column "zipfile" just to the left of the metadata link. In this example it reads 36M (meaning the compressed filesize is 36 MB). The downloaded filename is provided in the column 3rd from the right (47122f3_ne_1990.tif).
  5. Unzip the compressed file using WinZip or other software.

3. Download doq_createhdrfile.ave

  1. Open a second browser and point it to
  2. Select doq_createhdrfile.ave for a projection in NAD 83 or doq_createhdrfile_nad27.ave for a projection in NAD 27
  3. Download selected script to the temp file in your local drive (i.e. C:\temp).
  4. Close the second browser. Start ArcView 3.x.


4. Opening the DOQ In ArcView 3.x:

  1. Go to ArcView 3.x. In the Project Manager window, click on "Scripts," then on "New."
  2. Under "Script" select "Load Text File."
  3. In the box that opens, navigate to the temp file in your local drive (i.e. C:\temp). Select doq_createhdrfile.ave (or doq_createhdrfile_nad27.ave) and click "OK."
  4. All the text of doq_createhdrfile.ave should now be in the "Script1" window.
  5. Compile the script. Use the icon that looks like a checkmark, or under the "Script" menu select "Compile."
  6. Run the script. Use the icon that looks like a running person, or under the "Script" menu select "Run."
  7. You'll be prompted by a "Select Image" box. Navigate to the temp file in your local drive (i.e. C:\temp), and select the 47122f3_ne_1990.tif file. Click OK.
  8. You will be asked if you would like to rename the image. Select "Yes".
  9. You'll be prompted to rename the file. Rename the file "47122f3_ne_1990_tif.bil". Click OK.
  10. Very quickly (it'll look like nothing happened), the script will run. Close the script and click on "View;" click on "New."
  11. Add a theme; select "Image data source" from the dropdown menu. Navigate to the temp file in your local drive (i.e. C:\temp) and select 47122f3_ne_1990_tif.bil. Click "OK."