[gdal-dev] ERROR 1: Does not appear to be a USGS DEM file

Fernando Aristizabal - NOAA Affiliate fernando.aristizabal at noaa.gov
Mon Sep 30 06:58:18 PDT 2019

GDAL does not seem to recognize some FEMA generated Lidar datasets that are
presented in USGS DEM (.dem) file formats. The files open fine in ArcGIS.

$ gdalinfo fema06-140cm_2995441b.dem
ERROR 1: Does not appear to be a USGS DEM file
gdalinfo failed - unable to open 'fema06-140cm_2995441b.dem'.

The files can be viewed at:

but a direct download link for one of the archives (~20MB) is:

Opening the ASCII files doesn't seem to reveal anything very far off but
maybe the headers are off a bit.

Thanks for the help


Fernando Aristizabal
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