• Plugin for ECW and JPEG2000 Raster Formats for GDAL 1.7
  • Requires gdal17 and manually-installed ECW 4.1 Runtime libraries (Read only)
  • Maintainer is FrankWarmerdam

Installing ECW SDK

The GDAL ECW Plugin requires the ECW 4.1 Runtime libraries, which the end user is required to download directly from the ERDAS Web Site and install.

Download "ERDAS ECW/JP2 SDK Desktop Read-Only Version 4.1" ECWJP2SDKSetup_RO_20100920.exe:

After installation, please copy the DLL files from the redistributable\vc90\win32\ directory to somewhere appropriate, like C:\Windows\system32 (32-bit Windows), C:\Windows\SysWOW64 (64-bit Windows), or C:\OSGeo4w\bin


copy "C:\Program Files\ERDAS\ERDAS ECW JPEG2000 Read SDK\redistributable\vc90\win32\*.dll" C:\Windows\system32

Or on a 64-bit version of Windows:

copy "C:\Program Files (x86)\ERDAS\ERDAS ECW JPEG2000 Read SDK\redistributable\vc90\win32\*.dll" C:\Windows\SysWOW64

Note that downloading and installing these DLLs requires agreeing to a license. Please review the license terms carefully.

It is imperative that the ECW SDK 4.1 be used (ECWJP2SDKSetup_RO_20100920.exe). Any other ECW (NCS*) DLLs are unlikely to work properly. Failure to install the correct ECW libraries will normally result in a popup message reading "This application has failed to start because NCSEcw4.dll was not found." or a console error report like:

ERROR 1: Can't load requested DLL: C:\osgeo4w\apps\gdal-17\bin\gdalplugins\gdal_ECW_JP2ECW.dll
126: The specified module could not be found.

Usage: gdalinfo [--help-general] [-mm] [-stats] [-nogcp] [-nomd]
                [-noct] [-checksum] [-mdd domain]* datasetname

Warning: The plugin was built with VC9.0 (Visual Studio 2008) but is used with GDAL 1.7 binaries built with Visual Studio 2003 (VC7.1). While this somewhat surprising seems to work on the development system, it is not considered a safe practice for C++ linkage interfaces. The ECW SDK 4.1 (20100920) appears to be a beta/prerelease. It is possible the final release of the ECW 4.1 SDK may be incompatible, in which case an upgrade will be made to this plugin package and end users will need to upgrade to the newer SDK. This OSGeo4W package should not be considered "release" quality.

  • Matt Wilkie reports crashes in gdalinfo against ecw files with this plugin at process termination, which is consistent with cross-heap corruption problems destroying the ECWDataset.