The new JPEG 2000 is the latest spatial data format to be added to the list of over one hundred formats supported by geomatics software developer PCI Geomatics. Support for JPEG 2000 now appears in Geomatica and other image-centric geomatics solutions from PCI Geomatics.

JPEG 2000 is a new open industry standard format with the ability to compress any size image. This format has been extended to support geocoded information and is now built into the PCI Geomatics code library so it can now be used within all PCI Geomatics software. The support of JPEG 2000 in PCI Geomatics' Geomatica is already attracting the attention of remote sensing and image analysis professionals wishing for an easier method for handling large multispectral imagery.

The new JPEG 2000 uses state-of-the-art compression techniques based on wavelets and operates within an architecture that can fill a variety of digital imagery data needs within the geomatics industry. JPEG 2000 can produce a "lossless" image, where all data is maintained during compression and a complete data set may be recreated precisely. Although the results may vary according to individual data types, a lossless compression ratio of between 2:1 and 5:1 are typical. If the user is willing to achieve a visually lossless result and equally willing to accept some loss in terms of pixel data value, then compression ratios can be as high as over 100:1.

JPEG 2000 was developed and defined by Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), the same group that produced the original JPEG format. Implementation of the new JPEG 2000 standard is based on the Kakadu software library, for which PCI Geomatics is a licensee. Kakadu is a popular library used by many commercial products and has been written specifically with a variety of different types of applications in mind.

Although the JPEG 2000 standard format does not include geocoding, it does allow for extra information to be inserted within the file. This forethought has helped PCI Geomatics to implement the GeoJP2(tm) geocoding extensions within the JPEG 2000 format. These extensions are similar to the GeoTIFF format and were derived and provided courtesy of Mapping Science Inc. who defined GeoJP2 with a standard set of tags for georeferencing. JPEG 2000 supports more than the three bands JPEG and other more common compression format designs accept, allowing JPEG 2000 to function properly with hyperspectral and multispectral imagery.

The JPEG 2000 format joins other popular wavelet compression formats supported by PCI Geomatics, including MrSid(tm) (Lizard Tech(tm)) and ECW (ER Mapper(tm)) and is available immediately for existing and new PCI Geomatics customers.