Many applications in the scientific and industrial sector are now turning to the use of image material to either replace or enhance existing data records. Examples include the use of satellite or aerial photography imagery to link to a mapping or GIS system, and the ease of use of digital cameras to provide evidence of satisfactory work completion - for example in road pipework excavation. To some extent these depend on the ubiquity and availability of the standard, and hence projects often use well tried and tested solutions. The widespread availability of digital cameras, and PC sofware to display and print the results are likely to keep costs down - especially important in sectors where deployment has to have a close link to company profitability.
However it is commonplace to have many different versions of images of the same item. As an example, a car manufacturer may have pictures of a vehicle engine used in service, marketing, quality assurance, training and testing applications. As digital asset management becomes recognised as an important control that a company should use, so more attention will need to be spent on reusability and re-purposing of digital assets such as images. JPEG 2000 offers many useful features in this context - proper colour management, compression that can include both lossy and lossless versions of an image in the same file, and extensive options to add user defined and standard metadata to an image file.
In addition, many aspects of scientific and industrial usage involve subsequent processing of a digital image, for example to enhance features or count items. Using any form of lossy compresion for images in this context may create problems - after all the information thrown away during lossy compression is generally that information that is imperceptible to a human eye - not necessarily showing the same characteristics as computer image processing software. It therefore becomes more important to ensure that archival material is stored at the highest fidelity possible - but is still rapidly searchable and viewable during a pre-processing stage for example. Again JPEG 2000 can offer significant advantages in this environment.
Extensive software toolkits are available from a number of vendors which support the new JPEG 2000 standard. These range from the freely available Jasper (C) and JJ2000 (Java) software that is linked to Part 5 of the JPEG 2000 standard (Reference Software), to commercial alternatives from KakaduSoft, Aware, Algovision Luratech, Leadtools, Pegasus and others. These allow integration of the comprehensive features of JPEG 2000 into a wide range of products and systems.
For more information, please contact:
Richard Clark, Elysium Ltd
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