ECW (file format)

ECW (File Format)

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ECW (file format)

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ECW (Enhanced Compression Wavelet) is a proprietary wavelet compression image format optimized for aerial and satellite imagery. It was developed by Earth Resource Mapping, and is now owned by ERDAS, which is owned by Leica Geosystems. The lossy compression format efficiently compresses very large images with fine alternating contrast.

In 1998 ER Mapper, Ltd (Perth Australia) company founder Stuart Nixon,nearmap and two software developers Simon Cope and Mark Sheridan were researching rapid delivery of terabyte sized images over the internet using inexpensive server technology. The outcome of that research was two products, Image Web Server (IWS) and ECW. ECW represented a fundamental mathematical breakthrough enabling Discrete Wavelet Transforms (DWT) and inverse-DWT operations to be performed on very large images very quickly, while only using a tiny amount of RAM. For ECW patents, see and . For IWS patent, see . These patents were assigned to ERDAS (under a former name of Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging) July 29, 2007.

After JPEG2000 became an image standard, ER Mapper added tools to read and write JPEG2000 data into the ECW SDK to form the ECW JPEG2000 SDK. After subsequent purchase by ERDAS, the software development kit was renamed to...
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