What is JPEG 2000?

JPEG 2000 is an image compression standard for remote sensing digital imagery.
This format, identified by the “.jp2” file extension, offers many technical advantages:
  • State-of-the-art compression performance: JPEG 2000 permits high compression ratios with little or no degradation in image quality.
  • An image can either be compressed without any distortion or data loss, so that the reconstructed image is identical, bit for bit, to the original image (“reversible” or “lossless”), or it can be compressed so that there are slight perceptible differences from the original under normal viewing conditions (“lossy”).
  • An image can contain multiple embedded image quality layers
  • Certain parts of image can be coded in better quality than others
  • … and many others
JPEG 2000 is similar to LizardTech’s MrSID format in that they both use wavelet transformation technology. Wavelet transforms are mathematical formulas that represent complex structures in the image, compressing a large amount of image data into a relatively small amount of compressed data.

Does GIS software support JPEG 2000?

Most GIS applications, including ArcGIS, have added support for JP2 in their latest releases, and plug-ins for web browsers are available.

How is MassGIS using JPEG 2000?

In order to reduce storage and bandwidth requirements, MassGIS has chosen to distribute the 2005 1:5,000 color orthos as lossy compressed (16:1) 4-band multispectral images (red, green blue and infrared bands) over the web as JPEG 2000 files. Available for purchase are lossless JPEG 2000 4-band images as well. (MrSID versions are also available). The 2013 USGS Color Ortho Images are available for free download in JPEG 2000 format (lossy compressed (20:1) 4-band multispectral images (red, green blue and infrared bands)).

The ArcGIS version of the MassGIS Data Viewer Toolbar displays JPEG 2000 imagery.

What other software supports JPEG 2000?

You may view JPEG 2000 in these free programs:

How can I get more information on JPEG 2000?

See the following Web sites for more details on the JPEG 2000 image format, including FAQ pages and other links:


Last Updated 12/30/2013