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What is JPEG 2000&

Image Format Description

JPEG2000 is a lossless image compression scheme. Created by JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) in the year 2000, its intention was to improve on the previous JPEG format.

JPEG2000 is based on wavelet compression algorithm as compared to the discrete cosine transform based algorithm of the earlier JPEG. JPEG has several other benefits. Among them are: better compression performance; provides both lossless and lossy compression in a single structural design; preserves transparency in images; has progressive transmission through SNR (signal-to-noise ratio, or pixel and resolution accuracy); flexible file format allowing for the management of color-space information, metadata, and interactivity; use of alpha channels to specify area of image to be saved at a lower rate of data compression; multiple resolution representation in the course of compression; ROI (Region of Interest) offering random code stream access and processing; and is error resilient.

JPEG2000 is not generally used on the World Wide Web. This is because there is no way to embed Exif data and so web browsers do not support it. JPEG2000 is mainly used for archival purposes to store images on CDs. Image collections in JPEG that took up to 3 CDs, or 2 data DVDs, to store, can now be stored on a single disk using JPEG2000.

JPEG2000 editing is also not supported by most image editors. It is supported only by superior applications like Photoshop CS and Photoshop CS 2.0, and that too through plugins that have to be installed manually.

The JPEG2000 format has two file types – ISO/IEC 15444-1 conforming files, and ISO/IEC 15444-2 conforming files. The standardized filename extension for the former type is ‘.jp2’, and for the latter type ‘.jpx’. The MIME type for JPEG2000 is ‘image/jp2’.

Although JPEG2000 is still not as widely used as JPEG, it is fast gaining popularity and is all set to become the future of digital photography and online photographs.

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George Moore, Irish author