What is ECW?
The enhanced compression wavelet (ECW) file format is a high-performance image-compression format designed specifically for geospatial imagery. When compared to other image-compression formats, Intergraph’s patented ECW technology provides the fastest decompression and compression rates in the industry. Remarkably, this is done without placing a heavy load on computer memory and processors, while also maintaining high compression ratios and visually lossless image quality.
Why Use ECW? Fast Display
- In many cases, ECW displays faster than uncompressed imagery.
Rapid Image Compression Tremendous Disk Space Savings
- The enhanced compression wavelet protocol (ECWP) is benchmarked as the world's fastest image streaming protocol for ECW and JPEG2000. It secures information using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), enabling private, encrypted streaming of image data over public networks. ECW also enables quick delivery of OGC-compliant Web Mapping Services (WMS) and Web Coverage Services (WCS).
Designed for Geospatial industry
- ECW can compress imagery to 5-10% of the original size, while remaining visually lossless.
Supplementary Files Not Required
- ECW supports an opacity layer and more than 65,500 image layers (bands). It also has a theoretical file size limit of 264, which far exceeds the 16-terabyte file size allowed by NTFS.
- ECW eliminates the need for tile caches, pyramids, and overviews by including multi-resolution detail in the file.
- Even users with inexpensive hardware can benefit from ECW, due to optimized processor and memory usage.
- ECW is supported in industry's most popular desktop GIS, CAD, and remote sensing packages, including GeoMedia, ArcGIS for Desktop, AutoCAD, Blue Marble Desktop, ENVI, Geomatica, LizardTech, GeoExpress, FalconView, Global Mapper, MapInfo, Manifold System, MicroStation, and Smallworld. ECW support is also available when using open source geospatial packages such as GDAL, GeoServer and MapServer.