LibTiff maintainers have started work on LibTiff 4.0, the next major upgrade of the time-proven TIFF codec. This upgrade will include support for the new BigTIFF file format. It is planned a preliminary version (LibTiff 4.0alpha1) will be operational by June 15, 2007. Testing and final release improvements for LibTiff 4.0 will be completed by July 30, 2007.
BigTIFF logically extends the original TIFF file format (referred to as 'ClassicTIFF' from now on), breaking the 4 gigabyte boundary, with 64bit offsets allowing files up to 18,000 petabytes in size. The BigTIFF specification is the result of work by a variety of parties on the LibTiff mailing list, including the current LibTiff maintainers, Joris Van Damme and Adobe staff. The BigTIFF specification has not yet been officially approved by the TIFF specification owner (Adobe), but implementation within LibTiff could accelerate that process. For more information on the BigTIFF file format, we recommend AWare Systems' BigTIFF page.
BigTIFF will be especially useful for people and vendors that are confronted with very large images, and still seek to use an open, simple, and extendable format. This requirement is frequently encountered in the geospatial field, but also concerns large format scanners, medical imaging and other fields.
The LibTiff BigTIFF upgrade is made possible by four sponsors funding the project. The programming work will primarily be done by Joris Van Damme (AWare Systems). LibTiff's licensing agreement will remain unchanged. More details on the project itself, are available from the BigTIFF in LibTiff project page.
The sponsors are, in alphabetical order:
|ESRI has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically since 1969. As the leader in GIS, ESRI applies innovative technologies to help organizations create, analyze, and visualize information for more informed decisions. Running on more than a million desktops and thousands of servers, ESRI applications are the foundation of the world's mapping and spatial analysis infrastructure.|
|Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging offers a range of workflow solutions for photogrammetry, mapping, remote sensing, catalog management and exploitation of geospatial imagery. Enterprise organizations use this imagery as the basis for generating information for both education and decision making processes. Those who use Leica Geosystems products every day trust them for their precision, seamless integration, interoperability and superior customer support.|
|Safe Software is the maker of FME, a powerful spatial ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) tool that enables true data interoperability. FME manages the translation, transformation, integration and web-based distribution of geospatial data in 200 GIS, CAD, raster and database formats. Safe Software's FME technology is also embedded in numerous market-leading GIS and ETL applications.|
|WeoGeo is a web-based data management resource for the geospatial industry that allows the free market exchange of mapping related imagery products, featuring an innovative solution that efficiently manages digital mapping files of any size. With an intuitive user interface and the scalable power of Amazon Web Services (AWS), geospatial professionals can view, sort, search, and share complex, high volume maps quickly and effectively.|