OziExplorer OZF format specification + open-source decoder!

Yesterday I was testing the OZEX project, which intends to be an open-source replacement for the popular OziExplorer software. The most interesting on OZEX is that it is able to decode and display the Ozf2 and Ozfx3 binary files on Linux and other platforms and that the decoder is completely open-source!
I know about other nice and open-source projects targeted to OziExplorer users with an advanced GUI and interesting features, look at the QLandKarte GT screenshots for example.

This is for the first time I see open-source implementation of the OZF2 and OZFx3 binary format!
It would be excellent to create a decoder also in the GDAL library (as a driver) because it would bring the OZF reading/decoding functionality into several open-source projects.

I have submitted to the gdal svn a documentation of the format derived from the source codes, some sample files as well as links to the OZEX GPL code. More sample files can be generated with the img2ozf utility (runs well under Wine).
Unfortunately I am now busy on another projects but I hope that some of the GDAL developers finds a bit of time to do the coding of the OZF driver...

GDAL already has a preliminary support for the OziExplorer's .map files (textual metadata, think of advanced ESRI World File with included info about the map projection), but support for the binary formats from the OZF family (version 2 and version 3) would move the compatibility to a different level.

OziExplorer is a very popular in the GPS and GeoCaching community. Support of the maps generated or georeferenced with this software in the OSGEO open-source tools would be great! I hope to see it in the near future in MapTiler, GRASS, QGis, MapServer, GeoServer and all the other FOSS GIS tools! Anybody interested in the coding for GDAL?


IIPImage JPEG2000: Free Software for Zoomable High Resolution Online Images

As a technical manager of the OldMapsOnline.org project I am very pleased to post to this blog a note about our results:
Moravian Library and the OldMapsOnline.org project are proud to announce the release of a new version of the open-source IIPImage server software (http://help.oldmapsonline.org/jpeg2000/).

The freely available IIPImage software can be used for stunning online presentations of scanned documents, paintings, maps, books, newspapers, photographs or other high-resolution images on the web directly from JPEG2000 or TIFF files.

The new version allows direct publishing from JPEG2000 images to a wide variety of different client technologies based on AJAX, Adobe Flash or Silverlight. These include popular pan&zoom viewers based on Zoomify or Seadragon technology (including the Seadragon AJAX viewer and the Seadragon iPhone application) as well as it's own AJAX enabled IIPMooViewer. The documents provided by IIPImage can be displayed in any web browser and on a number of platforms - Windows, Mac, Linux or iPhone.

The software is primarily targeted at institutions who operate their own server connected to the Internet and who want to publish large collections of digital images directly from JPEG2000 or
TIFF files.

Institutions who does not have the necessary infrastructure can follow our alternative tutorial at http://help.oldmapsonline.org/publish/ on how to achieve the same using standard web hosting and free software.

IIPImage is a light-weight client-server system for fast and efficient online viewing and zooming of ultra high-resolution images. It is designed to be bandwidth and memory efficient and usable over a slow Internet connection even on gigapixel sized images.
It is available for free, under an open source license (GNU GPL). We recommend installing
the software on a Linux (or other UNIX) server. We have prepared an easy to install binary package for Debian and Ubuntu with step-by-step instructions for installation.

JPEG2000 support has been implemented using the Kakadu library, which provides one of the fastest implementations of the JPEG2000 ISO standard and is redistributable for non-commercial use.

The enhancement of IIPImage was developed by the Moravian Library and the OldMapsOnline.org project with the support of grants from the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.

The Moravian Library (http://www.mzk.cz/), based in Brno, Czech Republic, is a research institution and a legal deposit library. Project OldMapsOnline.org (http://www.oldmapsonline.org/) is a research project of the Moravian Library that aims to develop software to assist in the management, manipulation and visualisation of historical map collections on the web. The project team is designing online tools for publishing, collaborative georeferencing, annotation, 3D visualisation, accuracy analysis and geometadata specification for old maps.

For more information and for the IIPImage JPEG2000 software, see http://help.oldmapsonline.org/jpeg2000/.