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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.

Which are the new features introduced by JPEG2000?

This is a short list:
bullet Better efficiency in compression
bullet Possibility of lossless compression
bullet Decoding with different output resolutions
bullet A process to calculate the integrated bit rate (possibility of reaching an aimed bit rate)
bullet Dividing the image into smaller parts to be coded independently from the others
bullet ROI coding
bullet Improvement in noise resilience
bullet Access to the compressed bit rate at any point in order to access the image directly
bullet Better performances in coding/decoding through many different cycles
bullet More flexible file format

How is the standard divided?

From a formal point of view, JPEG2000 is divided into 11 different papers, which are called Parts in the standard terminology; six of them were added recently and one has been abandoned.

bullet Part I: describes the minimum requirements that an encoder should have. Its aim is to create a set of basic options with the highest interoperability among different implementations.
bullet Part II: contains optional extensions that enable an improvement in performances in several fields of application.
bullet Part III: concerns with ‘Motion JPEG2000’, a standard for high quality Digital Video.
bullet Part IV: is a set of validation tests in order to certify the correspondence of coding and decoding equipment to the standard.
bullet Part V: set of software models that may be used as a reference in designing JPEG2000 products.
bullet Part VI: its aim is to establish a set of specifications for the use of JPEG2000 in different applications such as fax, electronic publishing and numeric applications.
bullet Part VII: abandoned.
bullet Part VIII: JPSEC, it is about security.
bullet Part IX: JPIP, interactive protocols and API (Application Protocol Interfaces).
bullet Part X: JP3D volumetric images, it concerns with 3D images representation.
bullet Part XI: JPWL, wireless applications.

How are JPEG2000 files called?

JPEG2000 files can be identified by the ".JP2" or ".JPX" extensions; the former is the basic version and it has been studied for RGB or grayscale images; the latter has been studied in order to improve the potentiality of the format in case of photographic and non-photographic images and contains some fields that can be used for metadata (for instance when and where a picture was taken). Although the JPX format is used above of all for applications that require better performances, both formats are compatible and a JP2 reader can read a JPX file too. At the moment two other JPEG2000 formats are in development: JPM and Motion JPEG2000. The former can save compound images by using different kinds of compression; with the latter, one can acquire image sequences (for instance coming from video or photo-cameras).

PDF/A: PDF Designed for Archival
The PDF/A-1b standard (ISO 19005-1:2005) is a subset of the PDF standard, designed for long-term archival of documents.
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