Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Brian Howard

Degree Award Date

Spring 2000


Compressed Image Formats


Computer Engineering | Computer Sciences | Data Storage Systems | Digital Communications and Networking


The science of digital imagery is still a relatively new field in computer science when compared to some of the more time-tested fields of database design and operating system theory. This, however, should not detract from the fact that the field of digital imagery is based on a solid theoretical base. The field of digital imagery as a whole is too broad to give it proper coverage in a work such as this. What this work will endeavor to do is to provide insight into a specific aspect of digital imagery, data compression.

The majority of digital images that are shared over the World Wide Web are saved in some compressed format. If the images were shared in their original formats, the web would not exist as we know it. There would be more storage issues, and it would take longer to download the uncompressed versions of the images. Surfing the web would not be as pleasant an experience because it evolved around the use of images.

Over the years, several different methods for compressing image data have arisen. The two most notable of these methods are GIF and JPEG. Later in this paper there will be a more detailed discussion about the specifics of those formats. Following those two closely is a format called PNG, and while it is still a relative newcomer it builds upon the groundwork laid by the other two. The remainder of this work will focus on the newest compressed image format, JPEG2000.