Latest Views on JPEG2000 for Presentation and Archiving

Earlier this month, the JPEG 2000 Implementation Working Group, the Wellcome Trust Library, and the U.K. Digital Preservation Coalition hosted a free one-day seminar called JPEG2000 for the Practitioner. The presentation slides are now linked to the seminar program and is a short report of the event by Christy Henshaw of Wellcome Library. The presentation slides by themselves carry a great deal of depth even without a recording of the audio. In particular I can recommend “What did JPEG 2000 ever do for us?” by Simon Tanner and “JPEG 2000 standardization – a pragmatic viewpoint” by Richard Clark. As brief introductions to where we’ve been with JPEG 2000 and where we could go.

LANL Releases Open Source JPEG2000 Image Server

The lead article in the September/October issue of D-Lib Magazine release yesterday is on djatoka, the open source JPEG2000 Image Server from Los Alamos National Laboratory. The authors, Ryan Chute and Herbert Van de Sompel describe their effort in the article abstract:

The ISO-standardized JPEG 2000 image format has started to attract significant attention. Support for the format is emerging in major consumer applications, and the cultural heritage community seriously considers it a viable format for digital preservation. So far, only commercial image servers with JPEG 2000 support have been available. They come with significant license fees and typically provide the customers with limited extensibility capabilities. Here, we introduce djatoka, an open source JPEG 2000 image server with an attractive basic feature set, and extensibility under control of the community of implementers. We describe djatoka, and point at demonstrations that feature digitized images of marvelous historical manuscripts from the collections of the British Library and the University of Ghent. We also call upon the community to engage in further development of djatoka.

Is JPEG Good Enough for Archival Masters?

On the ImageLib mailing list, Rob Lancefield (Manager of Museum Information Services for Wesleyan University) posted a link to the Universal Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines (UPDIG) for image creators. The introduction says: “These 12 guidelines — provided as a Quick Guide plus an in-depth Complete Guide — aim to clarify the issues affecting accurate reproduction and management of digital image files. Although they largely reflect a photographer’s perspective, anyone working with digital images should find them useful…. This document, prepared by the UPDIG working group, represents the industry consensus as of September 2007.” The listed members of UPDIG leads one to believe that this is a professional photography group. One thing in the introduction to the guidelines caught my eye, though:

The chapter on archiving now has a discussion of JPEG as an archival format.

Xerox and Library of Congress Collaborate on JPEG2000 for Image Preservation

Xerox and the Library of Congress announced a joint effort last week to study the use of JPEG 2000. This is welcome news! The project is “designed to help develop guidelines and best practices for digital content,” a result that will be most welcome for those of us that want to do the right thing but lack the time and/or technical expertise to pin down exactly what the right thing is. I think it is safe to say that inertia has taken us this far with our collective TIFF-based practice, and even the most conservative preservationist would probably acknowledge that the state of the art has moved in the past quarter century to a point where there might be a better way.

JPEG XR Could Be Neat, but JPEG2000 is Still Neater

On Tuesday, the Joint Photographic Expert’s Group (a.k.a. “JPEG”) announced a new work item for the standardization of Microsoft’s HD Photo as JPEG XR (XR is short for “extended range” — a reference to its improvement over the original JPEG standard). You can read the publicity details in the Microsoft press release and the JPEG press release, but beyond the public relations pieces I wonder if you are thinking about HD-Photo/JPEG-XR for digital archiving. And if you’re thinking that I’ll bet your wondering about how HD Photo compares with JPEG 2000. As with many things, the devil is in the details, so here is a first, gut-reaction pass at the details.

A View of Regional Digitization Centers

As a part of work for an OhioLINK strategic task force, I have been exploring the creation and operation of regional/collaborative/shared digitization centers. This is a report of findings to date after an open call for information. The report is structured with questions to be explored when considering a regional digitization center followed by narratives from conversations with the Collaborative Digitization Program (formerly the Colorado Digitization Program), the Mountain West Digital Library, and the Ohio Historical Society. My thanks go out to Leigh Grinstead, Liz Bishoff, Karen Estlund, Angela O’Neal, and Phil Sager for their assistance.

Meeting of the JPEG 2000 Interest Group on Jun 23rd in Washington, DC

There will be a meeting of the LITA JPEG 2000 Interest Group during the annual conference of the American Library Association in Washington, DC, from June 23th from 10:30am to noon. The meeting will be held in the Congressional room in the Doubletree Washington hotel.

At the meeting we will be sharing observations and experiences with JPEG 2000 for access and preservation of still and moving pictures as well as discussing ideas for advocacy and spreading information. Membership in LITA is not required to attend the meeting. Get this meeting as an iCal file suitable for importing into most calendar programs.

Seeking Information about Regional Digitization Centers

I’m looking for information about the formation and management of regional digitization centers for one of the OhioLINK strategic task forces. For our purposes, a “regional digitization center” is a place that has the hardware, software, and human expertise to convert a variety of media to digital form. (We’re primarily looking at small format imaging, but could also include broadside imaging, audio capture, and video transformation.) There is plenty of information to be found about the services that centers provide and even more evidence of regional groups wanting to create these centers, but precious little about the operation of the centers themselves. (As in zilch in professional literature searches, and only a few hits via general web searching.) The kinds of things I’m looking for are:

Truly Lossless JPEG2000 Compression

This posting used to have the tag “– Except for Grayscale?” appended to the end of the title. That is no longer needed; see the bottom of the post for an explanation. We have been implementing University of Michigan’s DLXS software, and DLXS uses JPEG2000 for its image masters. We have been investigating reports of perceived changes in images in the conversion from our old media server to DLXS, and along the way I discovered an important fact: the default parameters for two popular JPEG2000 codecs results in an irreversible transformation. Here is how to address that.