Wednesday, December 29, 2010

ERDAS ECW JPEG2000 SDK v4.1 and v4.2 (another GDAL Update)

With the recent release of the ERDAS 2011 software portfolio, the ERDAS ECW JPEG2000 SDK team has been able to focus with Frank Warmerdam on the latest ECW SDK GDAL work. I have recently spoken with Frank on the subject. The joint goal is to update to the latest ECW SDK and expand GDALs capabilities in using the ECW SDK, and allowing use of some ECW SDK tools not available to GDAL customers heretofore. I will post more details, when the work is almost complete to discuss all that is now included in GDALs support of the ECW SDK.

But I will say this, if you plan to access the ECW SDK via GDAL, you will be happy. Also, you may want to consider contracting to Frank to help with your implementation. ERDAS is working closely with him, and Frank can help you put rock-solid ECW and JPEG2000 support (using the ECW SDK) in your products.

Do remember, you must get a product license to use the ECW SDK with GDAL. Here is the product page:

See info on the latest ERDAS ECW/JP2 SDK.


Anonymous said...

Is GDAL on Linux contain ECW SDK?

Paul said...

There are plans to port the ERDAS ECW JPEG2000 SDK to Linux, but no timetable yet.

Chris said...

How does the ECW JPEG2000 library compare the the Kakadu JPEG2000 library in terms of performance?

Paul said...

Chris, we have not performed any speed comparisons with Kakadu's and our latest SDKs. In the past, the ECW SDK has done quite well when compared to Kakadu with both encoding and decoding JPEG2000 data. But the real difference is in ECW, which is significantly faster than JPEG2000. So, the ECW SDK has fast JPEG2000 and lighting-fast ECW and the read-only SDK is free for desktop (client) use.

Scott said...

Will there also be an updated SDK available including VS2010 vc100 binaries?

Paul said...

Scott, it's scheduled for beta very soon. Would you like to take an early look? If so, shoot me a line at paul,dot,beaty,at,erdas,dot,com.

gabrimonfa said...

So it appears that the old sdk that works on Linux (v.3.3) is no longer available to download, while there are only vague promises to port v.4.1 but no real plans.

What a poor decision for Linux users. Very difficult to understand.
And also somewhat conflicting with ERDAS appreciable effort to work together with GDAL, since its use is ubiquitous on Linux.

Is there any plan to fix it (at least permitting the download of the old good v.3.3)?

Paul said...

gabrimonfa, ERDAS has very specific plans and a timetable to add support for ECW SDK v4.2 on Linux x64. The ECW SDK v4.2 will replace v4.1 very soon (covering what Scott asked in a comment above). Soon after work is complete, expect to see a press release discussing the port and timetable for release.

There are reasons, other than technical, why ECW SDK v3.3 is no longer available. This is the inappropriate forum to discuss those issues.

gabrimonfa said...


thank you for your quick reply.
Part of the problem is in fact the total lack of communication about ERDAS future plans.

It is difficult to plan ECW adoption without having any assurance of support.
SDK download page does not even acknowledge the current lack of Linux support.

Thus I'm glad to hear from you that there is some work in progress.

> There are reasons, other than technical, why ECW SDK v3.3 is no longer available.

In fact also the license has been tightened quite a bit w.r.t. v.3.3, restricting free usage to read-only and client software

> This is the inappropriate forum to discuss those issues
I understand. Thank you again for your reply.

Nacho Uve said...

Thank you for the information...

So, if I understand... there is any way for a new linux gdal user (as me) to use ECW:

- No support at current release v4.1
- No available older versions


Thank you for your help in advance.

Anonymous said...

Hello Paul:
Is the previous 4.1 version of the SDK still available. The installation of Quantum GIS comes with a binary of GDAL 1.8 which is based on the 4.1 version of the ECW SDK. And the newer 4.2 causes QGIS to crash. I'd like to revert back to the 4.1 SDK, but I can't find it anywhere :-(

Paul said...

Micha, GDAL was given versions 4.1 and 4.2 of the ECW/JP2 SDK so they could support both versions in GDAL version 1.8. I do not believe version 4.1 will solve your problem. Are you using v3.3 and trying to upgrade to 4.2?