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ECW File Format

Compressed image files for aerial and satellite map projections


ECW (Enhanced Compression Wavelet) files are compressed images that typically store aerial and satellite map projections. It’s a proprietary format developed by Earth Resource Mapping, which is now owned by ERDAS, which in turn is owned by Leica Geosystems. ECW files can achieve compression rates between 1:10 and 1:100, making them ideal for compressing large images.

Applications that support the ECW file extension for images include Adobe Photoshop 4.0 and 7.0, AutoCAD, Bentley MicroStation, ERDAS IMAGINE and other software from the company, ArcGIS, and others.

The ECW extension is also used for waveset format files that store articulation and sample data used by the Ensoniq software MIDI synthesizer of sound cards equipped with specific chips. Those sound cards include the Ensoniq AudioPCI and various Sound Blaster cards from Creative Labs, which now owns E-MU Systems, the original developer of Ensoniq software.

MIME type: application/x-ImageWebServer-ecw

Learn more:
Search for the answers to ECW questions.

The history of the ECW format.

Visit the E-MU Systems home page.

This was last updated in September 2010
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