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I'm looking for a tool that will allow me to mosaic a collection of images into a file format with performance similar to MrSID or ECW, but without the licensing restrictions that those formats come with. (I believe the .sid limit is 50 mb with the ECW limit is 500 mb). Unfortunately, the tool that I am working with doesn't recognize external pyramid files (.rrd) or .tif with internal pyramids.

Does that leave me any good options?

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Do you have the option of using a tiled mosaic so you do not go over the size limitations of those formats? – Dave Lowther Sep 12 '10 at 11:01
Also, you say you are looking for a tool but it sounds like you are looking for an image format. Do you have a list of allowable formats? – Dave Lowther Sep 12 '10 at 11:02
I can work with any of the FDO supported formats, so I do have flexibility there. And, yes, tiling is OK, but performance wise I've found that I'm better off with fewer files. – Nate Sep 13 '10 at 13:41
up vote 1 down vote accepted

JPEG2000 could be an option. Its performance would likely be implementation-specific, so I don't know how it stacks up against MrSID / ECW.

There is an open implementation available from OpenJPEG that might suit your needs..

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I didn't know about OpenJPEG. I'll take a look today. Thanks! – Nate Sep 13 '10 at 13:41
OpenJPEG did it, though it's a little balky for me. – Nate Sep 17 '10 at 19:26

There is an FDO Raster Provider on top of GDAL, and gdal itself supports many internal and external pyramids, including geotiff's and .rrd's. So perhaps via that you could utilize them.

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