ERDAS Extends ArcGIS Support with New Version of ECW Plug-in

Norcross, GA — ERDAS announces the release of new version of ECW Plug-in for ArcGIS Desktop. This free plug-in provides a means for ArcGIS for Desktop users to read files in the ECW and JP2 formats and accept ECWP streams of ECW and JP2 data originating from ERDAS APOLLO.

Using components of the ERDAS ECW/JP2 SDK version 4.2, the ECW Plug-in for ArcGIS Desktop 2011 extends ArcGIS Desktop support for ECW imagery, providing the fastest decompression available. Using minimal memory, ECW can quickly decompress and open massive files, in many cases faster than uncompressed imagery can be opened. Additionally, multi-resolution level of detail is built into the file, eliminating the need to generate or distribute pyramids or overviews. The ECW technique does not require calculation and storage of intermediate tiles (RRD since they are an inherent part of ECW’s Discrete Wavelet Transformations (DWT). The ECW Plug-in for ArcGIS Desktop also enables ArcGIS Desktop to accept Enhanced Compression Wavelet (ECWP) streams from ERDAS APOLLO Essentials – Image Web Server and ERDAS APOLLO Advantage. ECWP allows streaming of ECW images, enabling rapid delivery of terabyte-sized images over the internet using inexpensive server technology.

The ECW Plug-in for ArcGIS Desktop augments ArcGIS’ native support for the ECW format by providing wider projection support and enabling faster compression and decompression. The plug-in also supports opacity channels, enabling images to overlay one another cleanly, without showing compression artifacts around the edges.

This plug-in is part of a series of new products from ERDAS that expand the industry-wide level of support for the ECW format. ECW is already supported in traditional desktop GIS, CAD and remote sensing packages such as AutoCAD®, ERDAS IMAGINE®, ERDAS ER Mapper, FalconView™, Bentley Microstation®, ENVI® and PCI Geomatica®. Earlier this year, ERDAS released ERDAS ECW/JP2 SDK version 4.2, which enables developers to offer robust support for ECW, ECWP, and JPEG2000 in the applications they create. ECW for ArcGIS Server was also released earlier this year, providing a means for ArcGIS Server 10 to deliver ECW data to clients.

“For any geospatial organization requiring an accelerated workflow and reduction of hardware costs, ECW is the compression format of choice,” said Paul Beaty, Technical Product Manager, ERDAS. “Its popularity stems from the fact that it doesn’t merely compress files; it simplifies their handling by making them faster to decompress and transfer. ERDAS is committed to providing rapid geospatial data delivery for organizations using any software platform."

To learn more or obtain the free ECW Plug-in for ArcGIS Desktop, please visit the product page.

For more information about ERDAS or its products and services, please call +1 770 776 3400, toll free +1 877 GO ERDAS, or visit

ERDAS – The Earth to Business Company – helps organizations harness the information of the changing earth for greater advantage. ERDAS creates geospatial business systems that transform our earth’s data into business information, enabling individuals, businesses and public agencies to quickly access, manage, process and share that information from anywhere. Using secure geospatial information, ERDAS solutions improve employee, customer and partner visibility to information, enabling them to respond faster and collaborate better. It also means better decision-making, increased productivity and new revenue streams. Welcome to ERDAS: a trusted name, with a new energy, and a new vision. Earth to business starts here. ERDAS is a part of the Hexagon Group, Sweden. For more information about ERDAS or its products and services, please call +1 770 776 3400, toll free +1 866 534 2286, or visit