LibTIFF Coverage of the BigTIFF Specification

Since LibTIFF version 4.0.0, the BigTIFF format specification has been implemented within LibTIFF. BigTIFF is a backward-compatible extension to the TIFF file format.

BigTIFF logically extends the original TIFF file format (referred to as ‘ClassicTIFF’ from now on). The BigTIFF specification is the result of work by a variety of parties on the LibTIFF mailing list, including the then current LibTIFF maintainers, Joris Van Damme and Adobe staff. The BigTIFF specification has not yet been officially approved by the TIFF specification owner (Adobe), but implementation within LibTIFF could accelerate that process. For more information on the BigTIFF file format, we recommend AWare Systems’ BigTIFF page.

BigTIFF is especially useful for people and vendors that are confronted with very large images, and still seek to use an open, simple, and extendable format. This requirement is frequently encountered in the geospatial field, but also concerns large format scanners, medical imaging and other fields.

The LibTiff BigTIFF support was made possible by four sponsors funding the project. The programming work was primarily done by Joris Van Damme (AWare Systems). The sponsors for the BigTIFF support work in LibTIFF, in alphabetical order:


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