What is MrSID?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2019
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MrSID is an image database that is equipped with several different types of functionality. Properly known as a multi-resolution seamless image database, MrSID features serves the functions of a viewer, and image compressor, and as a file format for raster graphics that are larger in nature. The basic capabilities of MrSID are made possible by a configuration that takes a series of small image tiles and builds one large image.

Developed by LizardTech, MrSID was designed to make the assembly of these smaller images easier to manage, and without the integrity issues that are present in similar applications. MrSID is able to combine the smaller images in a manner that makes the completed large image seamless. The end result is one solid image, rather than an image that somewhat resembles the look of an electronic picture puzzle.

MrSID also addresses one of the long time problems with raster imaging, which is the amount of time needed to open the file in an image viewer. The image database has the capability to allow the end user to decompress the raster image a section at a time. Once one section is open, the user can designate another section for decompression, following this pattern until the entire image is displayed.


Another issue associated with raster images is the amount of storage space the images require. The compression features of MrSID help to minimize this problem as well. An image that is compressed using MrSID will take up considerably less storage space. Generally, a grayscale image that is compressed using MrSID will have a ratio of 20:1, while a color image may be compressed to a ratio of 50:1.


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