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> Image Archive Considerations & Tiff Options
post Jul 21 2007, 05:13 AM
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Can anyone direct me to a well-informed discussion of image archive considerations?
And also to the possible use of TIFF for archive purposes?

I am involved in a project in the UK (with NADFAS for UK readers, National Assoc Decorative & Fine Arts Societies) to formally document and record for posterity everything in and about a couple of local churches. (This is a national volunteer project involving many hundreds of churches, but I am only involved in my local activity.)

The organisers of this project have decided that photographs should be stored as TIFFs. Quite rightly they are concerned to avoid lossy formats and to ensure image files can be read in years to come. But, as noted in the discussion of file formats in the PMView documentation, just specifying TIFFs is perhaps not a sufficient answer.
I quote the manual:
"Beware! Many applications only handle a small subset of the formats specified in the TIFF specs. Don't take for granted that an application will be able to read the files you
save!" endquote
There are umpteen options with TIFF and despite ever cheaper storage, TIFF file sizes can be very large if the right options are not selected.

I should like to read up a bit on this subject and so would appreciate any pointers.
Thank you.
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post Jul 23 2007, 12:34 PM
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Using the default options, PMView will create basic TIFF files that most, if not all, applications can read. Be careful with some of the compression options. If you need to use compression, verify that the target application supports the compression (LZW is not supported by some apps due to the same patent as GIF files, ZIP-in-Tiff might not be supported by all applications, JPEG-in-TIFF is lossy).

PMView's TIFF writing is well tested and has not seen any major change in 10 years. The files saved with PMView should be as good as it gets and any viewer out there should be able to read the files. However, if you change the compression options, make sure that the compression is supported by the candidate target applications.

BTW, another good lossless format for archiving is PNG.


Peter Nielsen ( "If you can dream it, you can do it" JFK.
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