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The Image I/O-Ext project leverages existing native APIs to extend the set of formats that the JAI ImageIO API can read. At the moment, the project is building on top of GDAL java bindings and ImageMagick java bindings, and hopefully the list will grow in the future. The project is compatible with GeoTools both from the license point of view (LGPL) and the API point of view, since most of the current coverage readers are leveraging ImageIO already.
At the moment Image I/O-Ext does not support all the formats GDAL provides, but adding a new format is usually a matter of few hours of work (for a complete list see of the currently supported formats see
Actual version of Image I/O-Ext is 1.0.6-1.

Libraries and native bindings  


Actually supported formats on the gt-imageio-ext-gdal module are:

  • MrSID
  • Arc/Info Binary GRID (AIG)
  • DTED
  • Erdas Imagine
  • ECW
  • JPEG2000 (based either Kakadu or MrSid libraries)
  • NITFEHdr
  • ESRI Hdr
  • ENVI Hdr

Extending the raster data access capabilities with add for additional formats is a simple task due to the GDAL power capabilities integration in the ImageI/O-Ext.
Usually, writing a new ImageI/O-Ext plugin for a "not too much complex" format requires 10-15 minutes of work (you only need to setup a XXXImageReader as well as a XXXImageReaderSpi). The same (or minor time) is requested to setup the related GeoTools plugin in the gt-imageio-ext-gdal module (You only need to setup a XXXFormat, a XXXFormatFactory and a XXXReader), where XXX is usually the name of the new format to be supported. With further developments it would be nice to extend GeoTools raster data access capabilities to support any format supported by GDAL (See: