Compression of the Global Land 1-km AVHRR dataset

B. L. Kess, D. R. Steinwand, S. E. Reichenbach

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1 Scopus citations


Large datasets, such as the Global Land 1-km Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Data Set (Eidenshink and Faundeen 1994), require compression methods that provide efficient storage and quick access to portions of the data. A method of lossless compression is described that provides multiresolution decompression within geographic subwindows of multi-spectral, global, 1-km, AVHRR images. The compression algorithm segments each image into blocks and compresses each block in a hierarchical format. Users can access the data by specifying either a geographic subwindow or the whole image and a resolution (1,2,4, 8, or 16 km). The Global Land 1-km AVHRR data are presented in the Interrupted Goode's Homolosine map projection. These images contain masked regions for non-land areas which comprise 80 per cent of the image. A quadtree algorithm is used to compress the masked regions. The compressed region data are stored separately from the compressed land data. Results show that the masked regions compress to 0·143 per cent of the bytes they occupy in the test image and the land areas are compressed to 33·2 per cent of their original size. The entire image is compressed hierarchically to 6·72 per cent of the original image size, reducing the data from 9·05 gigabytes to 623 megabytes. These results are compared to the first order entropy of the residual image produced with lossless Joint Photographic Experts Group predictors. Compression results are also given for Lempel-Ziv-Welch (LZW) and LZ77, the algorithms used by UNIX compress and GZIP respectively. In addition to providing multiresolution decompression of geographic subwindows of the data, the hierarchical approach and the use of quadtrees for storing the masked regions gives a marked improvement over these popular methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2955-2969
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Remote Sensing
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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