images larger than TIFF allows?

  • davi

    davi - 2009-02-04


    I am a happy IIPImage user, but I would like to host images larger than the TIFF format allows.

    Any suggestions about how to accomplish this? Maybe a BigTIFF-enabled version of the vips2tiff workflow?

    Thanks very much for any thoughts or guidance.

    • Ruven

      Ruven - 2009-02-15


      How big are your images?

      I haven't tried libtiff 4 yet, but it should be easy to port things over to it. I'll try to make the iipimage server libtiff4 compatible while we wait for version 4 to be officially released.

      • davi

        davi - 2009-02-15

        We have lots of ~120,000 x 240,000 pixel images (~27 GB); the largest we've acquired so far is ~200,000 x 320,000 pixels (~60 GB).

        You can see a representative cropped image at:
        (n.b. this URL may go away in the future)

        Another question is how to generate tiled pyramidal bigtiffs for iipimageserver to serve out. Ideally one would want "vips im_vips2tiff" to spit out bigtiffs if the image size warranted it. I don't know if this is a "simple" matter of compiling vibs against libtiff4, or if code changes internal to vips would be required.

        If you do get a pre-release version of iipimageserver running that can serve bigtiffs, I would be very happy to install and test it on my local server.

        Thanks very much!

        • Davi
        • Ruven

          Ruven - 2009-02-16

          Yes, it would require vips to be slightly modified. I will try to patch it and test a bigTIFF image with iipimage.

  • davi

    davi - 2010-03-01

    Hi Ruven,
    Did you ever look into this?

  • Ruven

    Ruven - 2010-03-01

    Hi Ruven,
    Did you ever look into this?

    Yes, bigTIFF seems to be working fine. See this post from

  • davi

    davi - 2010-03-01

    Very nice!

    To get this to work, does one need to compile libtiff 4 into iipimageserver?
    If so, the Aperio version
    (, or
    the one at (

    On the image-generation side, I see the astronomy people are using a bigtiff-
    aware utility called STIFF (
    to generate
    their tiled pyramidal bigtiffs. Do you recommend going through this utility?
    That seems like it necessitates converting my source images (dicings of the
    very large image I want to generate) to their FITS format, which could be
    difficult and cumbersome. Do you know of any other options for generating
    tiled pyramidal bigtiffs?

    Thanks for any suggestions.

  • Ruven

    Ruven - 2010-03-02

    Yes, you will need to upgrade the libtiff on your machine to libtiff 4.x and
    recompile the IIPImage server.

    For generation, you should be able to use vips to generate bigTiff images or
    perhaps even imagemagick if you rebuild them with libtiff 4.x installed.



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