Java software supports imaging applications

As an addition to the Java platform, the Java Advanced Imaging (JAI) software package from Sun Microsystems (Palo Alto, CA) provides developers with an application programming interface (API) and a set of tools for building digital imaging applications.

Aug 1st, 2001
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As an addition to the Java platform, the Java Advanced Imaging (JAI) software package from Sun Microsystems (Palo Alto, CA) provides developers with an application programming interface (API) and a set of tools for building digital imaging applications. With support for imaging functions including image processing, loading, and saving image files, the API is designed to be extensible, allowing developers to access additional functions by adding extensions written in a standard format.


Sun's Java Advanced Imaging package is being used by Morphlogik in its MorphOps package. In morphology, two important operators are erosion and dilation. While erosion shrinks image structures based on the shape of a specified structuring element (top), dilation enlarges image structures based on the shape of a specified structuring element (bottom). (Courtesy Mophlogik)
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A number of companies have used the API to develop their latest generation of imaging products while others are adding to the API to provide image-processing developers with a wider range of tools. Millennium Technology Inc (MTI; Vancouver, Canada) has already used the JAI API to power the image-viewing portion of the operator's console for its Virgo MRI system. MTI uses Java to integrate a scanner with a legacy network and to share digital images over networks for remote diagnosis by physicians worldwide. According to Illich Chang, president of MTI, the JAI API software provides brightness/contrast capability, image overlay, image filtering, image rotation, zooming, and image-expansion capabilities.

While companies such as MTI are using the existing JAI API, others are extending it. Recently, AppNet (Bethseda, MD) and NASA chose Sun's Java Advanced Imaging API to create its Image2000 software, a scientific image-visualization and manipulation tool. Using the more than 70 standard image-processing operations provided, Image2000 incorporates many JAI API features and includes tools such as latitude- and longitude-registered image overlays, map projections, non-destructive annotations, animated image stacks, and a graphical operation editor. Image2000's tools are accessed through a standard menu-based user interface and also can be accessed through a scripting language.

Rather than target scientific-visualization applications, Morphlogik (Sydney, Australia) is offering a JAI-based package specifically for image processing. The company's MorphOps 1.0 package includes a JAI implementation of morphological operators and a demonstration application, also written in Java. "Morphology is the study of structure," says Lindsay Winkler, director of Morphologik. "In the MorphOps package, morphological tools process images based on their structure. These images are transformed or analyzed based on the size and shape of objects they contain. Java Advanced Imaging was chosen because it is accessible to developers in many fields and is suitable for being deployed in both research and industry situations."

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