An x-ray diffraction image taken by michael soltis of LsAC on ssrL bL9-2 using an ADsC Q315 detector (sn901).
jor role in the computer performance
of a community’s image format, and
to some extent, they are inseparable.
A format can describe a standard, a
framework, or a software tool; and formats can exist within other formats.
Image is also a term with several
uses. It may refer to transient electrical signals in a CCD (charge-coupled
device), a passive dataset on a storage
device, a location in RAM, or a data
structure written in source code. Another example is framework. An image
framework might implement an image
standard, resulting in image files created by a software-imaging tool. The
framework, the standard, the files, and
the tool, as in the case of HDF, 6 may be
so interrelated that they represent dif-
ferent facets of the same specification.
Because these terms are so ubiquitous
and varied due to perspective, we shall
use them interchangeably, with the emphasis on the storage and management
of pixels throughout their lifetime, from
acquisition through archiving.
hierarchical Data format Version 5
HDF5 is a generic scientific data format with supporting software. Introduced in 1998, it is the successor to the
1988 version, HDF4. NCSA (National
Center for Supercomputing Applications) developed both formats for
high-performance management of
large heterogeneous scientific data.
Designed to move data efficiently between secondary storage and memory,
HDF5 translates across a variety of
computing architectures. Through
support from NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration),
NSF (National Science Foundation),
DOE (Department of Energy), and others, HDF5 continues to support international research. The HDF Group, a
nonprofit spin-off from the University
of Illinois, manages HDF5, reinforcing
the long-term business commitment
to maintain the format for purposes of
archiving and performance.
Because an HDF5 file can contain
almost any collection of data entities
in a single file, it has become the format of choice for organizing heterogeneous collections consisting of very
large and complex datasets. HDF5 is