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- Export compressed image with transparency
Getting it licensed is something you would do, since the ability to write ECW Version 3 is a standard product from Hexagon. It's part of the Provider Suite of their Power Portfolio product.
Manifold's role would be to support it if you bought a license from Hexagon.
Are you really willing to spend that much money to write ECW Version 3, given that you can write unlimited size ECW Version 2 right now?
I ask because while it would be easy enough for Manifold to add support for such things, it doesn't seem to make sense to do so if nobody at all is willing to spend what Hexagon requires to go to Version 3 from Version 2.
For background on this and the licenses Manifold provides/uses, see the ECW topic.
I think jpeg 2000 with transparent pixels would be a useful alternative, but have no idea if the format supports that.
I think I tried it and it didn't work currently, but can't recall if I tried in M9 or just M8.
Currently being pushed towards using QGIS instead since you can just link the tiff files.
My work around in Manifold is to overlay the transparent tiff on older imagery and make a new rectangular combined image to ecw, but it is a bit of pain especially with very large images.
I was suggesting JPEG2000 as an open alternative to ECW with similar performance. I have for many versions of Global Mapper exported irregular images setting 'Make Background (Void) Pixels Transparent' (see Image 1).
I just tried this again after reading your post using Global Mapper 15 (20 is the current version). And created a JPEG2000 image with transparent background so perhaps they have extended the original specification?
These import fine into M8 (see Image 2) but linking or importing into M9 188.8.131.52 seems to have an issue (see Image 3).
Please let me know if you want me to upload the image in question to tech to have a look at.
PS It also opens fine with transparency in QGIS latest, SAGA 6.4 and ArcMap 10.4 (thought the colours are a bit wonky ... looks like the band arrangement is not correct).
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So if I'm reading correctly, M8 supports reading jpeg2000 files with transparent pixels, while M9 has issues.
Neither M8 or M9 can create jpeg2000 with transparent pixels (if they can I haven't worked out how - default export seems to fill the transparent areas with an odd striped zoom in of parts of the main image).
It would be great if M9 could get support to create jpeg2000 with transparent pixels, which can be linked into M8.
Nice that M9 can link tiffs and M9 images, but it still seems to lack other things so we can't replace M8 with it yet.