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Data Compression Methods

  • By: Bisheng Yang
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Data compression is a common solution to two problems: (1) the need to decrease the storage space required for spatial data and (2) the need to minimize the resulting transmission times. Extensive exploratory research has been carried out and many algorithms have been implemented for the compression of image data and video data. Several industrial standards, such as JEPG2000 and MPEG4, have been approved as well. Three factors have to be carefully considered when the user selects or implements one data compression method, namely, the degree of compression, the amount of “lossy” information, and the time required to compress and decompress the data.

Data compression can be considered to be “lossy” or “lossless.” Lossless compression methods (e.g., Huffman coding, arithmetic coding) first detect the probability of ...

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