There are countless potential or actual applications of DjVu.
This page lists a few of them.
For a small business, building a website with a full online
catalog can be excruciatingly complicated, and exceedingly expensive.
DjVu is the solution: if the catalog is available on paper, it
can be put on the web with almost no effort.
Here are a few examples: the
for model airplane enthusiasts, and the
DjVu is used by several content providers to deliver books electronically. DjVu
is the only game in town for scanned books (from paper or from microfilms).
Even if the book is available in digital form, DjVu is the best format for
screen display. File sizes compare favorably with PDF, particularly if the
pages contain a significant amount of colors, pictures, formulae, drawings,
and other non-textual objects (as in college textbooks for instance).
Web designers will appreciate the compactness and autoinstall feature
of the plug-in, as well as its total integration with the Web's
navigation paradigm. A lovely example of an Ebook using DjVu is
Wisconsin Sea Grant's online edition of the 1,053 page
Fishes of Wisconsin
by George C. Becker.
The entire text has undergone OCR and is searchable using the DjVu Plug-in's
Auction customers appreciate the ability to inspect closely the
items for sale. With its progressive rendering, and its seamless
zooming and panning capabilities, DjVu is the answer. For example,
to show coins, diamonds, baseball cards, and other items,
with unmatched image quality. Such photos are produced with
DjVu's "photo mode", based on the mathematical theory of Wavelets.
This state-of-the-art photographic image compression produces
files that are about 1/2 the size of JPEG for comparable quality,
with the additional advantage of being progressive and zoomable.
E-shopping can sometimes be frustrating. Product photos are
often no bigger than a postage stamp. Photos that fill the screen
take forever to download. Yet, sometimes showing the required level
of detail would require an image larger than the screen.
DjVu can do it all. The progressive decoding ensures that images
will appear quickly, and the zooming and panning capabilities
ensure that all the details will be visible.
The multipage capability even allows to quickly switch
between multiple views of the object.
Unlike FlashPix, DjVu does not require a server roundtrip for
each panning or zooming. The whole image is right there in your
PC, ready to be displayed.
Scientists, students and scholars often put up some of
their publications on their web page. The format of choice
is often compressed PostScript produced from word processors
such as TeX, LaTex, Lyx, and Klyx. Unfortunately, PostScript
(even compressed) is somewhat inconvenient for screen viewing
for the following reasons:
- the whole document must be downloaded before being viewed
- rendering of PS is rather slow
- PS viewers sometimes have trouble displaying some types of files.
- current PS viewers are inefficient for color pictures.
- PS file sizes can be impractically large when images
are embedded in the document
- there is no usable browser plug-in for PS.
- scanned images cannot be converted to PS
in any practical way
DjVu solves all these problems, which is why an increasingly large
number of researchers, academics, and students, use it to publish
their work. Not surprisingly, some of the inventors of DjVu are
among them (see for example
Yann LeCun's publication page
on Leon Bottou's publications page
The DjVu compressor for Unix is free for such uses. It can accept
PostScript (and PDF) files as input.
Other good examples can be found at the
publication archive of the Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State University.
The site contains both scanned and digitally produced documents
and most of them are offered in multipage DjVu and PDF.
For example, this scanned article is
193KB in Djvu and
861KB in PDF.
Good examples closer to home are the
DjVu file format specifications,
and various technical papers
available from the DjVu digital library
Details of the history of science and technology sometimes hide in
notebooks and archives that are not easily accessible to scholars.
Here are a few examples from the AT&T archives that demonstrate of how
DjVu could bring historical material to scholars and schoolchildren alike:
DjVu offers university libraries a great opportunity to create efficient
"document servers", repositories of their digital holdings that originated in
various formats, such as Postscript, that were not designed to be web-friendly.
A brilliant example of this is KLUEDO
the document server of the Universitätsbibliotek Kaiserslautern. KLUEDO
has made all its documents available in DjVu, including Ph.D. and Master's theses, technical
reports, and external publications. Since KLUEDO also includes documents in
Postscript and PDF, it provides an excellent means of comparing these formats
with DjVu, and seeing firsthand the latter's many advantages. The KLUEDO site
includes a special page titled Neues Dataiformat DjVu
that explains why DjVu was chosen.
Early manuscripts and prints are DjVu's "killer app". DjVu is
the only image compression technology that can bring these
documents to the web in their full splendor. Fragile documents
from special collections that are normally kept away from the
public can now be distributed over the Internet.
Here are a few examples.
DjVu's continuous-tone image compression technology,
based on the mathematical theory of Wavelet, can compress
continuous-tone images such as painting better than JPEG can.
DjVu Files are generally 50 to 70% the size of JPEG with the
same signal to noise ratio. The advantage is particularly
interesting at high compression ratios. The progressivity,
zooming, and panning also makes the user experience much more enjoyable.
No foreground/background separation is performed on this kind of images.
- This panoramic picture from the Library of Congress was
highly compressed to obtain an
80KB DjVu image
The same image was compressed into an
80KB JPEG image
to demonstrate the difference in quality at high compression ratios.
- These nice paintings by
van Gogh are used for a lecture at the University of Washington.
Photo collections can take advantage of the reduced file size,
progressivity, zooming and panning features of DjVu.
With progressivity, there is no need to compromise the quality
of the image by reducing the resolution. The more the user is interested
in the picture, the longer he or she is going to look at it, and the
better the image will get. Once the image is there, it has high
enough resolution to be printed.
- The Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas has a
panoramic photo that shows the advantage of seamless panning.
- This photo collection of a turbulent medical school student
in the 1920's demonstrate how to pictures with high enough resolution
to be printed can be distributed on the web. Here is the
surrounded by his
buddies from med school.
Even in the 20's they had
sit-ins in med schools
that seemed to
He was also an
Historians, scholars, and anybody with an interest in History and
biographical research will appreciate DjVu's unique ability to bring
original documents to the web at high resolution with all the colors
and details necessary for serious analyses. Librarians will appreciate
the fact that bringing these archives to the web no longer requires
expensive manual translation to a text-based format.
Here are a few examples.
Genealogical societies and genealogy enthusiasts can use DjVu to
publish their family archives. Here are a few examples.
- Mr. Jules Roduwart, a master saddle maker, was sent to Egypt by
the French government in 1830.
is his passport.
- He was born in France, but was a German citizen. He wanted to
become a French citizen, but ran into problems given the political
climate in the 1870's. So he got help from his friend Jules Ferry,
mayor of the 9th Arrondissement of Paris (and who later founded the
French public school system). Here is a
from Jules Ferry to Jules Roduwart.
- When Jules finally became a French citizen in 1874, he received this
of naturalization from the French government.
Some genealogical societies already use DjVu to publish
documents on their web site. For example, the Society for German
Genealogy in Eastern Europe
has a few
in DjVu format.
One day, local governments around the world will digitize their
records and will convert them to DjVu. Researching our family roots
will no longer require a trip to the local government archive in
the country of our ancestors. A simple search on the Internet will do it.
Maps are particularly difficult to publish in the Web because
when the resolution is high enough to make the text readable,
the image is generally far too large to fit in the viewing window,
and the file far too large to download in reasonable time.
Panning and zooming capabilities are a must. That is where
DjVu comes in.
- Courtesy of the Swedish National Land Survey, several
beautiful cadastral maps
are available in DjVu. In particular,
this map is 7600 by
5300 pixels. The original is approximately 120MB.
The DjVu image is 400KB, but the chunk with the text and lines is
only 137KB and will appear as soon as it gets to your machine.
- This 1915 map of Yellowstone
National Park comes from the US Library of Congress. It is
5900x6900 pixels, occupies 450KB (the original was 121MB), and will not
slow your machine to a crawl when you try to display it, unlike its
2.1MB JPEG brother
[don't click on the JPEG link unless you have lots of RAM].
- Maps can relate to historical events, such as this
plan of the operations
of Gen. Washington in New Jersey. The DjVu image is 147KB.
- This old map of New
Brunswick, NJ comes from the special collections of
- The Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe
has a few black and white
financial corporate reports of UK companies using DjVu. Here is an
of the kind of documents they propose (300dpi grayscale).
DjVu makes possible what PDF couldn't.
The following quote from the Corporate Reports website says it all:
Corporate Reports has been providing on-line information on UK listed
companies for over three years, and 1999 has seen a large uptake in
online sharedealing in the UK, we have also seen huge developments in
file compression technology, both these factors have been the catalyst
in the reworking and relaunching of the Corporate Reports service to
online share dealing clients this year.
Using the new compression technology application 'DjVu' from AT&T
enables us to scan in complete documents at high resolution whilst
keeping the document file size down to a bare minimum, for example a
traditional 60 page A4 document stored as a PDF would take up around
4MB of file space the same document scanned and stored as a 'DjVu'
file will take up less than 800k.
Despite the growing importance of web-based forms, paper-based
forms are still widely used in the corporate world.
A good example is medical claim forms.
show the advantage of preserving the color information.
Another good example is this
not scanned but generated directly from PDF.
This bill of lading
shows the power of DjVu for keeping records of financial
transactions that would otherwise be on paper.
Companies host many types of documents on their corporate
Intranets. Unfortunately, few host legacy documents there.
DjVu can change all that. Technical manuals, CAD drawings,
financial documents, fax and mail can all be put on the Corporate
Intranet with DjVu.
A few Land Registry Administrations around the world are already
using DjVu to put up their records (e.g. cadastral maps) on the web,
many more a seriously considering the possibility.
A few examples are provided, courtesy of the Swedish National Land Survey.
For example these beautiful cadastral
look stunning. In particular
is 7600 by 5300 pixels.
Yet while the uncompressed original was approximately 120MB, the DjVu
image is only 400KB. Even better, the text layer pops up on the user's
screen as soon as the first 137KB are loaded.
The Cobb county Clerk Superior Court in Georgia uses DjVu to show real
property records on the Web. This very nice-looking site includes
numerous documents such as
of various kinds,
floorplans of condominiums
and other properties.
Document can searched by type
, or by various
. This site is an excellent demonstration of how DjVu
can be used for public records and for many other applications in governments
or in legal professions.