MrSID -- Multi-resolution Seamless Image Database

Driver short name


Build dependencies


MrSID is a wavelet-based image compression technology which can utilize both lossy and lossless encoding. This technology was acquired in its original form from Los Alamos National Laboratories (LANL), where it was developed under the aegis of the U.S. government for storing fingerprints for the FBI. Now it is developed and distributed by Extensis.

This driver supports reading of MrSID image files using Extensis' decoding software development kit (DSDK). This DSDK is not free software, you should contact Extensis to obtain it (see link at end of this page). If you are using GCC, please, ensure that you have the same compiler as was used for DSDK compilation. It is C++ library, so you may get incompatibilities in C++ name mangling between different GCC versions (2.95.x and 3.x).

Latest versions of the DSDK also support decoding JPEG2000 file format, so this driver can be used for JPEG2000 too.

Driver capabilities

Supports Georeferencing

This driver supports georeferencing

Supports VirtualIO

This driver supports virtual I/O operations (/vsimem/, etc.)


MrSID metadata transparently translated into GDAL metadata strings. Files in MrSID format contain a set of standard metadata tags such as: IMAGE__WIDTH (contains the width of the image), IMAGE__HEIGHT (contains the height of the image), IMAGE__XY_ORIGIN (contains the x and y coordinates of the origin), IMAGE__INPUT_NAME (contains the name or names of the files used to create the MrSID image) etc. GDAL's metadata keys cannot contain characters `:' and `=', but standard MrSID tags always contain double colons in tag names. These characters replaced in GDAL with `_' during translation. So if you are using other software to work with MrSID be ready that names of metadata keys will be shown differently in GDAL.

XMP metadata can be extracted from JPEG2000 files, and will be stored as XML raw content in the xml:XMP metadata domain.


MrSID images may contain georeference and coordinate system information in form of GeoTIFF GeoKeys, translated in metadata records. All those GeoKeys properly extracted and used by the driver. Unfortunately, there is one caveat: old MrSID encoders has a bug which resulted in wrong GeoKeys, stored in MrSID files. This bug was fixed in MrSID software version 1.5, but if you have older encoders or files, created with older encoders, you cannot use georeference information from them.

See Also: