ECW File - opening and understanding

Did your computer fail to open an ECW file? We explain what they are used for and recommend software that we know can open or otherwise handle your .ECW files.

What is an ECW file?

ECW or the enhanced compressed wavelet file extension is a type of image file format compression wherein it basically stores information captured by the used of satellites and aerial cameras or georeaders placed in space. This file type is known to be used in capturing aerial pictures via satellites for the development of geolocation and mapping databases. ECW files are popular among developers and users of Geographic Information System and thus, there are a lot of applications that can be utilized to view files with .ecw format.

Earth Resource Mapping pioneered the use of enhanced compressed wavelet and later owned by ERDAS (Earth Resource Data Analysis System). ECW is an ideal image format for large image file because of its ability to achieve large compression rates that other formats have in difficulty.

ER Mapper Image Compressor is an application designed to solely support .ecw files. Since aerial images of geographic locations and areas are normally large, definitely, it would take up large memory size. Nonetheless, the said compressor can compress the image to reduce the file size extremely without altering or losing the original image quality.

How to open ECW files

You will need a program compatible with the specific file you are trying to open, as different programs may use files with file extension ECW for different purposes.

While we have not verified the apps ourselves yet, our users have suggested 10 different ECW openers which you will find listed below.

Suggest another file format using extension ECW

While we know of one file format using the .ECW file extension, there may be more. It is widespread that different programs use files with the same file extension for very different types of data. Please let us know if you are aware of a different kind of .ECW file.

Various viewers for this file format

These apps are known to open certain types of ECW files. Remember, different programs may use ECW files for different purposes, so you may need to try out a few of them to be able to open your specific file.

IrfanViewIrfanViewUser submitted
EclipseCrosswordEclipseCrosswordUser submitted
CompeGPS LANDCompeGPS LANDUser submitted
Systweak PhotoStudioSystweak PhotoStudioUser submitted
TatukGIS ViewerTatukGIS ViewerUser submitted
ERDAS IMAGINEERDAS IMAGINEUser submitted
CompeGPS AIRCompeGPS AIRUser submitted
MiraMonMiraMonUser submitted
FrapsFrapsUser submitted
Structural Engineering LibraryStructural Engineering LibraryUser submitted
We have not verified any software that we know for certain will work with ECW-files on Mac. If you know one, please use the 'Suggest a program' link below and tell us about it!
We have not verified any web services that we know for certain will work with ECW-files. If you know one, please use the 'Suggest a program' link below and tell us about it!