Re: CGM deployment?

Daniel W. Connolly (
Tue, 01 Aug 1995 11:07:57 -0400

In message <>, David Crossley writes:
>The recent brief discussion on this list about the possibility of inline
>Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM) is of great interest to us. We in the
>geographic information community see this as a major step towards enabling
>online delivery of spatially relevant information.

The is not the first time I've heard this. OK. Perhaps it's
time to do something about it. I've updated the
page on graphics formats:

to mention some issues I've seen discussed here: format negociation
and CGM, for example.

I'd like to see the following:

1. Some data on the web (i.e. available via HTTP, ftp, or gopher) in
CGM format.

2. Some free CGM viewers, with documentation on how to use them
as MIME viewers.

3. Software for converting CGM to GIF/JPEG, as well
as to Postscript, configured as a translator inside
a web server.

4. A discussion of CGM authoring tools (and/or
conversion tools)

4. Modular web browsers that can incorporate software like
(2) as an OpenDoc part, OLE control, Fresco object, etc.

5. libraries for processing CGM, so that even monolithic
browsers can use CGM inline.

We don't have much W3C staff time to spend on this, but I'm willing to
do some coordination. But actually, Chris Lilley seems more
qualified. I nominate him as "editor" of a "CGM and the web" page to
collect this info.

So: who's got software? Who's got data? Who wants to do beta
testing? Who wants to write documentation?

Attached is the best peice of info I've seen about CGM references.
Wow! A little surfing from one of these references produced
CGM data and a viewer with free source code! See:
Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC)
Revised: Nov 25, 1993

Daniel W. Connolly "We believe in the interconnectedness of all things"
Research Associate, MIT/W3C PGP: EDF8 A8E4 F3BB 0F3C FD1B 7BE0 716C FF21


Date: Fri, 02 Jun 1995 10:09:00 -0400 (EDT)
From: James D Mason <>
Subject: Re(2): CGM format??
Message-Id: <>
Mime-Version: 1.0
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Posting-Date: Fri, 02 Jun 1995 10:19:00 -0400 (EDT)

CGM is indeed a vector format. If someone has been using a raster graphics
package on the Mac (e.g., Photoshop), CGM will indeed be an alien thing. Most
major PC vector graphics packages (e.g., Corel) that aren't specialized for
PostScript graphics (e.g., Illustrator) will read and write CGM. PC graphics
converters (e.g., HiJaak) will also deal with CGM.

If you want the real word on CGM, try the leading experts from ANSI X3H3:

Mr. Lofton Henderson
Henderson Software
P.O. Box 4036
Boulder, CO 80306 U.S.A.
Telephone: +1 303 442 6570
Facsimile: +1 303 440 0640

Mr. Steve Carson
GCS Associates
13254 Jefferson Avenue
Hawthorne, CA 90250 U.S.A.
Telephone: +1 310 675-2093
Facsimile: +1 310 675-2159

The public-domain CGM package came out of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing
Center, the author is

Dr. Phil Andrews
Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center
4400 Fifth Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213 U.S.A.
Telephone: +1 412 268 5506

These folks are all quite helpful. Henderson and Carson have worked with NIST
on the FIPS and have worked on CALS.

Dr. James D. Mason
(ISO/IEC JTC1/SC18/WG8 Convenor)
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Information Management Services
Bldg. 2506, M.S. 6302, P.O. Box 2008
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6302 U.S.A.
Telephone: +1 615 574-6973
Facsimile: + 1 615 574-6983