Introduction to Mr. SID

What is Mr. SID?

MrSID is an acronym for Multi-resolution Seamless Image Database, a patented wavelet-based image compressor, viewer and file format designed to allow portablilty of large images. It enables instantaneous viewing and manipulation of images locally and over networks while maintaining maximum image quality and downloading speed. Images compressed and served over the web in MrSID format are highly compressed yet high in quality, may be decompressed selectively, and viewed at multiple zoom levels.

Viewing Mr. Sid Images

MrSID images may only be viewed with MrSID viewers, distributed by LizardTech Software. LizardTech offers two options. The ExpressView Browser Plug-in may be downloaded and installed at no charge to work through Internet Explorer. (All versions of Netscape are not supported and therefore not recommended.) A better option, the stand alone application, MrSID Viewer, has been recently discontinued but will work with these images if you already have it installed. It has been replaced by C. A trial version is available, and the full version is available for sale.

MrSID files may also be viewed directly through many commercial GIS/CAD/image processing software packages, including modules of ESRI, Autodesk, ERDAS, and MapInfo. Please visit the LizardTech website for support in using MrSID. We regret that we cannot offer support or technical advice for MrSID images outside of the following instructions.

Express View Browser Plug-in

Express View gives standard Web browsers the ability to natively view MrSID images. The intuitive graphic interface allows you to view, magnify, print and save images. Express View Browser Plug-in is free for individual use and is easily installed as a plug-in for Internet Explorer and some versions of Netscape web browsers.

GeoExpress View

GeoExpress View is a stand-alone application designed to optimize the viewing of imagery that is in the MrSID format. The viewer, once installed upon your computer, will allow you to do everything the browser plug-in will, plus it will allow you to save and print the image.

Downloading and Installing the MrSID Viewers

Decide which of the two viewers will best suit your needs. The browser plug-in will suit many users who wish to view, zoom, print and save the image in a compressed format. The stand alone viewer offers increased functionality including the ability to download the uncompressed tiff image.

Download the appropriate viewer from LizardTech following the links provided above. You may install either one or both. The viewers both download with installation wizards.

Using the Express View Browser Plug-in

Once installed, use the MrSID online help to familiarize yourself with the viewer. Once installed, double-clicking on the "View with plug-in "link will open the image in your browser window. Right click on the image being viewed to get options. The plug-in will allow you to:

Using the MrSID Viewer Stand Alone Application

Once installed, use the online help to familiarize yourself with the viewer. With the stand-alone application you will be able to do everything you can do with the browser plug-in plus much more.

To open an image, right click on the web link to the file labeled "View with MrSid Stand Alone Viewer (best option)" and save it in a location you will remember such as on your desktop. The average file size is 3.5MB so over a modem this will be a slow process. Then open the file by choosing file/open or clicking on the open button and navigation to the MrSID file. To quickly change the map scale and zoom in or out, drag the vertical scroll bar on the right side of the image.

The image will appear very small when it first opens. Use the zoom tool to make the image larger.

Additional Help

We regret that we are unable to provide help or support for MrSID images. Please refer to the LizardTech Software website for additional assistance with their products.


Return to Historic USGS Maps of New England
& New York Main Page
Last Updated 3 October, 2003