Distributing compressed SAT pictures through http/smtp

Two birds ([a]synchronous compressed imagery communication) with one stone

- View the (compressed) satellite images retrieved from the NODDS/TEDS databases through Mosaic/Netscape

- Clicking/linking on an item of type image/x-sowlp-gray causes the compressed image be delivered, unpacked, and displayed

- It looks no different than retrieving a JPEG picture

- It is even possible to play with different compression ratios: interactive compression demo

- View compressed code sent in e-mail as image/x-sowlp-gray attachments, taking advantage of gateways, aliases, automatical MIME encoding and other e-mail frills

Since http and smtp both use the same MIME protocol to deal with non-textual data, the decompressor modules-helpers can be used just as they are to view encoded images sent through e-mail, that is, asynchronously. The same viewer that helps out Mosaic when image/x-sowlp-gray stream comes in can be used to make sense of an e-mail message with a image/x-sowlp-gray "attachment". The mailers take care of ASCII encoding if necessary, and they do it transparently and automatically. Using electronic mail to send out satellite imagery has a tremendous advantage: one is no longer limited to TCP/IP or any other particular communication protocol or media, one can send a mail from a FIDONET site to a mainframe, from a PC on a Novell network to a Mac, etc. One can also take the full advantage of all e-mail frills and embellishments, like mailing lists, automatic broadcasting, mail aliases, mail exchangers, etc.