Knowledge Base - Technical Articles

Technical Article   HowTo:  Use the ECW raster format in ArcIMS and ArcGIS Server

Article ID: 32824
Software:  ArcIMS 9.2, 9.3, 9.3.1, 10 ArcGIS Server 9.2, 9.3, 9.3.1, 10
Platforms: N/A


 The ECW raster format is directly supported in ArcGIS Desktop, but not in ArcGIS Server, ArcIMS, or ArcGIS Image Server (the ArcGIS Server Image Extension). To use ECW in server-based products requires additional licensing permissions from ERDAS, Inc., the inventors of the ECW format.

For ArcGIS Server version 10, ERDAS provides the ECW for ArcGIS Server product. Once obtained, follow the product's directions to implement.

For versions prior to 10, contact ERDAS to request a license. Once a license has been granted from ERDAS, it is possible to enable the ECW support in ArcGIS Server, ArcIMS, and ArcGIS Image Server following the instructions below.


  1. Upon purchase of a license from ERDAS, binary files for the latest ECW SDK are provided.

    • Windows users
    The required binaries are NCSCnet.dll, NCSEcw.dll, and NCSUtil.dll.

    • Unix and Linux users
    The required binary is libecwj2.*.
  2. Place the files in the following location:

    • ArcIMS
    Windows: \ArcIMS\Server\bin
    Unix and Linux: $AIMSHOME/lib

    • ArcGIS Server
    Windows: \arcgis\bin
    Solaris and Linux: /arcgis/bin
  3. Restart ArcGIS Server or ArcIMS.
    Map documents or image services that use the ECW raster format can now be served.

     These procedures allow for access to ECW files. However, they do not allow data delivery by way of high-speed ECWP streaming imagery protocol.

Related Information

Created: 3/16/2007
Last Modified: 3/21/2012

Article Rating: (2)
If you would like to post a comment, please login


By jdavids - 08/11/2011 3:15 AM

Great article! It helped a lot!


By Anonymous - 08/28/2009 1:54 AM

The article has missing, misleading, or conflicting information.

Hi, I currently have an ArcGIS Server map service that includes serveral ECW images. In an application that we have, the ECW image service is displayed without any problems. But when I load the map service in ArcMap, it's loads as expected (the service appears in the TIC) although doesn't display anything in the map window. Would this be because I don't have the ERDAS licence for ECW or for some other reason? Cheers, Matt