General Interest What is a pyramidal image?
General Interest

Information in this article applies to:

  • uScope Navigator (All Versions)

Article ID: NGN1076 — Created: 11 Oct 2017 — Reviewed: 2 May 2021


Deep Zoom Pyramidal ImageI keep hearing about pyramidal image sets and I'm not sure exactly what this means. So, I have two questions:

  1. Does the uScope Navigator Software create pyramidal images?
  2. What is a pyramidal image?


  1. Yes. uScope Navigator creates Deep Zoom images for your scanned slides. Deep Zoom images are pyramidal image sets.
  2. A pyramidal image is any image that is represented by a pyramid of images where higher images in the pyramid are smaller, lower resolution and lower images are larger, higher resolution. The pyramid is illustrated on the right.

Each layer in the Deep Zoom image is composed of identically-sized square image tiles (typically, 256×256). The bottom layer of the pyramid is a 1-to-1 pixel mapping of the original image data to a mosaic of square image tiles as shown below.

Deep Zoom Bottom Layer

Each pyramid layer is shown with bordered tiles to better illustrate image composition. The borders are not shown in the actual Deep Zoom images.

  • A layer that is higher in the pyramid is exactly ½ the dimension (¼ the area) of the layer immediately below.
  • A layer that is lower in the pyramid is exactly 2× the dimension (4× the area) of the layer immediately above.
  • The top layer of the pyramid is effectively a single pixel.

For more information on the folder format of the Deep Zoom images, refer to Job Folder Structure (uScope Navigator v4.5).

Refer to the Deep Zoom image format on the Microsoft web site for more details on its rationale and history.

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