Chapter 3.7 Classification and use of image data

Definition and exchange of crystallographic data

First Online Edition (2006)

Part 3. CIF data definition and classification

  1. H. J. Bernstein

Published Online: 1 JAN 2006

DOI: 10.1107/97809553602060000739

International Tables for Crystallography

International Tables for Crystallography

How to Cite

Bernstein, H. J. 2006. Classification and use of image data. International Tables for Crystallography. G:3:3.7:199–205.

Author Information

  1. Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Kramer Science Center, Dowling College, Idle Hour Blvd, Oakdale, NY 11769, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JAN 2006



This chapter describes the categories and organization of data items used in the representation of image data. The classification applies to both Crystallographic Binary File (CBF) and Image‐supporting Crystallographic Information File (imgCIF) representations. The primary motivation for introducing the items defined in the CBF/imgCIF dictionary is to extend the mmCIF dictionary (Chapter 3.6) for the storage of synchrotron diffraction images. However, these items have the potential for use in other fields that require binary image data, including journal publishing, the creation of web pages or the production of movies. Data categories in the CBF/imgCIF dictionary support one‐, two‐ and three‐dimensional array detectors that output data organized by time and/or wavelength. Three major groups of categories are defined: ARRAY_DATA describes the image data themselves; AXIS is used to identify unambiguously the laboratory coordinate system; and DIFFRN introduces new terms that characterize the experimental apparatus and measurements.


  • CBF;
  • Crystallographic Binary File;
  • array data;
  • data arrays;
  • data collection;
  • diffraction scans;
  • experimental measurements;
  • image data;
  • imgCIF dictionary;
  • intensity measurement