World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Computer Graphics Metafile


Computer Graphics Metafile

Computer Graphics Metafile
Filename extension .cgm
Internet media type image/cgm[1]
Developed by ISO/IEC, W3C
Initial release 1986
(ANSI X3 122-1986)
Type of format Vector image format
Extended from Graphical Kernel System
Standard ISO/IEC 8632
Website ISO/IEC 8632

Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM) is a ISO/IEC 8632.[2]


  • Overview 1
  • History 2
  • Further reading 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6
    • General 6.1
    • Standards 6.2
    • Other 6.3


All graphical elements can be specified in a textual source file that can be compiled into a binary file or one of two text representations. CGM provides a means of graphics data interchange for computer representation of 2D graphical information independent from any particular application, system, platform, or device. As a metafile, i.e., a file containing information that describes or specifies another file, the CGM format has numerous elements to provide functions and to represent entities, so that a wide range of graphical information and geometric primitives can be accommodated. Rather than establish an explicit graphics file format, CGM contains the instructions and data for reconstructing graphical components to render an image using an object-oriented approach.

Although CGM is not widely supported for web pages and has been supplanted by other formats in the graphic arts, it is still prevalent in engineering, aviation, and other technical applications.

The initial CGM implementation was effectively a streamed representation of a sequence of Graphical Kernel System primitive operations. It has been adopted to some extent in the areas of technical illustration and professional design, but has largely been superseded by formats such as SVG and DXF.

The World Wide Web Consortium has developed WebCGM, a profile of CGM intended for the use of CGM on the Web.


  • 1986 – ANSI X3 122-1986 (ANSI X3 committee)
  • 1987 – ISO 8632-1987 (ISO)
  • 1991 – ANSI/ISO 8632-1987 (ANSI and ISO)
  • 1992 – ISO 8632:1992, a.k.a. CGM:1992 (ISO)
  • 1999 – ISO/IEC 8632:1999, 2nd Edition (ISO/IEC JTC1/SC24)
  • December 17, 2001 – WebCGM (W3C)
  • January 30, 2007 – WebCGM 2.0 (W3C)
  • March 1, 2010 – WebCGM 2.1 (W3C Recommendation)

Further reading

  • Arnold, D.B. and P.R. Bono, CGM and CGI: Metafile and Interface Standards for Computer Graphics, Springer-Verlag, New York, NY, 1988.
  • Henderson, L.R., and Gebhardt, CGM: SGML for Graphics, The Gilbane Report, Fall 1994.
  • Henderson, L.R., and A.M. Mumford, The CGM Handbook, Academic Press, San Diego, CA, 1993.
  • Bono, P.R., J.L. Encarnacao, L.M. Encarnacao, and W.R. Herzner, PC Graphics With GKS, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1990.

See also


  1. ^ IANA Image Media Types
  2. ^ ISO/IEC 8632

External links


  • Overview of CGM Standards
  • CGM File Format Summary
  • WebCGM Resource Page
  • Technology Reports: WebCGM
  • Use of CGM as a Scalable Graphics Format
  • CGM Open - Reference documents & related materials for CGM and WebCGM


  • WebCGM 1.0, W3C Recommendation, 17 December 2001
  • WebCGM 2.0, W3C Recommendation, 30 January 2007
  • WebCGM 2.1, W3C Recommendation, 1 March 2010
  • ISO/IEC 8632-1:1999 Part 1: Functional specification
  • ISO/IEC 8632-1:1999 Part 1: Technical Corrigendum 1
  • ISO/IEC 8632-1:1999 Part 1: Technical Corrigendum 2
  • ISO/IEC 8632-3:1999 Part 3: Binary encoding
  • ISO/IEC 8632-4:1999 Part 4: Clear text encoding


  • WebCGM and SVG: A Comparison
  • CGM Examples
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.