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This page provides a summary of ITK's role in the NA-MIC Toolkit. To learn more about ITK or to download ITK, click here to visit the ITK Website .


The Insight Segmentation and Registration Toolkit (ITK) is an open-source software toolkit for performing registration and segmentation. Segmentation is the process of identifying and classifying data found in digitally sampled representations. Typically the sampled representation is an image acquired from such medical instrumentation as CT or MRI scanners. Registration is the task of aligning or developing correspondences between data. For example, in the medical environment, a CT scan may be registered with a MRI scan in order to combine the information contained in both.

Role in NAMIC

ITK is a core software component used by major applications such as Slicer.

Numerous advanced image analysis methods have been contributed to ITK by members of NA-MIC. Many of those contributions have been featured in articles that are referenced in NA-MIC's Publications Database.

Typical Usage

ITK is a toolkit, meaning that there is no application per se. Rather, the developer uses ITK to build applications by assembling the many classes available in the toolkit.


ITK is written in C++ but has bindings for Java, Python and TCL. These bindings are produced automatically during the software build process using the CableSWIG software system. Java, Python and Tcl are powerful languages for rapid software development and provide many modules for creating applications (GUI builder tools, numerics packages, etc.).


ITK runs on most Unix, Linux and Windows platforms. See ITK Platform Suppport for an up-to-date list.

Software Dependencies

All platforms require CMake to build. CMake is a cross-platform software build tool. It uses hardware, compiler and operating system neutral configuration files to generate Makefiles, workspaces or projects particular to a particular development environment, so developers can use standard development tools on their target platform.

Documentation, Tutorials and Examples

A complete, online PDF Software Guide is available. Printed books can be purchased from Kitware or through The theory book Insight into Images: Principles and Practice for Segmentation, Registration, and Image Analysisis is available from AK Peters and

Installing ITK using the online Tutorial Getting Started I. This tutorial includes how to download, configure and install ITK, as well as how to run the first minimal examples.

On-line manual pages (documenting individual ITK classes and their methods) are also available.

File:ITKExercises.tgz associated with Dec9-10 Boston NAMIC Workshop.

File Formats Supported

ITK reads and writes the following file formats: png, jpeg, tiff, bmp, nrrd, meta, analyze, DICOM, GIPL.

Additionally, ITK reads the following formats: GE Signa, Siemens Vision, IPL.

Revision Control

ITK uses CVS to manage the source code. The ITK cvs repository is online.

Size of Community

There are over 800 subscribers to the Insight-users mailing list.


The Insight Copyright is an open-source, Berkely-style license. It allows unrestricted use, including use in commercial products. (The only exceptions are software modules found in the patented software directory.)