Insights into ITK’s Global Community

Last week, we announced the release of ITK 4.9 on behalf the Insight Segmentation and Registration Toolkit (ITK) community.

The international community around the open-source, cross-platform system for image analysis has grown substantially since development began in 1999. Today, ITK has over 60 active developers. These developers and others have made over 49 thousand commits and added more than 1.7 million lines of code. According to, this amounts to approximately 494 years of effort! What is more, the releases of the project have been downloaded over half a million times by users in 156 countries.

ITK global contributors from the 4.8 and 4.9 releases visualized with GeoJS.

With the 4.9 release, we are excited to welcome the following new contributors: Mikhail Isakov, Sreekanth Arikatla, Tobias Wood, Ricardo Ortiz, Junjie Bai, Alexander Leinoff, Eugene Prilepin, Seun Odutola, Martin Michlmayr, Betsy McPhail, Luc Hermitte, Abhishek Tiwari, Sumedha Singla, Lucas Gandel, Alexis Girault, Max Smolens, Shawn Waldon, Hyun Jae Kang, Adam Snyder, Isaiah Norton, Pablo Hernandez-Cerdan, Zach Williamson, Laurentiu Nicola, and Floris Berendsen.

As a memento to new and returning contributors alike, we once again printed 3D ITK cubes. We sent cubes to those who added to the Git logs from version 4.8.0 to version 4.9.0, the ITK Software Guide, the ITK Apps, and/or the ITK Sphinx Examples repositories. For background on the cubes and their design, please read our blog post titled “Insight Into Images with the Insight Toolkit.”

ITK Momento

Did you receive a cube? Share a picture with us on Twitter, Facebook, or G+!

To contribute to the next release, please see the instructions in the “ITK Software Guide.” While reading the guide, be sure to check out the latest chapter on how to create an ITK module. The chapter also discusses how external module development is faster and amenable to continuous integration testing.

If you have questions or issues with the contribution process, please do not hesitate to discuss them on the ITK mailing lists. We look forward to your contributions to the next release of ITK!

About ITK

ITK is an open-source, cross-platform system that provides developers from around the world with an extensive suite of software tools for image analysis. Through extreme programming methodologies, ITK delivers leading-edge algorithms for processing multidimensional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), ultrasound, positron emission tomography (PET), fluoroscopy, and microscopy data.

ITK began with a contract for the development of an open-source registration and segmentation toolkit from the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). Dr. Terry Yoo, the Project Manager at the NLM, organized the six main contractors that comprised the Insight Software Consortium: GE Corporate R&D; Kitware, Inc.; MathSoft (now known as Insightful); the University of North Carolina; the University of Tennessee; and the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Yoo’s aim for the ITK project was to create a repository of fundamental algorithms that would form the basis of future research in the areas of medical image registration and segmentation. He also sought to grow a self-sustaining community around the toolkit.

Today, ITK’s funding comes predominantly from the NLM and has been supplemented with funding from other institutes from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defence (Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center), and a variety of commercial development contracts.

Questions or comments are always welcome!