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I made a 3GB tif panorama, but as 3GB is a too big size to open in a computer with a 3Gb RAM, i converted it to JPG

convert input.tif output.jpg

The result was a 15Mb(?!?) JPG, which i am unable to open with any image viewer (memory allocation fails).

How can i render such a big image, and why is this conversion so small and unable to open anywhere?

PS: Is there any image viewer ideal for such images?

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Your image viewer is trying to decompress the JPEG into RAM. Decompressed, it probably requires width × height × depth ÷ 8 bytes of RAM. –  derobert Sep 28 '12 at 19:34
    
7,5TB of RAM? Really? There must be a better way. There are many 20Tb+ images across the internet. Is there any viewer which doesn't decompresses totally? –  Claudiop Sep 28 '12 at 19:56
    
Well, if its a gigapixel image, it should be gigabytes of RAM, not TB. Depth is bit depth, generally no more than 48. Make sure to do the divide by 8 at the end. Yes, there are image editors that don't need to load everything into RAM at once. I think GIMP is even one of them (if set up correctly, check the preferences for how big before it starts using its image swap) –  derobert Sep 28 '12 at 20:48
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