The application of MS imaging is rapidly growing with a constantly increasing number of different instrumental systems and software tools. The data format imzML was developed to allow the flexible and efficient exchange of MS imaging data between different instruments and data analysis software. imzML data is divided in two files which are linked by a universally unique identifier (UUID). Experimental details are stored in an XML file which is based on the HUPO-PSI format mzML. Information is provided in the form of a 'controlled vocabulary' (CV) in order to unequivocally describe the parameters and to avoid redundancy in nomenclature. Mass spectral data are stored in a binary file in order to allow efficient storage. imzML is supported by a growing number of software tools. Users are no longer limited to proprietary software, but are able to use the processing software best suited for a specific question or application. MS imaging data from different instruments can be converted to imzML and displayed with identical parameters in one software package for easier comparison. All technical details necessary to implement imzML and additional background information is available at

Elsevier B.V.
J. Proteomics

Schramm, T., Hester, A., Klinkert, I., Both, J.-P., Heeren, R., Brunelle, A., … Roempp, A. (2012). imzML - a common data format for the flexible exchange and processing of mass spectrometry imaging data. J. Proteomics, 75(16 SI), 5106–5110. doi:10.1016/j.jprot.2012.07.026