The decreasing cost of computing power and the introduction of low cost imaging boards justifies the increasing number of applications of digital image processing techniques in the area of biomedicine. There is however a large software gap to be fulfilled, between the application and the equipment. The requirements to bridge this gap are twofold: good knowledge of the hardware provided and its interface to the host computer, and expertise in digital image processing and analysis techniques. A software package incorporating these two requirements was developped using the C programming language, in order to create a user friendly image processing programming environment. The software package can be considered in two different ways: as a data structure adapted to image processing and analysis, which acts as the backbone and the standard of communication for all the software; and as a set of routines implementing the basic algorithms used in image processing and analysis. Hardware dependency is restricted to a single module upon which all hardware calls are based. The data structure that was built has four main features: hierchical, open, object oriented, and object dependent dimensions. Considering the vast amount of memory needed by imaging applications and the memory available in small imaging systems, an effective image memory management scheme was implemented. This software package is being used for more than one and a half years by users with different applications. It proved to be an efficient tool for helping people to get adapted into the system, and for standardizing and exchanging software, yet preserving flexibility allowing for users' specific implementations. The philosophy of the software package is discussed and the data structure that was built is described in detail.