After three years of active and constructive international competition, a consensus was reached by the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the International Consultative Committee for Telephone and Telegraph (CCITT) in 1988 on one compression technique for still images. The collaboration of the CCITT and ISO took the form of the JPEG (Joint Photographic Expert Group), which is now referred to as the ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG1O. Since then, the large-scale development of compatible interactive applications has begun to expand rapidly. A discussion of the JPEG standard is presented in the first part with an explanation of all the basic tools available in the standard. Then, to demonstrate the potential of the JPEG standard, two typical applications are described. One of them concerns the application to the printing industry currently under development in Japan, and the other deals with the large-scale introduction of photovideotex in Europe. Finally, other areas of active development around JPEG are briefly summarized to give the reader references and an overview of the evolving propagation of this worldwide standard.