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Using an array of photo shots, the concentric mosaic offers a quick way to capture and model a realistic three-dimensional (3-D) environment. We compress the concentric mosaic image array with a 3-D wavelet transform and coding scheme. Our compression algorithm and bitstream syntax are designed to ensure that a local view rendering of the environment requires only a partial bitstream, thereby eliminating the need to decompress the entire compressed bitstream before rendering. By exploiting the ladder-like structure of the wavelet lifting scheme, the progressive inverse wavelet synthesis (PIWS) algorithm is proposed to maximally reduce the computational cost of selective data accesses on such wavelet compressed datasets. Experimental results show that the 3-D wavelet coder achieves high-compression performance. With the PIWS algorithm, a 3-D environment can be rendered in real time from a compressed dataset.