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November 09, 2009
Imagining with ERDAS IMAGINE 2010
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
Each GIS Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the GIS industry, GIS product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by GISCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

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Industry News

Imagining with ERDAS IMAGINE 2010

By Susan Smith

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Complete user interface overhaul, organizing by workflow, parallel processing, web processing services, and automation are just some of the new features in ERDAS IMAGINE 2010. Mladen Stojic, senior vice president, Product Management and Marketing for ERDAS, described this as a big release for the company. Besides announcing ERDAS IMAGINE 2010, the company announced LPS 2010, ERDAS APOLLO 2010 and other desktop and enterprise products. In addition, at GEOINT 2009, ERDAS introduced several new products, including IMAGINE Feature Interoperability and IMAGINE SAR Interferometry as well as a technology preview of LPS eATE.

ERDAS releases new products annually; ERDAS IMAGINE is their flagship desktop authoring product. “On desktop side we’ve initiated a renaissance within ERDAS IMAGINE which is a complete overhaul of our user interface,” said Stojic. “We basically moved away from the box looking scientific interface to something more modern and more usable for customers, and that is implementing the Microsoft ribbon concept within the interface.”

The product is organized by workflow so customers don’t have to search through pull down menus and different interfaces. Customers now have direct access to the tools they need when they need them within the ribbon interface. This really improves usability and productivity, according to Stojic.

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Secondly, performance is a big issue with customers. “We’ve implemented new technologies for running parallel processes within ERDAS IMAGINE, thereby improving the performance of customers, particularly those with multiple licenses, for viewing imagery, producing mosaics, and producing different types of data sets within the ERDAS IMAGINE framework,” said Stojic.

Production time is also improved with bringing together mosaicking large datasets from various image data sets.

“A customer with 5,000 images -- what used to take 30 minutes before is now dramatically reduced to minutes,” said Stojic.. “So we’ve improved the performance of mosaics anywhere from 8 to 10 times, so that has greatly impacted the speed with which customers produce data sets.”

ERDAS has devoted a lot of time to making IMAGINE a multithreaded application so it allows parallel processing, and the user can run parallel processes on one machine, exploiting that investment customers have made in hardware.

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Spatial analysis is an area that demands interoperability, and a lot of ERDAS customers do a lot of spatial modeling, trying to model the earth and understand the different phenomenon in processes going on in the earth’s surface. IMAGINE’s spatial modeling environment is used extensively to create spatial models. “Unfortunately up until now, a lot of information in these models is still contained in sort of the scientist/researcher realm, although the final results are very useful to people inside and outside an organization,” Stojic noted.

According to the press release, IMAGINE Feature Interoperability is a new module supporting DGN Direct-read, write and editing, including symbolization colors, cells (points with shapes assigned to them), text, relating to external attribute sources such as Oracle tables and the use of the spatial indexing and caching for roaming, zooming, etc.

Web processing services make it possible for spatial models within IMAGINE to be catalogued and served as Web services. A scientist can continue to produce these models but now others who don’t necessarily understand the domain but need that information can now can access it using ERDAS APOLLO.

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Stojic said the connectivity between ERDAS IMAGINE and APOLLO is getting even stronger with the OGC Web Processing Service (WPS). In addition, ERDAS IMAGINE also incorporates the ERDAS ER Mapper algorithms and implements not only comprehensive OGC Web Processing Service (WPS), but Web Coverage Service (WCS), Web Mapping Service (WMS) and Catalog Services for the Web (CS-W).

Geoprocessing is another key release theme within the ERDAS 2010 release, that really connects the desktop to the enterprise. “We go from producing these models to cataloguing these models and then allowing people through web interfaces to get information for these models through a web client or web browser,” Stojic explained. The extension of the utilization of geospatial data to users who use information from the data is a big improvement.

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New capabilities for radar processing have been introduced in IMAGINE SAR Interferometry which is fully integrated into ERDAS IMAGINE. Including intelligent defaults and optimized processing, IMAGINE SAR Interferometry is used for the precise measurement of ground or surface movement, particularly for understanding change, and things that are moving. These features, part of the IMAGINE Radar Mapping Suite, are called IMAGINE Coherence Change Detection and IMAGINE InSAR. New interpolation techniques increase the quality and accuracy of radar data.

Enhanced Automated Terrain Extraction eATE is an improvement in the automation with which customers produce terrain data. The new technology is for extracting highly accurate and highly dense point clouds from imagery, called LPS eATE. It works with not only airborne digital imagery but also satellite imagery, aerial frame imagery and aerial digital imagery.

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ERDAS APOLLO 2010 implements an out-of-the box Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), that provides a publish, find and bind workflow for any data type. It focuses on the enterprise and includes a three tiered packaging approach which will be broken down into APOLLO Essentials, APOLLO Advantage, and APOLLO Professional. According to Stojic, Essentials is for those customers who have data that they want to get onto the web. Advantage is geared to those enterprise customers who have a lot of data and redundant data and need to get that data to many more users and integrate it with more data. In the last tier is APOLLO Professional for creating dynamic information products from the data
that’s been catalogued.

“That’s where we introduced geoprocessing on the server,” said Stojic. “All of this is integrated with our 3D client application TITAN, so TITAN will be the 3D interface to customers who want to search for data, review data, and then share data with others within the 3D virtual globe environment.”

The last key important area of development is the productivity and the speed with which customers can serve map tiles over the internet through geoportals.

“We’ve implemented this concept called the optimized tile delivery format,” said Stojic. “It is a tiling mechanism that allows customers to tile their data--raster data, map data and vector data and get that information over to the customers through a geoportal very rapidly, thousands of tiles per second. We are now rolling out the ability to support vector data as well as raster data.”

Most ERDAS customers are in the public sector but among their commercial customers are oil and gas and utilities.

Top News of the Week

DigitalGlobe announced it has signed an agreement with Microsoft Corp. to launch the Clear30 program, an initiative to distribute high-resolution, 30-cm aerial imagery of contiguous landscapes, initially in the U.S. and Western Europe. These orthophoto mosaics will be available through Bing Maps and through DigitalGlobe channels.

Acquisitions, Agreements, Alliances

NAVTEQ announced that the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has awarded NAVTEQ a contract as the map data and content provider for the comprehensive global commodity dataset (SATNAV) that offers transportation, public venues and miscellaneous points of interest data layers.

Telogis, Inc.
collaborates with MapIT to offer new technology and map data for enterprise-focused companies in the Sub-Saharan region.

MapIT’s collaboration with Telogis will greatly benefit its existing clients. Since collaborating with MapIT, Helberg Transport Management (HTM), a long time client of MapIT, has successfully implemented the Telogis software. Customers will be privy to unique solutions that include map data supplied by MapIT, integrated with both a powerful geospatial platform and AVL solution, developed for fleet management, logistics and planning, field service and mobile resource management solutions. Telogis supports all of MapIT’s data, offering customers the ability to route their fleet and location empower their mobile workers.

3D Laser Mapping
has appointed GEOCOM to act as Chilean representative for it’s hi-tech laser scanning systems. With over 20 years experience in providing advanced solutions for field surveying, GEOCOM was the obvious partner for the region. Chile is a vital area for mining and economic development and 3D Laser Mapping sees the region is a key market for its laser monitoring systems. The partnership with GEOCOM will build on 3D Laser Mapping’s position as an international specialist in the global development and deployment of laser scanning monitoring systems.

Intermap Technologies announced that it has licensed shaded terrain products which leverage the nationwide NEXTMap 3D mapping database to MapQuest, Inc. Additionally, Intermap will deliver shaded terrain products for Europe and the remainder of the world for subsequent releases on the MapQuest.com consumer Web site and Platform products.

ESRI Canada
announced that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has signed a five-year agreement under the ESRI Canada Enterprise License Agreement (ELA) program to strengthen the development of geographic information system (GIS) technology in the province. The program provides affordable access to GIS software, maintenance, services and training over the term of the agreement. "We're pleased to be moving forward a project that will further develop GIS in our provincial IT sector," said the Honourable Tom Marshall, Minister Responsible for the Office of the Chief Information Officer, Newfoundland and Labrador. "Provincial Government departments and
GIS-related businesses in our province will be provided with further opportunity to improve their GIS expertise and capacity, and provide a solid platform to leverage this technology to benefit government and industry."

IceWEB, Inc.
announced that the Company has entered into a Standard Procurement Agreement (SPA) with ExxonMobil Global Services Company, an operating division of ExxonMobil, the largest publicly traded international oil and gas company. The agreement for upstream services from IceWEB is for both the design of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and to provide GIS technical staff including Consultants, Project Managers, Senior GIS System/Software Architects, GIS Software Developers, Engineers, Data Base Analysts, and Senior Storage Engineering staff.


Leaders in the energy and utility industries are coming together at a Spatial Roundtable to discuss the smart grid. Hosted by ESRI, the online discussion features timely topics as they relate to geographic information system (GIS) technology. ESRI's director of utility solutions, Bill Meehan, kicks off the smart grid conversation by posing important logistical questions and sharing practical answers.

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has issued a Request for Quotes/Call for Participation (RFQ/CFP) for the OGC Web Services, Phase 7 (OWS-7) Interoperability Initiative, a testbed to advance OGC's open interoperability framework for geospatial capabilities. The RFQ/CFP is available

The organizations sponsoring OWS-7 seek open standards that address their interoperability requirements. The content of OWS-7 will be organized around the following threads:

1) Sensor Fusion Enablement

2) Feature and Decision Fusion

3) Aviation

Online global agricultural assessment reports and the future of remote sensing in Africa were two of the key topics covered in video interviews with Global Marketing Insights, Inc. President, Dr. Shawana Johnson, and the Office of Global Analysis, USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service (OGA USDA FAS), Satellite Imagery Archive Manager, Robert Tetrault.

GISCafe Publisher, Sanjay Gangal conducted the interviews in the exhibit hall at the 2009 GEOINT Conference held in San Antonio, TX. The OGA USDA FAS was hosted by Dr. Johnson at GEOINT 2009 in the Global Marketing Insights, Inc. booth.


The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation announced the winners of its 2009 USGIF Awards Program. This year’s recipients are Mr. Andrew Schaeffer, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Imagery Exploitation Course Team, the Integrated Collection Management Program Team, the Eagle Express Production Team and the geospatial engineers on Google Federal team. See
press release

New Products

Trimble gives Android phone users an edge for all of their outdoor activities with its AllSport GPS application. The fitness application, already available from a variety of cellular carriers on GPS-enabled phones, is the ultimate fitness application for anyone who wants to start or improve their workout routine.

announces the release of an updated version of their Data Collection Infrastructure (DCI) Service, the next generation of its cloud-based Software-as-a-Service solution offering.

DCI is a cloud-based SaaS solution for real-time GIS+GPS Data Collection and Mapping. Users can focus solely on their data collection activities, while the infrastructure of network communication, hardware, mapping software and data collection functionality is managed by DCI and downloaded software. DCI is a pay-as-you-go subscription service. Projects can be up and running within 24-48 hours.

Aerotec, LLC is pleased to introduce its second-generation airborne LIDAR-based mapping product for identifying and locating vegetation in the vicinity of electric power transmission rights-of-way that presents a significant risk to the operation of the transmission lines’ conductors. A featured component of the vegetation management product is a handheld unit that provides the utility forester with the capability to measure, locate, analyze, and report the vegetation violation on-the-spot, with a two-second response time, using a single-shot of the handheld unit’s laser rangefinder.

announced the availability of a no-cost weather data feed for the MARPLOT mapping application and ALOHA plume modeling program.

Tele Atlas and Cobra Electronics announced an agreement under which Tele Atlas supplies digital maps and location content on the 7700 Pro, Cobra’s GPS navigation and routing tool tailored to the needs of the professional truck driver. The agreement builds on the companies’ longstanding collaboration to deliver content-rich, user-friendly navigation solutions.

Exprodat announces the release of Team-GIS Directory, a unique ArcGIS Desktop tool for organizing and presenting desktop GIS data. Team-GIS Directory allows spatial data administrators to provide users with consistent, structured and intuitive access to spatial data, while providing users with powerful functionality that makes ArcMap much easier to use.

Exprodat announces the release of Team-GIS Segment Analyst, a toolkit for building common risk segment maps for use in exploration play fairway analysis. With Team-GIS Segment Analyst petroleum E&P companies can improve their understanding of play risk, reduce technical uncertainty and significantly reduce technical evaluation cycle times.

Telmap has used its navigation technology and NAVTEQ’s global map data, to bring a comprehensive mobile search, mapping and navigation solution for the iPhone, thus enabling mass adoption of mobile navigation. The strength of NAVTEQ lies in its experience as the leading global provider of digital maps, driving a mobile world with more than 100 million uses per day. The Telmap solution relies on its openness and flexibility, enabling operators to provide an offering that can provide NAVTEQ’s global map coverage, with access to rich content, live traffic, turn-by-turn GPS navigation, both in-car and pedestrian modes, and more. The first two
launches of this solution are the MapQuest Navigator that was announced on October 7, 2009, and Orange Maps in France that was announced on October 19, 2009, with more launches expected to be announced across the globe by leading tier 1 operators.

announced the newest version of its industry-leading enterprise GIS performance monitoring and management software XMF AlerterTM Version 2.5.

Around the Web

Google maps: where in the world are you? By Claudine Beaumont, October 20, 2009, Telegraph.co.uk


Date: November 10 - 12, 2009
Place: St. Petersburg, FL USA

URISA and the NCTR are pleased to announce a new partnership to present the 2009 GIS in Transit Conference, taking place in St. Petersburg, Florida, November 10-12, 2009. You are invited to share your knowledge and ideas with your colleagues and peers. You are encouraged to submit an abstract for consideration by the Conference Program Committee.
Date: November 10 - 12, 2009
Place: The Diplomat Radisson SAS Hotel

Manama, Bahrain

Professionals across industries and using GIS technology are encouraged to attend this valuable forum for ESRI community members in the Middle East and North Africa. 

Date: November 14 - 19, 2009
Place: Crowne Plaza Riverwalk

San Antonio, TX USA

On November 14-19 MAPPS will partner for the sixth time with ASPRS for a joint specialty conference on "Digital Mapping: From Elevation to Information," at the Crowne Plaza Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas. This conference seeks to bring geospatial information professionals together for their mutual benefit and an exchange of ideas. Professionals are able to take advantage of both organizations' combined experience to apply the latest and best technology to terrain database generation.
Date: November 16 - 18, 2009
Place: Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront

333 First Street South, St. Petersburg, FL USA

URISA and the University of South Florida’s National Center for Transit Research at the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) are pleased to announce a new partnership to present the 2009 GIS in Transit Conference, taking place in St. Petersburg, Florida, November 16-18, 2009.
Date: November 16 - 18, 2009
Place: Huntsville, AL USA
The Rocket City Geospatial Conference 2009 will focus on two themes:
  • Efficient Infrastructure Management
  • Spatial Data Infrastructure

  • We invite presentations on these topics that will address initiatives for both state and local government projects and their impact on the environment, military base management and commercial applications. With today's economic climate and stimulus money supporting projects for new roads, bridges, and other economic development, geospatial technology is at the forefront of helping government and its leaders become better informed to make better decisions
    Date: November 18, 2009
    Place: ADNEC

    Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

    GIS Day Abu Dhabi 2009 will showcase to the public the GIS achievements of more than 35 organizations contributing to the Abu Dhabi Spatial Data Infrastructure (AD-SDI) initiative and facilitate interaction among them. It will also include a VIP event to present the GIS related achievements and the progress of the AD-SDI initiative to VIPs and top executives.
    Date: November 19 - 20, 2009
    Place: University of Houston University Center

    4800 Calhoun Road, Houston, TX 77004 USA

    This event is the largest showcase of how Geographic Information Systems are used in the City of Houston and surrounding areas. For two days, business people, educators, students, and the general public are given a free access pass to products and services that encompass GIS. Since its debut 6 years ago, this event has grown steadily, achieving a prominent position in the field of GIS with public, private and governmental agencies.
    Date: November 29 - December 4, 2009
    Place: Mandalay Bay Hotel

    Las Vegas, NV USA

    Autodesk University is the premier Autodesk learning and networking event. Now in its 17th year, this largest gathering of Autodesk enthusiasts brings together motivated product users with gifted instructors, industry leaders, and Autodesk partners.
    Date: December 7 - 11, 2009
    Place: Seattle, WA USA

    The entire five day program, the only leadership training program of its type, is tailored to industry leaders and practitioners faced with unique challenges of GIS leadership and management and who want to make an impact leveraging the power of GIS.

    You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.

    To read more news, click here.

    -- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.