On May 21, 2007 ERDAS announced the purchase of Earth Resource Mapping Ltd (ER Mapper). Among the products ERDAS acquired in that purchase was ER Mapper Professional. For almost two decades, ER Mapper Professional and ERDAS IMAGINE competed for market share in the remote sensing segment of the mapping community. Until ER Mapper moved its focus to enterprise development, ER Mapper Professional owned the second largest market share, second only to ERDAS IMAGINE.
ERDAS announced on October 6, 2008, ERDAS IMAGINE 9.3 and ER Mapper 7.2 now share licensing codes at the IMAGINE Professional level. This means customers purchasing new licenses or receiving licenses through software maintenance (SWM) for IMAGINE Professional 9.3 and ERDAS ER Mapper 7.2 will be able to use both products at the same time on the same desktop, with one license of either of these ERDAS products.
At first glance it may appear customers will now receive two licenses for every one license. This is not correct. The customer will continue to have one license.
To help explain, allow me to introduce the idea of an “ERDAS Session.” An ERDAS Session begins when the customer launches an ERDAS product on a computer. Each session consumes a single license of an ERDAS product. ERDAS allows only one session per computer.
When a customer launches ERDAS IMAGINE 9.3 or ERDAS ER Mapper 7.2, they launch an ERDAS Session. Because ERDAS ER Mapper 7.2 and ERDAS IMAGINE 9.3 use the same license codes, they also use the same session. Thus, the customer can launch both products on the same computer at the same time.
To help make this clearer, let's look at a few scenarios. Assume we have one floating license of ERDAS Professional 9.3 and one floating license for ERDAS ER Mapper 7.2 on a network to be used among three people.
- Shirley begins an ERDAS Session by launching ERDAS ER Mapper 7.2 on her computer. She then needs to use a classification tool found in IMAGINE Professional 9.3, and launches it as well (not closing her ER mapper tools). No problem, she has occupied 1 license within her ERDAS Session.
- Soon thereafter, Stephanie begins an ERDAS Session by launching ERDAS IMAGINE 9.3 on her computer. No problem, she has occupied the second (and final) license within her ERDAS Session.
- A few moments later, Jessica tries to launch ERDAS ER Mapper 7.2 and is denied a license by the license broker. Jessica’s problem is both licenses have been consumed by Shirley and Stephanie’s two ERDAS Sessions. Her solution is to ask Shirley or Stephanie to close their sessions, or purchanse another license.
- Matt begins an ERDAS Session by launching ERDAS IMAGINE 9.3 on his computer.
- Soon thereafter, Chenda begins an ERDAS Session by launching ERDAS IMAGINE 9.3 on her computer. No problem, she has occupied the second (and final) license.
- A few moments later, Trey tries to launch ERDAS ER Mapper 7.2 and is denied a license by the license broker. Trey’s problem is both licenses have been consumed by Matt and Chenda two ERDAS Sessions. His solution is to ask Matt or Chenda to close their sessions, or purchase another license.
Scenario 3 (added 2 days after original post by popular request). Assume we have one floating license of ERDAS Professional 9.3 on a network:
- Troy begins an ERDAS Session by launching ERDAS IMAGINE 9.3 on his computer.
- Soon thereafter, Michael tries to open an ERDAS ER Mapper 7.2 session on his computer and is denied by the license broker. Michael's problem is the one license is occupied by Troy's session. His solution is to ask Troy to close his session or purchase another license.
ERDAS is creating the next generation of desktop geospatial authoring tools. These new tools are being developed from customer’s demand of a fusion of the best of ERDAS IMAGINE, ERDAS ER Mapper, other existing ERDAS technology (desktop and enterprise), as well ERDAS' desire to introduce new technologies under development at ERDAS (not yet released).
Because the fused product will have a 100% capability match at the ERDAS ER Mapper 7.2 and IMAGINE Professional 9.3 level, ERDAS decided to provide both tools to customers, today.
It is my opinion, ERDAS is providing a future vision while delivering some of the capability in that vision, today. The combined licensing of ERDAS IMAGINE 9.3 and ERDAS ER Mapper 7.2 delivers the most powerful geospatial imagining offering available today. Making the change today provides ERDAS customers an opportunity to experience the power of both products, and knowing their SWM has value today and in the future.
A few benefits to existing ERDAS ER Mapper 7.2 Customers are:
- Expand ortho-rectification capability with many different sensor models supported in IMAGINE Professional
- Expand the raster data format support to >150 formats
- Provide robust native vector editing/attributing capability found in ERDAS IMAGINE (arc coverage & shapefile)
- Provide pathway to all of the IMAGINE Add-on Modules (VirtualGIS, Vector, Radar Mapping Suite, Objective, and so forth)
A few benefits to existing ERDAS IMAGINE 9.3 Customers
- Rapidly mosaic, color-balance and compress massive volumes of image data. Using the 32-bit compressor on a 32-bit OS, mosaic terabytes of imagery (limit between 1 and 5TB) Using new-64-bit compressor on a 64-bit OS, mosaic many terabytes of imagery (limit estimated above 72TB)
- All image processing is dynamic / on-the-fly; process to screen rather than process to disk
- Domain specific workflows and wizards suitable for a range of industries and specialized applications (e.g. Oil and Gas)
A few benefits to new ERDAS Customers
- ERDAS customers will have both ERDAS IMAGINE and ER Mapper on the same desktop
- ERDAS customers do not have to pick between the products, making their decision easier and quicker
- No need to study both products to determine which meets their need