Friday, July 31, 2009

Return to Singapore

After 16 years and 11 months, I am returning to Singapore. In September 1992 I traveled to Singapore with Karen Willoughby, Bruce Rado and Jack Dangermond; followed up by Adelaide, Australia. The trip was to attend the 1992 South Asia and OZRI User Group Meetings (UGM). In those days, ERDAS and ESRI held joint international UGMs as most of our distributors sold both companies products and the companies were considered business partners.

At the UGMs I presented a pre–release version of ERDAS IMAGINE 8.0.2. The products I presented were the recently released IMAGINE Digital Ortho and the soon to be released WYSIWYG Map Composer, IMAGINE Vector Module, and the graphic flow chart model builder enhancement to Spatial Modeler script language, Model Maker.

During the same meetings, Jack presented ESRI’s soon to be released product, ArcView. This was ESRI’s move to a graphical user interface. While ERDAS IMAGINE had already made the jump in 1991, ESRI was making the jump in 1992.

When we had some quiet time, Jack demoed ArcView to me and answered my questions. I was impressed at the simplicity of the product. I recognized it a difficult task to take niche technology and create a product to reach out to a wider, non-geospatial trained community. As I discussed ArcView with him, I saw that the product could make that transition.

After we finished looking and discussing ArcView, Jack said he wanted to see IMAGINE Model Maker. Of course, I ran the models that I had planned to run and knew the models would run. Then, as I did to Jack, he asked me to do things that were not planned. He wanted a specific model built from the beginning. I cannot remember the models, but I built and ran them… no problems (ArcView had crashed all over the place on Jack when I asked for specific things).

Almost 17 years later, ArcView has grown up to ArcGIS. For the release of ArcGIS 9.0 in 2004, ESRI copied the Model Maker idea to create Model Builder. ArcView targeted a horizontal expansion of the market and Model Maker targeted a deeper penetration in the existing market. Both product ideas are powerful and have succeeded.

Where will geo-processing be in another 16 years and 11 months? As for ERDAS IMAGINE, imagine that ERDAS IMAGINE 2010 is just the beginning.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

IMAGINE Your Future (The Map of the Future is an Intelligent Image)

Here is a corporate video I believe was created from interviews made during the 1991 ERDAS User Group Meeting at SwissHotel; and completed during the spring of 1992. I am in this video at about 3:48. Thanks are due to Rob Luxeder (in the video at 6:08) for finding this jewel.

People I see in the video are: Doug Stowe, Rudolph Richter, Bob Parrott, Kass Green, Richard Lacey, Gail MacAulay, Bill Newland, Roger Hoffer, Oliver Weatherbee, John Althausen (both then students at South Carolina), Bruce Rado, Lawrie Jordan, Brad Skelton, Jeff Dooley, Steve Sperry, Cheryl Brantley, Andy Zusmanis, Andy Bury, Xinghe Yang, Stan Quinn, Donn Rodekohr, Kurt Schwoppe, Barrie Collins, Rob Luxeder, Mike Schlemmer, Fred Woods, Andrea Gernazian, Hongyue Lin, Bill Sharp, Lynn Davis and Paul Beaty.

Who can you find?

See the Brief History of ERDAS IMAGINE in this blog here:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Reprojecting Compressed Images

Have you ever had a very large compressed image you needed to reproject? The challenge is, you do not want to reproject to a new uncompressed version of the image file and then re-compress.

Have you used Calibration in ERDAS IMAGINE?

Let’s say you have a 2GB 20:1 MrSID compressed color infrared (CIR) image you need to deliver to an ArcGIS user in your organization. The last thing you want to do is resample and re-compress, right? That takes too much disk space and time.

Display the image in the Viewer, select Raster > Geometric Correct > Reprojection. On the dialog that appears, select the new projection and then select the ‘ruler’ on the Geo Correction Tools dialog to calibrate the image.

This process will create a .aux for you MrSID file storing the mathematical model to reproject the image on-the-fly.

Deliver both the MrSID image and the .aux file to your ArcGIS friend. That as fast and simple.

  1. Starting ERDAS IMAGINE 9.2+, the IMAGINE MrSID encoders write full projection information to the MrSID header. WKT strings are written to MG2, and WKT strings and GeoTIFF tags to MG3 data.
  2. With this change, the need for .sdw files and .aux files for map and projection data are no longer needed, but are available.

Monday, July 6, 2009

ERDAS IMAGINE 2010 will have a Shoebox, what is that?

In the new Ribbon Interface for ERDAS IMAGINE 2010 we will add a new feature named, "Shoebox." The idea is to provide the customer a easy to use tool where a list of the data they are likely to use in a project are readily available. The Shoebox will not load the data in a database, but rather create an XML list of the locations of the data.

Hammad Kahn outlines some of the basic concepts of the Shoebox in, “Kicking Around With the Shoebox,” found at Some of you have commented and asked questions below the article.

We may seem a little vague at times when discussing things on because it may not be the right time to discuss the more strategic features and future of new tool. Please do not feel we are offended when we side-step a question. In fact, we will use the specific question to help refine the new tool and from time-to-time contact you in private for clarification.

Anyway, please check out Kicking Around With the Shoebox at: