Monday, January 17, 2011

A Brief History of ERDAS ER Mapper

I thought I would take some time to briefly outline some of the major points in the history of ERDAS ER Mapper. I have rebuilt this history from "What's New" PowerPoints and "What's New" documents, software documentation, software media, software code, advertisements, and personal interviews. I do not have as much materials as I did to build the A Brief History of ERDAS IMAGINE, immediately at hand, but will build the history as I uncover documents.

As a master’s student at the University of South Carolina Department of Geography and Remote Sensing Specialist at SC DNR, I interviewed with ER Mapper while at ASPRS in Baltimore Maryland the week of March 24, 1991 and was invited to interview with ER Mapper in San Diego in mid-May 1991. During my visit in May, I met with David Hayward and Stuart Nixon. David gave me an extensive demo of the software. I was very impressed with the software.

I was somewhat concerned when Stuart stated ER Mapper would be larger than ERDAS within 2-years. ER Mapper hired Jill Andrews rather than me. I accepted a technical sales position at ERDAS and started at ERDAS on July 15, 1991. On May 21 2007, ERDAS announced the purchase of ER Mapper Ltd.

19 Feb 1990, Australian Beta Release (Beta 1)
  • Introduces Dynamic Algorithm Compiler (on-the-fly image processing) to Remote Sensing community
  • Sun Workstation only
6 Apr 1990, US Beta Release (Beta 2)
1 May 1990, ER Mapper 1.0 released
9 Jul 1990, ER Mapper 1.1 released
21 Sep 1990, ER Mapper 1.2 released
10 Jan 1991, ER Mapper 2.0 released
  • Expanded marketing efforts into Europe and Americas
22 Nov 1991, ER Mapper 3.0 released
20 May 1992, ER Mapper 3.1 released
26 Aug 1992, ER Mapper 3.2 released
15 Jan 1993, ER Mapper 4.0 released
25 Oct 1993, ER Mapper 4.1 released
4 Feb 1994, ER Mapper 4.1a released
18 Oct 1994, ER Mapper 4.2 released
30 Jun 1995, ER Mapper 5.0 released
  • Support Sun, SGI, DEC, HP And Windows NT
  • 3D Capability introduced
Sep 1995, ER Mapper 5.1 released
  • Microsoft Windows 95 support added
20 April 1996, ER Mapper 5.2 released
27 Feb 1997, ER Mapper 5.5 released
  • HP-UX and DEC Alpha support dropped, Sun Solaris, SGI Irix, and Windows 95/NT remain
  • Improved 3D capability
  • Oil and Gas Wizards to exchange data with Charisma, GeoQuest and SeisWorks
  • Customers include Landmark, Schlumberger, BP Exploration, Mobile, Texaco and Shell
1 Feb 1999, ER Mapper 6.0 released
  • Introduce real-time roaming and zooming
  • Introduce ortho-rectification of images
  • Introduce image compression wizard
  • Introduce mosaic wizard
  • Introduce image gridding wizard (ascii points and vector datasets)
  • Introduce contour to screen wizard, file save as to create files
  • Radar processing bundled into core package
15 June 1999, ER Mapper 6.0 CEP released
  • ECW Compression Enhancement Pack added (ECW v2.0)
29 April 1999, ER Mapper 6.0 SP1 released
4 January 2000, ER Mapper 6.1 released
  • Image Web Plug-in
11 May 2001, ER Mapper 6.2 released
  • Improved licensing
  • Improved ECW performance(70% faster)
  • Add GeoTIFF support
  • Wizard to support MapInfo .tab files
  • Landsat Web publishing wizard
  • Introduce Mineral Exploration wizard
29 June 2001, Release of OrthoWarp ER (Inpho add-on module)
  • IKONOS, IRS, Landsat and Spot data supported
  • Automated tools for orientation, measurement, and error correction
24 September 2001, ER Mapper 6.21 released
  • Maintenance release
  • HDF Translator
28 Feb 2002, OrthoWarp ER v2.1 released
  • Simplified workflows
19 July 2002, ER Mapper 6.3 released
  • Windows XP Support
  • Enhanced Compression Tools
  • Shapefile I/O
  • Spectral Angle Mapper Formula
  • Aster Processing Wizard
6 December 2002, ER Mapper 6.3 SP1 released
  • Maintenance release
14 November 2003, ER Mapper 6.4 released
  • Reprojection-on-the-fly introduced
  • Compression to ECW of Multi-TB images (5TB tested)
  • Reproject GeoTIFF and ECW
  • Add floating network license support
15 May 2004, ER Mapper 6.4 SP1 released
  • Maintenance release
22 April 2005, ER Mapper 7.0 released
  • JPEG2000 support added (Lossly, lossless, NITF), created 1-TB JPEG2000 Landsat mosaic
  • Added 13 new Batch Processing Wizards
  • Added new projections
28 July 2005, ER Mapper 7.01 released
  • Maintenance release
31 March 2006, ER Mapper 7.1 released
  • Maintenance release
  • Add support for ERDAS IMAGINE .img format
  • GeoTIFF enhancements (read and write TIFFs up to 2GB, JPEG format TIFF)
  • JPEG2000 Alpha Channel Support
21 May 2007, ER Mapper Ltd. Purchased by Leica Geosystems Geospartial Imaging (aka ERDAS)
2 Sept 2008, ER Mapper 7.1 SP1 released
  • Maintenance release
19 Sept 2008, ERDAS ER Mapper 7.2 released
  • Significant maintenance effort
  • Expanded projection support
  • Native support to read IMG
  • Clip Region Wizard, included rotated regions
  • Add MrSID, RPF (CIB and CADRG) and PCIDSK support
  • Joint Licensing with IMAGINE Professional
  • License borrowing
11 Nov 2008, ERDAS ER Mapper 7.2 SP1 released
  • Maintenance release
23 Mar 2009, ERDAS ER Mapper 7.2.1 released
  • Maintenance release
19 Nov 2009, ERDAS ER Mapper 2010 released
  • Support for Windows x32 and x64 for Windows XP, Vista, and 7
  • Improved raster file format handling
  • ASTER Processing Wizard
  • Expanded projection support (use ERDAS projection engine)
  • Improved Image Handling and Processing
  • Improved handling and visualization of 16-bit and floating point data
21 April 2010, ERDAS ER Mapper 2010 v10.1 released
  • Transparency Masks in ECW and JPEG2000 images
  • Implement 'Large Memory Aware' to better utilize RAM
  • Upgraded to latest ERDAS ECW/JP2 SDK
7 Dec 2010, ERDAS ER Mapper 2011 released
  • Maintenance release
  • Expand 'Large Memory Aware' use
  • Handle calibrated IMG files with affine map model
  • Write IMG files
  • Upgraded to latest ERDAS ECW/JP2 SDK
1 Dec 2012, ERDAS ER Mapper 2013 released
  • Maintenance release
  • Upgraded to latest ERDAS ECW/JP2 SDK
4 Apr 2013, ERDAS ER Mapper 2013 v 13.00.0002 released
  • Maintenance release
  • Upgraded to latest ERDAS ECW/JP2 SDK
12 Dec 2013, ERDAS ER Mapper 2014 released
  • Maintenance release
  • Upgraded to latest ERDAS ECW/JP2 SDK
5 Dec 2014, ERDAS ER Mapper 2015 released
  • Maintenance release
  • Upgraded to latest ERDAS ECW/JP2 SDK 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

LiDAR for Dummies Book

This resource may no longer available. It seems the login page is sometimes there and sometimes not. :(

I just stumbled across (actually Gene Roe via LinkedIn sent me a note), LiDAR for Dummies. LiDAR for Dummies is a product of Autodesk and DLT Solutions. It is a 'Special Edition' and provides the basics of LiDAR.

I believe reading this book will help us find the wording to more effectively communicate with non-technical management. The for Dummies type books comes close to the 8th grade education communication level, which is the level we should strive to communicate with non-technical management (the decision makers).

Friday, January 7, 2011

Hexagon’s Ola Rollén says Hexagon acquisition of Huntsville-based Intergraph 'all about the people'

This article was written by Budd McLaughlin of the The Huntsville (Alabama) Times Published: Sunday, November 14, 2010, 7:32 AM


HUNTSVILLE, AL -- When Hexagon first started looking at Intergraph about six years ago, there was one thing that caught the eye of CEO Ola Rollen ... well, maybe there were 5,000 that caught his eye.

5,000 employees, that is.

"It's all about the people," Rollen said. "Intergraph is a great company with great people."

The Stockholm-based company acquired Intergraph in July, and the $2.125 billion deal closed last month. Hexagon has 11,000 employees in 42 countries; of Intergraph's 5,000 employees, about 1,200 are in Huntsville.

A veteran of more than 70 acquisitions, Rollen said this one was "fantastic."

Hexagon is a measurement-technology and systems company, and its combination with Intergraph's highly regarded engineering software is expected to help customers make better and faster decisions.

"We've gotten positive (feedback) from industry analysts," he said. "They could see the foresightedness. ... We're one step ahead (of the competition)."

Unlike a lot of mergers and acquisitions in which the smaller company becomes a subsidiary or division of the larger company, Rollen said there are no plans to drop the Intergraph brand.

He is CEO of Intergraph, succeeding Halsey Wise. Meanwhile, Intergraph's two divisions - Process, Power & Marine and Security, Government & Infrastructure - will continue to operate under the leadership of Gerhard Sallinger and John Graham.

"Intergraph is a strong brand," Rollen said. "It would be foolish to change it. In the industry, people see Intergraph as it's related to the product. I don't see a need to promote Hexagon.

"Why (drop) something we think is good? That's stupid."

He also sees Intergraph continuing to grow and Hexagon benefiting from that growth. Hexagon's vision is to be a market leader, ranking number one or number two in each strategic business in order to generate growth and shareholder value.

The company's strategy is to be the most cost-efficient and innovative supplier, have the best management skills in the business, and have short and rapid decision processes.

Intergraph's solutions, meanwhile, help its customers design, build and operate more efficient plants, ships and offshore facilities, create intelligent maps, protect critical infrastructure and provide security for hundreds of millions of people around the world.

"There are all good intentions when you acquire a company," he said. "Sometimes, they forget why they acquired a company. We think Intergraph is a great company, and we evaluated it against the competition.

"I have a positive outlook for the business. We'll continue to grow Intergraph internationally and have a good footprint."

The company's Process, Power & Marine division will be particularly important in the future, he said.

"Four billion people are joining the global economy, and there will be an increased need for energy," he said. "It will be more and more important how we extract energy. Intergraph has the technologies to do that safely."

However, with his positive outlook, Rollen sees a downside to Intergraph's success, particularly with the Security, Government & Infrastructure division.

"Unfortunately, if you look at the (world events), Intergraph technologies have become more and more important," he said. "With al-Qaida (and other terrorist groups), public safety is most important.

"It requires more technology and more intelligence."

Rollen makes his home in London and said Huntsville was "a pleasant surprise."

He didn't have any preconceived images of the Rocket City, as much as he did of the state, but he called it "quite a fascinating city with an educated work force."

Rollen also reiterated that there were no plans for him to implement any changes because of the acquisition.

"Every acquisition is unique," he said. "You need to understand the people and you need to listen a lot.

"In general, the best we could do is if we don't notice any change at all. That's when we've succeeded."

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Capitalizing on Local Government’s Investment in LiDAR

Jarlath O'Neil-Dunne wrote an article in LiDAR News titled Capitalizing on Local Government’s Investment in LiDAR. Jarlath writes, "In my work using LiDAR data sourced from local government to map land cover in urbanized areas, I find that even in major cities with well-established GIS departments, the point cloud has never been looked at and the term “LiDAR” is typically taken to mean a high-resolution bare earth Digital Elevation Model (DEM)."

I agree with this statement.

Also, the GIS mover and shakers within the State of Georgia are trying to get a elevation project off the ground. Actually, this effort began over a decade ago when I was at the Georgia Tech Center for GIS and a active member of GISCC. (The lesson here, be persistent.)

Because the State of Georgia has 159 counties, it is hard to get the various political powers to agree on spending the money for this project. There has been and will continue to be many surprise floods in Georgia until the state's elevation is mapped correctly. What is sad, nearby states with less financial resources mapped their state's elevation using Lidar many years ago. Thus they are far more prepared for floods than Georgia.

Is political pride getting in the way, or is it lack of education? The Carl Vinson Institute of Government at University of Georgia is trying to overcome the education issue. The Vinson Institute's Office of Information Technology Outreach Services (ITOS) created a Lidar 101 education video to help legislators and other decision makers understand Lidar. It is 13 minutes and 13 seconds long.

Other Lidar post on this blog...