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 


Sergio Samarelli said...

I think that two important milestones should be added to the story:

Start of Microsoft windows support (version 5.1) and end of UNIX support (should be 6.0, but I am not sure).

The 4.0 European Licence reported as a PC licence can not be a PC one. 4.0 was supported only on Solaris and IRIX.

Paul said...

Thanks Sergio. Do you know when IRIX was introduced and were there any other UNIX verions as well as what version of Windows NT was originally supported?

Sergio Samarelli said...

I have no data about the start of Support of various UNIX version.

I have opened my secret archives: I found that end of support for HP-UX and DEC was announced in January 97. As result 5.5 was only for Solaris and IRIX (as well as Windows).

Lal Samarakoon said...

I was checking on ERMapper current status after 12 years since I stopped working with the software. I started using it in 1994 and was happy to use for 12 years until 2004. Still I can see some of the advantages it offered over other software and like to see again how it is doing now. Thanks Paul for the blog