Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hexagon 2011; the razing of the wall

The ERDAS portion of the Hexagon conference began on June 5, 2011 with customer training and ERDAS Ignite 2011. I arrived Sunday evening the 5th and on Monday morning attended the ERDAS International Distributors Meeting. In this meeting, ERDAS outlined what we are developing for the 2012 release, due in the next service packs and the development synergies we are working on with Intergraph GeoMedia and ERDAS IMAGINE. Our distribution partners are as excited as ERDAS employees about where ERDAS is going, and that ERDAS is aggressive in our plans and execution strategies.

As for me, I may be more excited about a different theme than others. Yes, the new modeling environment is exciting. Yes, the viewing environment moving to a more advanced form of the ER Mapper dynamic processing viewer is powerful. Yes, faster data processing is always enticing. And yes, LiDAR is needed by the mapping market and I love we are moving to deliver solutions there. And yes, Hexagon renting out Universal Studios, including Harry Potter World, for all conference attendees Tuesday evening was great too!

But, the theme of my excitement dates back to conversations I had with the ERDAS management in 1991 and have continued until today; saying ERDAS should be the one to tear down the wall between raster (remote sensing and raster GIS) and vector; by putting a powerful vector processing and database capabilities into ERDAS IMAGINE.

I have long believed this artificial segregation of data formats and processing techniques hurt the greater geospatial community, and ERDAS should raze the wall. Other than a purely academic or research exercise; remote sensing without significant vector capabilities limits what the customer can accomplish. Soon, for the first time ERDAS will have an arsenal of vector processing capabilities and significant database access.

The restrictions are being removed, the raster/vector barrier will be removed at the dawn of the point cloud data processing era. This time next year, you will see a very different ERDAS IMAGINE product. A product that makes the best remote sensing product in the world better, faster, uses dynamic processing, has new photogrammetry tools, new LiDAR tools, has many vector and database tools, and offers more than these to the GIS world.

This is not a token move, this is real. This is the path customers have asked ERDAS to take for 30 years; tearing down the raster – vector wall. The wall will be down before the Hexagon 2012 meeting.

Thank you Mladen Stojic, Joel Campbell, John Graham, Jürgen Dold, and Ola Rollén for giving the GIS community what they have long requested.


Rutger said...

Is any of this information going to be shared on the web? It sure sounds interesting!

Will thinks like the new modeling environment be announced and discussed in advance at, for example, the Erdas Lab page?

Paul said...

Yes Rutger, movies demoing the development items on the capablilites will be posted at or and likely on youtube as well. We will get all the movies posted when we get back in the office. We need to make a voice-overs.

Jarlath O'Neil-Dunne said...

Great stuff Paul. Fantastic to see the Intergraph-ERDAS merging bearing fruit so quickly. While I have always admired ERDAS' raster processing capabilities, when it comes to spatial models it is a rarity that one only works with raster data. A spatial modeling environment needs to support vector, raster, point cloud, tabular, and perhaps even web-based data (e.g. Google Docs and Google Fusion Tables). I am really looking forward to seeing what you guys can pull off. The solutions out there right now are simply not efficient enough for the massive data sets that we are working with.

Rutger said...

The video of the 'Solution builder' looks great!

You say 'this time next year', does that mean we wont see any of these goodies in the 2011 SP1 or 2012.0 release at all?

Paul said...

ERDAS IMAGINE 2011 was released Dec 2010;
ERDAS IMAGINE Version 11.0.1 Jan 2011, fix only;
ERDAS IMAGINE Version 11.0.2 in Feb 2011, fixes and enhancements;
ERDAS IMAGINE Version 11.0.3 is due in a few days, fixes and enhancements;
We are determining now when Version 11.0.4 will be released. We are researching ways to deliver some synergy tools in this release... no promises though until the research is complete.

Sarah Ong said...

when will the new fix ERDAS IMAGINE Version 11.0.3 be out ?

Paul said...

Sarah, ERDAS Desktop 2011 Version 11.0.3 is now available from the ERDAS Support site. I posted information on that topic in You will notice that V11.0.3 is only available to customers with software maintenance.