Thursday, March 28, 2013

What computer should I buy to use ERDAS IMAGINE?

I often get system configuration questions. Actually, very often. People ask, what computer should I buy to use ERDAS IMAGINE? The posted System Requirements explain the minimum needed. Minimum requirements give the same results, but take a long time to get there.
For me, my computer is considered the cheapest employee the company can hire. Pay for it once and use it 24 / 7 / 365 for 3 or 4 years. That is a good employee. :)
Here are what I usually tell folks:
  1. Everyone using ERDAS IMAGINE should use a 64-bit OS. Everyone. A 64-bit OS is far more valuable in time savings than the cost of the US$125 upgrade from a 32-bit OS.
    1. ERDAS IMAGINE has used large address aware (on 64-bit OS) to allow a process to use up to about 3.4GB memory (if needed) in some form or another since ERDAS Desktop 2010. All ERDAS Desktop products are large address aware in v2013 and higher. All.
  2. Everyone should use a 64-bit OS, and use more than 8 GB RAM. We use their resources they have invested in. Below you see how you easily exceed 8GB RAM on a typical day.
    1. MS Windows OS often uses about 2GB of memory.
    2. MS Office uses about 500MB of memory. 
    3. The ERDAS IMAGINE Viewer/Ribbon can use up to about 3.4GB of memory. 
    4. MosaicProcessPro (MosaicPro engine) can use up to about 3.4GB of memory. 
  3. Everyone should use a 64-bit OS, use more than 8GB RAM, and use multi-core processors.
    1. ERDAS desktop products has used multiple threads in some form or another since ERDAS IMAGINE / LPS 8.7.
    2. We do more work in this area every major release of ERDAS IMAGINE, and salso do some work in some SPs.
    3. Even in areas with limited threading,using multi-core processors improves performance.
  4. Everyone should use a 64-bit OS, use more than 8GB RAM, use multi-core processors, and use fast disks.
    1. This is why moer than 8GB RAM helps so very, very much. Greater than 8GB RAM keeps process intensive memory usage from paging to virtual memory (disk file). All the while you have other applications open on your Windows OS desktop.
    2. Because geographic data are so large, reading and writing of these data is a significant slow-down point. Use one fast disk for reading and another fast disks for writing and most valuable disk RAIDs when ever possible.
    3. Never process large files using an external USB drive. The time (and money) you waste will likely pay for another internal hard disk.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

GDAL Work to Support ERDAS ECW/JP2 SDK v5 Almost Complete

To support the ERDAS ECW Plug-in for ArcGIS Desktop 10.1, work was done to add support for the ERDAS ECW/JP2 SDK v5 into GDAL. The new ECW SDK adds support for ECW v3, which supports 16-bit data, RPC, statistics, histograms, and much more in the new ECW file format. The new ECW SDK also supports ECWP v3, which faster than ever.

In the process of working on the ArcGIS/GDAL work, we learned a few things that help the use of the SECW DK in GDAL, and these will be rolled into the final ECW SDK and GDAL products. You will see the GDAL changes about the same time the ERDAS ECW/JP2 SDK v5 is released.

In addition to ECW v3 and ECWP v3 things noted above, the new SDK version will decode JP2 faster thatn ever. Our goal is to be faster than any other tools that decode JP2 data (go big or go home). The new ECW SDK will support Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 compiler and Linux.

So, when will the new ECW SDK v5 be released?

I have been asking the same thing. (I am not longer the ECW SDK Product manager). While I have not gotten a definitive answer, because we see the ECW SDK being used in ERDAS IMAGINE and ERDAS APOLLO 2013 products, many GeoMedia 2013 products, in ECW Plug-in for ArcGIS Desktop 10.1, and the GDAL work now complete (but not checked-in) we can know we are real close.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Latest Version of ERDAS ECW Plug-in for ArcGIS Desktop

The ERDAS ECW Plug-in for ArcGIS Desktop 10.1 has been released by Intergraph. The plug-in is free. This plug-in version will not work on ArcGIS for Desktop versions earlier than 10.1. Esri customers having an earlier version of ArcGIS for Desktop should use the earlier version of the plug-in.

The ERDAS ECW Plug-in for ArcGIS Desktop 10.1 enhances the native ECW / ECWP support Esri has built into ArcGIS for Desktop. This new version of the ECW Plug-in for ArcGIS Desktop adds over 35 enhancements. Among these enhancements are the following:
  • Support for Esri's ArcGIS 10.1 for Desktop, released in June 2012
  • ECW v3 file support has been added
  • Local files will read and store statistics information within the ECW fileheader
  • Display speed of ECW v2 files has been improved when compared to Esri’s default v10.1 capabilities
  • ECWP v3 has been added for improved streaming performance when connecting to ERDAS APOLLO 2013 servers over low bandwidth and secure environments
  • ECWP will continue to work on older ERDAS APOLLO versions
  • An automatic 99% clip is now applied to >8 bit JP2 or ECW v3 files when streamed over ECWP
  • Projection handling of ECWP layers has been significantly improved to support additional EPSG and now also Esri's defined coordinate systems
  • Numerous enhancements to ERDAS ER Mapper ERS and ALG file support
  • Added support for catalog searching of ERDAS APOLLO Advantage 2013 servers
  • Esri’s ArcCatalog now fully supports managing ECW v2, ECW v3, ERS and ALG files
  • Resolved side-by-side compatibility with ERDAS Extensions for ArcGIS. Both products can now coexist in the same ArcGIS for Desktop install
The plug-in is available from Intergraph here: 

Monday, March 4, 2013

ERDAS IMAGINE 2013 Version 13.00.0002 in testing

ERDAS Desktop 2013 v 13.00.0002 (ERDAS IMAGINE, LPS, and ERDAS ER Mapper SP2) is complete and is undergoing quality assurance testing. The post below gives an outline of a few areas we have worked on in the release. We have added support for creating ECW opacity layers using shapefiles. The user no longer has to convert the shapefile polygon into an AOI.

Now that the product is in QA testing, I believe SP2 will be delivered before mid-April 2013.

I will be attending GIA/CAMA is Albuquerque this week. I have a huge interest in Parcel-based change detection and will be speaking at an Intergraph sponsored luncheon on the topic.