Friday, April 4, 2014

The Next Stage in the Evolution of the ERDAS Field Guide

What is the next stage in the evolution of the ERDAS Field Guide? Hexagon Geospatial has released the next version of ERDAS Field Guide. It has been wikified. As part of that evolution, The wiki version of the ERDAS Field Guide was renamed to “HexGeoWiki.”

Your first question may be, “Can I add/edit content on HexGeoWiki? The answer is, Yes. Your next question may be, “Will Paul change his blog to 'The GeoWiki'? The answer to that is, No. My blog's brand is The Field Guide and I will stick with the blog's brand. As well, this blog has never been about the company, my about ideas and thought I believe people may find value in knowing.

I believe this move by Hexagon Geospatial is the future of software documentation. Provide a solid documentation foundation and then allow a lot of really smart people in the community to collaborate and make documentation much more than it can be in a documentation team.

Check HexGeoWiki out at:

Thursday, March 20, 2014

ERDAS IMAGINE 14.00.01 Almost Ready for Release

The latest Hexagon Geospatial ERDAS IMAGINE product is almost ready. 14.00.01 will not be a service pack or maintenence release, but will be a minor release adding the following:
  • Add support for MS Windows 8.1
  • Add LAZ read, display, processing and write support
  • Add more point cloud tools
  • Expand 64-bit raster data format support (part of faster raster work) 
  • Improve tile, strip (BIL) and BSQ TIFF read speed  
  • Improve ECW Export 'Orient to Map' capabilities and performance
  • Expand ECW metadata support
  • Improve ECWP support
  • Improve 'Table of Contents' interaction with 2D Viewer
  • Add support for NITF 'Long Name' metadata
  • Improve JP2 metadata support
  • Add create ERS data
  • Add HDF5 read and display support
  • Add new GeoEye data format support
  • Add EVS to shapefile conversion
  • Add Inquire Curser 'History' capability
  • Add Copy/Paste pictures from MS Windows tools into a Map View
  • Add Copy/Paste images from MS Windows tools into a Map View
  • Add Copy/Paste text from MS Windows tools into a Map View
  • Add more reporting tools using Microsoft Office tools
  • Add Min of all bands / Max of bands LUT to 2D View contrast stretch tools
  • Add stereo viewing support for Windows 8 and 8.1
  • Add add-on products from AAI
  • Bug fixes
  • And more....
I cannot provide the release date, that is up to Marketing. But, I can say this.... it would not be 'foolish' to expect it very soon.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Hexagon Geospatial a Massive 'New' Geospatial Software Company

Hexagon, AB has made more changes in their geospatial businesses.
Hexagon has pulled the ERDAS and GeoMedia software products out of Intergraph SG&I to form a new company, Hexagon Geospatial. Hexagon Geospatial is focused on delivering high-quality geospatial software and customer services globally. The new organization will leverage the global sales network of Intergraph as well as the global footprint of business partners dating back to ERDAS, Inc.’s reseller network.
The combining of the GeoMedia Suite, the ERDAS IMAGINE Suite, ERDAS APOLLO Suite, Mobil Map Works, ERDAS ER Mapper, ERDAS ECW/JP2 SDK, and the ArcGIS Desktop and Server Extensions makes Hexagon Geospatial a massive 'new' geospatial software company.

Who is in the President of Hexagon Geospatial, longtime ERDAS employee Mr. Mladen Stojic.

Read an interview with Mladen here:

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Poem to Usher in 2014

Happy New Year!

Back in 2010, I write a post on this blog of 'Two Poems to Usher in 2010'. I heard the two I then quoted poems put together as complementarity poems by during a church meeting. Mormons (of which I am a Mormon), have average church members (not the bishop/minister/pastor) give talks to the local congregation in weekly sacrament meetings (worship service). I have had the opportunity to speak in such services. Those two 2010 poems came from such a meeting.

Late last year, I heard a poem quoted by Thomas S. Monson (President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; 'Mormon' is a popular nick-mane name for the church and it's members). The poem he quoted, and I have quoted below, explains how difficulties can mold us into stronger people.

Good Timber
Good timber does not grow with ease,
The stronger wind, the stronger trees.
The further sky, the greater length.
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.
-Douglas Malloch

President Monson said in him talk, "Whenever we are inclined to feel burdened down with the blows of life, let us remember that others have passed the same way, have endured, and then have overcome."

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

ERDAS IMAGINE 2014 Arrives Today!

Today, 64-bit (x64) raster processing is released in ERDAS IMAGINE 2014. All raster formats which support x64 processing with in Spatial Modeler, Spatial Modeler (Legacy), MosaicPro, Export ECW, and more. Because much of ERDAS IMAGINE uses Spatial Modeler (Legacy) for processing, a very wide swath of the product processes raster data in true x64. There are a few very old raster formats that depend on third-party libraries, where the third party has not ported to x64, and these raster formats will run in x86.
Once example ECW Exporter, I ran a test yesterday.... I copied a 22GB file using the DOS cmd.exe 'copy' command. It took longer to copy the 22GB file from local disk to the same local disk than it took to compress the 22GB image file with the ECW Exporter. So, speed is one benefit of x64 bit processing (as if we did not know that already).  
Another example, Image Segmentation... with the x64 processing we released a new version of image segmentation. I will cover that in another blog post at a later time.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

LPS Changes Soon in 2014 Annual Release

Intergraph recently notified LPS customers the annual release of ERDAS IMAGINE (2014) will mark the next phase softcopy photogrammetry in ERDAS IMAGINE and LPS.

The ERDAS IMAGINE product line has a long history of digital (softcopy) photogrammetry. Softcopy photogrammetry was first introduced in ERDAS IMAGINE 8.0.2 with ‘IMAGINE Digital Ortho’. The next major upgrade came with the release of ‘IMAGINE OrthoMAX,’ which was introduced in 1995. ‘IMAGINE OrthoBASE’ was the next major upgrade and was introduced in 1999.

In 2004, LPS 8.7 was the next major upgrade and was developed and marketed alongside ERDAS IMAGINE 8.7. In LPS 2013, the ERDAS IMAGINE ribbon interface adoption was part of a major LPS upgrade, and created the tightest product integration to that time.

In the 2014 release version, the integration is even tighter. LPS product family and components have been rebranded and repackaged to become part of the ERDAS IMAGINE 2014 once again. Softcopy photogrammetry in ERDAS IMAGINE suite has been upgraded and expanded yet again.

The packaging of the ERDAS IMAGINE Suite (of which LPS is now part), has been simplified. The details of the packaging will be rolled out by Intergraph soon, as the release of Intergraph Geospatial 2014 is imminent.

There is much more for the LPS community, but I will leave that to the press releases... I will expand on those after they are released.

Did you know... OrthoBASE was the first software product Mladen Stojic managed. Mladen and I often reminisce of OrthoBASE creation days, and the fun we had creating it. (Well he created it; I was someone he could bounce ideas off.)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Are you surprised by a veto on spending from Georgia's Republican governor?

Many in the State of Georgia’s (USA) mapping community were surprised by Republican Governor Nathan Deal’s veto of Georgia Senate Bill 11.  The goal of the bill was to formalize the role of director of Georgia Geospatial Advisory Council (GGAC). This Geographic Information Officer (GIO) position was presented as the only pathway to facilitate managing geospatial data collection and maintenance across the Georgia.

As re-read the Georgia Geospatial Audit (GGA) it again stands out that GGAC is proposing a specific pathway to accomplishing the primary goal of creating and maintaining consistently solid geospatial information to support better and more timely legislative and executive decision making. That singular pathway in and of itself is the problem.

Having a governmental unit responsible for resource mapping in the state of Georgia can be argued as the best way manage mapping in Georgia. Notwithstanding the clear logic, as has been proposed by GGAC (as outlined in the GGA), a GIO approach has not in the past, and will not likely occur in the next few legislative sessions in the State of Georgia.

It is my opinion, as long as GISCC and the Georgia Geospatial Advisory Council (GGAC) push for a new tax payer funded position or department, we will see a failure to accomplish the real geospatial need in Georgia; consistent up-to-date and accurate geospatial information that supports better decision making in Georgia, available to both the legislative and administrative branches.
By a large margin, Georgia is dominated by an electorate and legislative culture who are currently opposed to the of new departments and opposed to adding personnel to the state’s payroll. Indeed, these electorate and legislative cultures demand spending be intelligently trimmed now and continuing over the next decade. These demands would wrongly be considered austerity measures. Rather, clearing out wasteful spending before new spending is considered. The pathway GISCC and GGAC have proposed, cannot be done in the current political climate.

GISCC and GGAC need to think outside of the 'GIO is the only way' box. The GIO approach will not work in the in the Georgia's current electorate and legislative cultures. Georgia needs a truly innovative approach to the  real challenge of providing solid, accurate, timely geospatial data to decision makers. 

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.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

ERDAS IMAGINE 2013 Version 13.00.0002 in development

We are always improving our products. Sometimes in major releases and sometimes in service packs (SP). Work is well underway for improving ERDAS Desktop 2013 (ERDAS IMAGINE, LPS, and ERDAS ER Mapper). These improvements address customer reported improvements as well as improvements defined by product managers. The expected product deliver version number is 2013 Version 13.00.0002.

This SP may be limited to customers with current customer support only as it has a lot of enhancements. I am not in a position to outline exactly what we are improving in the SP, yet. But, what I can say, we are improving LAS, ECW, JP2, NITF, Spatial Modeler, Spatial Modeler (Legacy), Virtual Mosaic, and much more. This SP, and what we did in the ERDAS IMAGINE 2013 release (released early December 2012) are very powerful.

This SP development period will be a short time-frame one. I would expect ERDAS IMAGINE 2013 Version 13.00.0002 to arrive on the website well before the Hexagon 2013 conference in Las Vegas (June 3 – 6).