What’s New ENVI 5.4 and IDL 8.6

Harris Geospatial has released their newest version of ENVI 5.4 and IDL 8.6. With every release Harris Geospatial is improving their platforms to ensure that ENVI and IDL remain at the forefront imagery Analysis. Here is an over view of all the NEW changes to the Harris Geospatial product suite.This post will provide an overview of the following; Licensing changes, new ENVI functionality and new IDL functionality. 


With the newest release of ENVI version 5.4  and IDL version 8.6, Harris has decided to overhaul their licensing model. They have moved away from License.dat files to licensing keycodes. Some of the benefits of this licensing model are:

  • Licenses are no longer generated for specific machines
  • HostName and HostID are no longer required
  • Transferring licenses from 1 machine to another, can be easily streamlined by clicking authorize or de-authorize on the machine.

Licenses can still be authorized and issues out via a Licensing Server, however MAC operating systems are no longer supported for Harris Licensing. Licenses administrators till have the ability to create option files, enable borrowing and specify ports for use.

For more information on licensing refer to Harris’s Online Licensing FAQs.

New ENVI 5.4  functionality:

With every new release of ENVI, Harris Geospatial ensure that ENVI is at the cutting edge of remote sensing technology and image science. Some new functionality include our outlined below and include updates to point cloud processing, scripting tools and sensor support.

Overview of Enhancements;

  • Analysis tools:  Colorizing a Point Cloud, Dice Raster Tool and update to the Viewshed analysis
  • Classification: a New Softmax Classification Framework, Enhancements to RPCE Otherectification using reference images and RPC Orthorectification Using DSM from Dense Image Matching
  • Scripting: GSFpy to allow users to integrate  and create tools for use in ArcMap. More Flexible API to help classify datasets.
  • Data Sensors and Formats: ADS80, Gaofen-2, GEOS-R, TripleSat, Himawari-8 and  NetCDF-3.
  • Application changes: Data Browser window contains a build raster function to allow users to combine differ types of raster data, Raster Templates and metadata templates.
  • Product creation:  New Annotation items; Legends for classified images, Scale bars and Grid lines for georeference images and color bars for single band images.

For a full overview of what’s new with 5.4, please refer to Harris Geospatial online help resource.

New IDL 8.6  Functionality: 

IDL is the scripting language that ENVI is based on, with every new release of ENVI, IDL is update with powerful processing capabilites. Below are some of these new features:

  • Automatic Check for updates.
  • IDL Tasks; object-oriented APIS to encapsulate IDl procedures. These allow users to run ‘tasks’ or functions from other programming languages, valids input, output and data types for more information regarding IDL Tasks, click here
  • NCDF_PARSE function to parse through NetCDF-3 or NetCDF-4 files and reutrn content as contain in the hash tag.
  • Updates to C Printf-Style Format Strings
  • Python-to-IDL Bridge Error Handeling changes
  • Library updates: CURL updated to verson 7.49.1, OpenSSl Library within cURL updated to version 1.0.2h, and Python Bridge now supports python 3.5.

For a full overview of what’s new in IDL 8.6, please refer to the following Harris Geospatial online resource

Harris Geospatial has contacted all clients eligible for upgrade to the newest version, please contact Esri Australia Technical Support on 1800 447 111, if you would like more information or discuss your upgrade options.

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