Tag Archives: Imagery

Considerations before you fly your drone for Mapping

In my position I talk to a lot of different clients about their requirements for drones. I hear of clients wanting high resolution aerial photography, elevation models, performing volumetric analysis, outputting point clouds for updating engineering designs, change monitoring and inspection scenarios. Every client has different thoughts and ideas on how they best make use of their investment. In all of these great ideas I often find that there is a great void between the understanding of what a client is looking for and their understanding of what is achievable.

Whether you purchase a helicopter, smaller quad copter or a fixed wing drone, all are delivered a flight control unit and flight management software. You’ll often though have to supply your own Smart Phone or tablet to run the software. However, it is not until you decide on exactly what you want to use the drone for, does the realisation of what is really required to achieved those results become apparent. If you are going to use it for talking single aerial pictures or video then the manual flight controller might be sufficient, however if you want to be able to use the drone for comprehensive orthomosaics or elevation modeling then there are key considerations that are required.

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ArcGIS Pro for Imagery Analysis

In previous blogs, I have spoken about how imagery can be utilised within the ArcGIS Platform and how it can be analysed. Through all this it has been about imagery can be viewed downstream. What about the prepossessing or specialised analysis not through web services? Well this is where ArcGIS Pro comes in.

In 2017 Esri has stated that their goal is for ArcGIS Pro to be functionally equivalent or better than the current toolsets in ArcMap. To this end in ArcGIS Pro 1.4 Esri have included a new core tab, Imagery. Core tabs are always on and accessible unlike layer specific tabs which only appear when an entry is selected in the Table of Contents.

Imagery

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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.  Continue reading

Making your drone work for you

When the term drone is used it often conjures up images of installations being destroyed by laser guided bombs or unmanned military surveillance aircraft being used to spy on strategic targets. However, the drone of today is more than this. They have come down in price and size. To the extent that we can now purchase a drone or as CASA prefers a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS), down at your local electrical store for a reasonable price.

In September CASA is introducing new regulations around the use of RPAdrone-transparentS that make it easier for everyone to fly a RPAS. http://bit.ly/1sNxnt4 These consumer type RPAS will become more prevalent not only in the hobbyist field but also in the commercial field.

Esri is strategically placed to take advantage of this growing market. Recently released Drone2Map for ArcGIS (http://www.esri.com/products/drone2map) takes geolocated images from RPAS and creates professional imagery products for visualisation and analysis in ArcGIS.

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Image Tips in ArcMap

So you’ve loaded your image into ArcMap and the image displays incorrect colour or there is no data values around the outside of the image that is masking crucial features in your map. How can you quick rectify these annoyances? Well this is where the Image Analysis  window comes in handy.

Introduced in ArcMap 10.1 the  Image Analysis Window is accessed from the Display menu in ArcMap . The Image Analysis window supports the analysis and exploitation of image and raster data in ArcMap, with a collection of commonly used display capabilities, processes, and measurement tools. Essentially all your image needs in one place.

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Viewing Imagery in a different light

Imagery is the most commonly requested basemap of all the Esri base maps available. It provides the spatial context for your authoritative data that vector base maps cannot. Many questions can be easily answered by visually inspecting the imagery, for example how far is that tree away from the power line? or is that a new swimming pool that does not have a building permit?

There is though more to imagery though than visually inspecting in the Red, Green and Blue visual spectrum. Many of today’s satellites capture information in the Yellow, Near Infrared and Far Infrared portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. In fact the latest World View satellite has 16 bands. So how can this extra analytical data be accessed in a web service?

Image services provide an underutilised feature called functions. These are algorithms that can be applied to an image service on-the-fly to reveal hidden information in the imagery. When an image service published, it is not just the visible band that can be published but all bands from a satellite image can be made available. In its simplest form a function can swap these bands being used to display. For example from Red, Green, Blue to Infrared, Red, Green. Another common analysis is Vegetation health through an NDVI analysis. The difference in chlorophyll reluctance and absorbance of plants in the Infrared and Red portion of the spectrum.  The best part about using functions is that they are only calculated on the portion of image shown on the screen at the resolution displayed and no new image is created, just an interpretation of the image, all performed server side on-the-fly and then sent to the client. There are some very good examples on the Amazon Landsat 8 demonstrator site found at http://www.esri.com/landing-pages/software/landsat/unlock-earths-secrets

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