Erdas Imagine is a remote sensing application with raster graphics editor capabilities designed by ERDAS, Inc for geospatial applications. ERDAS IMAGINE is aimed primarily at geospatial raster data processing and allows us to prepare, display and enhance digital images for mapping use in GIS or in CADD software. It is more than just a toolbox allowing us to perform numerous operations on an image and generate an answer to specific geographical questions.
By manipulating imagery data values and positions, it is possible to see features that would not normally be visible and to locate geo-positions of features that would otherwise be graphical. The level of brightness, or reflectance of light from the surfaces in the image can be helpful with vegetation analysis, prospecting for minerals etc. Other usage examples include linear feature extraction, generation of processing work flows ("spatial models" in ERDAS IMAGINE), import/export of data for a wide variety of formats, ortho-rectification, mosaicking of imagery, stereo and automatic feature extraction of map data from imagery.
ERDAS IMAGINE was demonstrated in October 1991 and released as ERDAS IMAGINE 8.0 in February 1992. It was released on a Sun Workstation using SunOS providing a Graphical User Interface to assist in visualizing imagery used in mapping, vector GIS data, creating maps, and so forth. Much of the ERDAS 7.5 product was provided for several years through intermediate product releases of ERDAS 8.01 & 8.02 until the ERDAS IMAGINE product replaced all the ERDAS 7.5 capability in 1994 with the release of ERDAS IMAGINE 8.1.
The relationship between the ERDAS and ARC/INFO products began with the "ERDAS-ARC/INFO Live Link" and was expanded in ERDAS IMAGINE 8.2 (Feb 1993), when ERDAS released the IMAGINE Vector Module. This add-on was fully developed by ERDAS, but licensed the Arc Coverage data format from ESRI. The vector module is one of the most popular modules within the ERDAS IMAGINE product suite through the 9.3 release (Sept 2008).
The processing of radar data in ERDAS IMAGINE began with the development of the Radar Module, first released in Nov. 1992. The capabilities have been upgraded many times since with the original tools now named "Radar Interpreter."
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