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Fall 2005
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Changing How Imagery Is Managed, Processed, and Distributed

Introducing Esri Image Server

Geospatial imagery is the fundamental base of most geographic information systems and mapping devices. The quantity of imagery available is growing exponentially from sources such as scanned aerial films, digital cameras, satellite imagery, scanned maps, and digital terrain models.

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321 Pan Sharpened
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421 Pan Sharpened
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Images with bands enhanced or algorithms applied.

A New Approach to Using Imagery

With these huge quantities of imagery come large problems in how to manage, process, and distribute it. The value of imagery is highest when a large number of users have access to the data quickly. With conventional solutions, image processing and distribution is difficult and time consuming, and end users have difficulty accessing and utilizing the imagery in their standard applications. Image Server is one component of the image solution, providing a new approach to storing, managing, processing, and distributing geoimagery.

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Landsat images displayed in ArcGIS

Esri Image Server provides fast access and visualization of large quantities of file-based imagery, processed on the fly and on demand. Output imagery is displayed near instantly for a number of users working simultaneously without the requirement to first preprocess the data and load it into a DBMS.

Esri Image Server resolves bottlenecks in conventional image-processing workflows. It combines processing and distribution and enables the creation of new Web-based solutions that increase the usage and value of geospatial imagery.

This new product supports the leading GIS vendors' clients, including Esri ArcGIS Desktop, ERDAS IMAGINE, Intergraph GeoMedia, and MapInfo Professional, as well as Autodesk AutoCAD and Bentley MicroStation software. In addition, Image Server supports open standards such as Web Map Servers and HTML viewers.

Image Server is able to perform advanced image processing on the fly, such as image enhancement, orthorectification, pan sharpening, and complex image mosaicking. From the same set of base imagery the server can create and distribute multiple image products directly to ArcGIS or other mapping and GIS products.

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Esri Image Server is able to perform advanced image processing on the fly.

Imagery can be processed by the server prior to being sent to the Web or client application. The imagery stored in Image Server can be preprocessed imagery (e.g., orthoimagery) or primary imagery (e.g., raw scanned frames or satellite imagery). Utilizing the server's processing power, multiple image products can be derived from a single data source, with different radiometric, geometric processing, and compression options. This removes data management problems associated with multiple preprocessed datasets and substantially reduces data storage requirements.

Esri Image Server is expected to be immediately popular within large mapping and imagery data management companies. There is also an opportunity for significant use within agencies and companies that manage and distribute large quantities of image data.

Key features of Esri Image Server include

  • Fast access to extensive imagery
  • Fully scalable enterprise client/server architecture
  • On-the-fly server-based image processing
  • Multiple imagery products from single source
  • Multiplatform GIS/CAD/Web client access
  • Direct access to multiple file formats and compression
  • Data security and access logging
  • Independence from third-party software or DBMS
  • Expandability through extensions and software development kits

Esri Image Server will operate on Windows servers and is expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2005. For more information, visit

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