Intergraph markets new GIS, imaging products

Intergraph Corp. begins marketing this month a string of new products including a geographic information system application available off the shelf but customized to handle military data.

The releases developed for Microsoft Corp. Windows platforms mark the continued march of geographic and imagery software away from proprietary systems and toward the desktop. The move also is a step toward greater interoperability among GIS systems industry executives said. Intergraph has "had a strategy for two years now to move all their products off their proprietary platform and onto a [commercial off-the-shelf] platform " said Louis Hecht vice president of business development for the Open GIS Consortium Inc. which seeks to set standards for interoperability among products for processing geographic or geospatial information. "It's to be applauded and it's good news."

Making its debut today from Intergraph is Image Analyst a product available for Windows 95 and Windows NT. Three existing Intergraph products are rolled into one product adding enhancements to them in the process.

"It's really a simpler story for a customer to understand " said Intergraph software scientist Orrin Long who explained that the single package makes it easier for company representatives to market software.

Rolled together into Image Analyst are Intergraph's MGE Base Imager which is a general-purpose aerial/satellite imagery analysis tool for displaying enhancing mosaicking plotting and outputting data and images MGE Advanced Imager a high-end imagery analysis product that can handle multispectral or radar images and a group of Intergraph translators that convert digital data from satellites into data that imagery analysts can use.

Intergraph spokesman Chris Waagen said components used in Image Analyst are those already in use on the Naval Facilities Engineering Command's Computer-Aided Design-2 contract which is an eight-year $550 million contract awarded to Intergraph and Cordant Inc. in August 1993.

The Mississippi Valley Division of the Army Corps of Engineers has been using MGE Base Imager to manipulate aerial images of the Mississippi River Valley. The images are used to produce maps that are part of the division's master plan for improving Mississippi River channels. The imager also is used to create maps for environmental impact studies.

Having the multispectral abilities that Image Analyst offers could be a plus for the division which must rely on other offices using advanced imaging products to help map and monitor such geographic features as waterfowl habitats and wetlands. "It'd be nice to have all that [ability] in a better bundle " said Stephen Cooper the geospatial data coordinator for the division.

Also unveiled are a suite of GIS tools that Intergraph hopes will find a home among military users. One of the products - GeoDEX which is a COTS program for accessing and displaying feature image and elevation data - comes equipped to produce map overlays with standard military symbology military labels and a military grid reference system. It operates on the Windows NT platform and is expected to be used in agencies such as the National Imagery and Mapping Agency which uses imagery to create maps for planners of military missions.

Another new Intergraph product Maps Online will allow federal producers of geospatial data such as NIMA to archive index compress and distribute products such as maps over the Internet or via an intranet. Customers can query product databases and view thumbnails of maps before making a final selection.


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