Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Potential Alternative to ERDAS Imagine - PG-Steamer

Two days back we had an image processing and GIS software demonstration by an eminent software distributor at our institution. The software demonstrated were PG-Steamer by Pixoneer Geomatics, AvisMap Deskpro and  Skyline TerraExplorer Pro.

In this post, I will try to bring out key points of the presentation. I will concentrate on PG-Steamer in this post and other two will appear in my next post. We were convinced after looking at the software that PG Steamer will lead the image processing software market in near future.

Some of the salient features which we students observed about the software were:

1. The main module of the software package has a single, sleek GUI and can be used to access all the functionalities provided, be it image composing, geometric correction, image analysis or map composing. A notable feature is the ability to handle hyperspectral data.

2. It has a feature named Real-Time Processing(RTP) which allows the user to view the processing results instantly in real time. The processing may range from geometric correction to mosaicking, modelling etc. This is said to be first in the industry.

3. The RTP would not have been useful if the software could not handle a large amount of data. This again is addressed well. In the demo, we were shown a single satellite image with size over 7 GB which could be zoomed, panned or handled in any way the user wants.

4.  Another excellent feature is Auto GCP handling. For georeferencing operations, just by specifying three GCPs the software could fix hundreds of GCPs with great accuracy. The ground features matched so perfectly in the demo.

5. The contour manager could generate contours at different intervals in a matter of seconds.

6. The software is not a memory hog and for that matter, the laptop used was also not a very powerful one. According to the distributor it works with a normal configuration.

7. The price of the package is only a fraction of the cost of widely used ERDAS Imagine. Another advantage is, all the modules are available as a single package and there is no need to buy separate licenses for additional functionalities.

Overall, we were totally impressed by the performance of the software.