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The team’s geoproducts support defense activities of the UK and its allies. When Team Leader Matthew Weaver first saw IMAGINE AutoSync demoed in January, he quickly realized its potential for automating the eight-hour process team members needed to manually align commercially available satellite imagery (about 6 x 8 kilometers in size) to a control base.
“With AutoSync, it took half an hour to do the job, while improving the accuracy of the imagery we were rectifying,” said Weaver. “And obviously, the more accurate the source information, and the faster we can produce maps, the more valuable these products are in the field. They can be ‘mission-critical’ to saving lives,” he added.
IMAGINE AutoSync is an ERDAS IMAGINE add-on that takes two (or more) images of potentially dissimilar type, such as IKONOS and SPOT5, and automatically generates thousands of tie points between the images, producing a geometric model, which ties the images together with high accuracy. This method can be used to improve the registration between already georeferenced data sets, or it can be used to correlate new raw imagery to an existing georeferenced image base to quickly georeference the new imagery.
A second workflow, Edge Matching, allows for a localized model to be applied in the overlap region of image pairs. Using a process similar to the first, tie points are generated in the region of overlap to pull misaligned features into alignment.
In the case of the Defence Mapping Centre, it took only four days of using IMAGINE AutoSync on their projects to convince the team of its value. They submitted a procurement order for one copy, and within weeks decided two copies would be needed. Three are being considered. “The problem now is that we’ve become so successful people expect a quick turn on our highly accurate imagery,” Weaver explained. “We’re developing another backlog as word spreads.”
“IMAGINE AutoSync is a timely solution for the Defence Geographic Centre, allowing the production staff to concentrate on mission-critical projects and meet tighter deadlines,” noted Bob Morris, President and CEO of Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging. “By implementing this software tool, the Centre successfully and significantly supports the defense and military communities.”
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