Customer and partner spotlight

Customer and partner spotlight | November 2012

Goodfellow Air Force Base integrates SOCET GXP Video Analysis capabilities into its training and simulation program

Gil Gonzalez

Gil Gonzalez

One tool – realistic and relevant training!

Submitted by Gil Gonzalez
Applications engineer

The 17th Training Wing, located at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, harnesses the power of modeling and simulation to train intelligence warfighters. Goodfellow’s 315th Training Squadron develops new initiatives to keep the schoolhouse program relevant using the latest simulation technology, intelligence systems, and applications. The motion imagery curriculum is part of the Air Force Geospatial-Intelligence Analysis course that integrates SOCET GXP’s Video Analysis application with Air Force Synthetic Environment for Reconnaissance and Surveillance (AFSERS) capabilities.

AFSERS is an unmanned aerial system training and simulation tool that provides synthetic and motion imagery from multiple platforms. The image data is created and maintained by engineers who modify and update scenarios and tactics on-the-fly. This dynamic capability allows engineers to integrate new tactics discovered in theater into the curriculum almost immediately. Previously, the AFSERS motion imagery display was limited to a few television screens in the classroom, which hindered the realism for GEOINT Analysts (GA) who exploit motion imagery on individual workstations and take their own snapshots. “It was extremely difficult teaching and exercising motion imagery tactics, techniques, and procedures with students staring at a television screen,” says SSgt Mark Mejias, GA Instructor. “Fortunately, Goodfellow leverages SOCET GXP’s updated Video Analysis tool, which enables users to accept live transport streams.”


Customer and partner spotlight | June 2011

BAE Systems engineer uses SOCET GXP overseas to support U.S. Marine Corps efforts in Afghanistan

Jacob Hsieh (far right) with 3rd Intel Bn.

Jacob Hsieh (far right) with 3rd Intel Bn.

Jacob Hsieh, GXP senior systems engineer, and U.S. Marine reservist, has used his SOCET GXP experience far beyond the confines of training rooms and customer support calls for BAE Systems.

In June 2009, Hsieh was mobilized and joined the Economic and Political Intelligence Cell out of San Diego. Hsieh’s platoon was later attached to the 3rd Intelligence Battalion (3rd Intel Bn) based in Okinawa to participate in a mission to help legitimize the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and rebuild the nation. Because of his SOCET GXP product knowledge, Hsieh is passionate about passing on relevant software skills to assist analysts in the field.


Customer and partner spotlight | March 2011

Cambridge is now open for business!

Preface: Stephen Horrocks and Keith Morey from the Storm Shadow project team visited BAE Systems’ new training center in Cambridge U.K. during the first week of operation in January 2011 to observe SOCET GXP eXtreme Analysis software training and meet with Royal Air Force operators attending the course.

BAE Systems Tornado GR4 aircraft and Storm Shadow missile.

BAE Systems’ Tornado GR4 aircraft and Storm Shadow missile.

SOCET SET, and now the improved functionality being delivered by the various SOCET GXP releases, such as automated terrain extraction and editing, provide an important element of the mission planning system for the U.K.’s Storm Shadow guided weapon.

Storm Shadow is an air-launched, conventionally armed, long range stand-off precision missile, whose accuracy maximizes military effectiveness, while reducing the risk of collateral damage and civilian casualties. The missile was used for the first time in 2003 for operations in Iraq and demonstrated its exceptional accuracy.

“The benefits for the Storm Shadow program of moving to SOCET GXP are being realized by the introduction of greater automation, particularly streamlining fewer keystrokes through the use of the Ribbon interface. In the past an operator has spent a significant amount of time producing a product in SOCET SET, and has involved a certain amount of manual interventions which have been removed in SOCET GXP merely by a couple of clicks of the mouse. These improvements have produced tangible efficiency savings as it has enabled the removal of additional quality control requirements, while giving greater job satisfaction to the operator by having all the necessary information available on a single screen.”

— Keith Morey, Storm Shadow Deputy Team Leader

The Storm Shadow programme involvement with the
BAE Systems Target Model Preparation System (TMPS) of which SOCET SET forms a crucial component goes back some ten years, and has continued to improve operational effectiveness to the warfighters. Over the past couple of years the U.K. TMPS has followed the U.S. Tomahawk strategy in migrating software to a service-orientated architecture (SOA) which has happened in parallel with the introduction of SOCET GXP. It has only been possible to undertake these complex changes because of the very close working relationships that have been established between the two BAE Systems project teams, particularly in ensuring that all essential elements of the SOCET GXP transition are available to meet the planned installation dates for the final phase of SOA migration. What particularly impressed the U.K. customer community was the responsiveness of the GXP team in understanding both budgetary constraints and critical timelines, and their preparedness to redirect resources to ensure that dependent software packages would be available to meet the TMPS programme and schedule needs.

The continued demands for specialist imagery personnel to support operations in Afghanistan has meant that the Storm Shadow mission planning team has been subject to a significant amount of staff turnover, and a priority has been the need to maintain skills and knowledge of the various BAE Systems products. The December 2010 GXP Mosaic announced the establishment of a Cambridge-based GXP training facility, which is regarded as a clear demonstration of the company’s commitment to delivering a quality product and ensures that the customer’s ongoing training and support needs are properly met.

With his Royal Air Force background, it is not surprising that Nigel Lambton (Director, Sales and Marketing, Europe, Middle-East and Africa region) has retained a close working relationship with members of the Storm Shadow operator community and the Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) Surface Attack Heavy (SAH) Project Team.

“I recognize the significant investment being made by BAE Systems in providing a no-cost training resource at Cambridge for the European SOCET SET and SOCET GXP customers. This demonstrates the company’s commitment in not only selling a product, but also providing continuing customer support.”

— Stephen Horrocks, SAH Team Leader

Like any proud father, Nigel wanted to show-off his new ‘baby,’ and invited Stephen Horrocks, the SAH Project Team Leader and myself to view the facility, meet the students and the all important GXP ‘back-office’ team, to discuss areas of mutual interest. Steve Horrocks was very impressed by the commitment of Nigel and his team in ensuring that our team was given the requisite training to fully exploit the tangible benefits that are being delivered by the new range of SOCET GXP products.

Customer and partner spotlight | March 2010

New GXP® distributor: Japan Aerospace Corporation

When the GXP team sought to find a new Japanese distributor last year, Japan Aerospace Corporation (JAC) was a natural choice. JAC was already successfully representing other areas of BAE Systems and was looking to expand its activities on behalf of the company.

JAC, a company of 300 people, is based in Tokyo, with consolidated annual earning revenues of about $220 million. Its history dates to 1951 and today it is a wholly owned subsidiary of the large Itochu Corporation. Its principal business is the supply of engines and other components and the servicing of various types of aircraft. JAC represents several well-known companies in the aviation business, including BAE Systems. Its customers include defense and other government agencies in Japan, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, and a broad spectrum of Japanese commercial companies such as Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airlines.

JAC has energetically begun its representation of GXP, bringing several Japanese SOCET SET® customers back under upgrade entitlement agreements, while spreading the word about SOCET GXP®. SOCET GXP is a good fit for some ongoing Japanese defense projects, and the addition of the Frame sensor model makes this a perfect time for SOCET SET customers to transition to SOCET GXP. SOCET GXP now offers extensive photogrammetric capabilities in an easier-to-use product, together with new functionality of value to the mapping community such as hyperspectral and multispectral analysis and the latest sensor models.

JAC’s extensive network of contacts acquired through its aviation business will be advantageous as the company pursues growth in its sales of GXP products.

Customer and partner spotlight | March 2010

Annual GXP golf tournament dedicated to Art Gunn

Arthur C. Gunn

The GXP team was saddened to learn of the recent passing of an esteemed colleague, Arthur C. Gunn. Many in the geospatial-intelligence community are proud to have called him a good friend. Gunn’s enthusiasm and professional perspective always were a welcome addition to the annual GXP user conference. To honor his memory, the GXP team has renamed the annual GXP golf tournament “The BAE Systems Arthur C. Gunn Memorial Golf Tournament.”

“Over the course of many years playing golf with Art, his demeanor never changed — no matter how well or poorly he played,” said Dan London, GXP vice president of sales, marketing, and support. “He always was the same nice, affable, fun-loving Art. I think Art approached golf like he approached life, and that made him someone that everyone aspired to be like.”

Gunn had played in the GXP golf tournament every year for the past eight years and even won a couple of trophies. Every year, he urged London to place him on a team that would give him the best chance at winning the first-place trophy. Consequently, the GXP team thought putting his name on the trophy would be the best way to honor him.

This year’s tournament will be held at the Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego on April 19, the day before the 2010 BAE Systems GXP International User Conference and Professional Exchange begins.

Customer and partner spotlight | December 2009

Shaping tomorrow’s leaders: A legacy of geographic training at West Point

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., founded more than two centuries ago, has preserved its original mission to inspire cadets to become leaders with outstanding moral character.

Article featured in Geoworld magazine, October 2009, pages 24–27.

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., founded more than two centuries ago, has preserved its original mission — to inspire cadets to become leaders with outstanding moral character.

At West Point, an arts and sciences curriculum paired with real-world problem solving and ethics training is balanced by participation in team sports. Practical experience and an appreciation of the physical environment are considered equally important to intellectual growth.

West Point is located 50 miles north of New York City on a plateau high above the Hudson River. The campus is a natural training ground for students who elect to study GIS, which requires gathering, measuring and documenting features that characterize the physical environment as well as storing the information in databases for future reference.

Cartography, remote sensing, advanced remote sensing and GIS are taught in the junior year, followed by surveying, advanced GIS, military geospatial operations and photogrammetry in the senior year. Cadets use SOCET SET®, SOCET for ArcGIS® and ArcMap® products in the lab to learn photogrammetric workflows and geospatial processing as well as create maps, finished products and reports that are delivered to commanders in the field.

GIS and the Military

They gain firsthand experience on a variety of tasks, such as importing frame or satellite imagery into SOCET SET from numerous government and commercial sources, triangulation, terrain-model generation, orthorectification, and feature collection to meet precise standards. These software applications are used in the field to check for accuracy, create line-of-sight analyses to determine what a sniper can see, create terrain models to help navigate a local geography, and determine the direction a door swings — in or out — for greater situational awareness. Hands-on exercises, taught in the classroom, are invaluable.

GIS and the Military

Geospatial data have become an integral part of the operational landscape and establishing situational awareness. Military analysts engaged in disaster relief and recovery, humanitarian efforts, reconnaissance, battle-damage assessment, and surveillance missions require up-to-the-minute geospatial intelligence to be successful.

Increasingly, unanticipated events account for a growing number of military operations. Soldiers are called on to support a broad range of activities that require sharp mental and physical skills. In addition to conventional warfare, troops are asked to respond to natural disasters such as tsunamis, wildfires and hurricanes; assist in recovery efforts for hazardous accidents such as chemical leaks and petroleum spills; conduct border-surveillance activities; and patrol airports.

To prepare for a wide range of military maneuvers, observing and recording the operational environment are crucial in developing cadets into officers and leaders.

For more than 200 years, West Point has placed an emphasis on geographic studies. Core classes taught in the earliest days of the academy included landscape and mechanical drawing, topographic engineering, and surveying.

Today, similar studies provide the basic framework for building geospatial awareness. Read the complete article >>

Customer and partner spotlight | June 2009

The BAE Systems Award for Excellence in Photogrammetry

Stewart Walker, GXP Product Initiatives director, traveled to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, to present the BAE Systems Award for Excellence in Photogrammetry to graduating cadet Megan McIntosh. The award, for best performance in photogrammetry by a cadet in geospatial information science, was presented during a ceremony for all 22 cadets graduating from the GIS program. Nicholas Dieter, who won the award in 2008 as a junior, also participated in the ceremony, which marked the third time the award has been bestowed on a cadet.

Walker also presented the BAE Systems Award at the Annual Conference of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing; 2009 winner Ju Won Hwangbo was the fourth to receive it. The GXP business is exploring further opportunities to institute awards to recognize excellence on the part of young people entering the geospatial sciences field.

Customer and partner spotlight | March 2009

TerraSAR-X satellite data, available to SOCET SET® and SOCET GXP® users, delivers highly accurate results

False-color composite of a TerraSAR-X strip map. Image courtesy of Infoterra GMbH.

False-color composite of a TerraSAR-X strip map. Image courtesy of Infoterra GMbH.

TerraSAR-X is Germany’s first national remote sensing satellite to be implemented in a public-private partnership between the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and EADS Astrium GmbH. Its payload is a high-performance synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensor (

The superb accuracy defined in the TerraSAR-X data product specifications has now been confirmed by the Civil and Commercial Applications Project Group within the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). The group published the results of its geolocation accuracy evaluation of TerraSAR-X radar satellite imagery during the ASPRS Annual Conference in March 2009. In their paper, “Geometric Precision in Space Radar Imaging: Results from TerraSAR-X,” Thomas P. Ager, NGA systems engineer for radar, and co-author Paul Bresnahan of Observera Inc. describe the evaluation processes and parameters applied to 13 high-resolution SpotLight and another 13 StripMap acquisitions. These were collected in single-polarization, or VV mode, generated as multi-look, ground-range detected products with spatially enhanced processing, and included the rapid orbit metadata. Ager confirms, “The results of this evaluation are consistent with the accuracy values listed in the product specification,” and adds, “It is plausible that the TerraSAR-X accuracy is even better.”… Read more >>

BAE Systems implemented the sensor model for this data source in both SOCET SET and SOCET GXP. All exploitation tools in SOCET SET and SOCET GXP can be applied to SAR data.

Infoterra GmbH holds the exclusive commercial exploitation rights for the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X, launched on June 15, 2007. It enables the company to provide weather-independent, high-resolution radar data and reliable data access services.

Customer and partner spotlight | December 2008

TerraGo® Technologies and BAE Systems extend the reach and utility of SOCET GXP®

SOCET GXP v3.0 supports GeoPDF generation, which allows for quick export of a panel or product. Other users can then view and display simple coordinate information using the free TerraGo GeoPDF toolbar for Adobe Reader.

SOCET GXP v3.0 supports GeoPDF generation, which allows for quick export of a panel or product. Other users can then view and display simple coordinate information using the free TerraGo GeoPDF toolbar for Adobe Reader.

In October 2008, TerraGo® Technologies and BAE Systems announced a collaborative agreement that allows SOCET GXP® customers to provide remote personnel access to large format images using TerraGo software. BAE Systems’ SOCET GXP v3.0 customers can now easily create, mark up, and export geographically rich image data and maps to a GeoPDF® file directly from the SOCET GXP workspace. In addition, customers can purchase the Map2PDF for SOCET GXP software module that is used to create GeoPDF files directly from SOCET GXP.

One of the biggest challenges our industry faces is the ability to efficiently provide access to critical geospatial information among non-GIS users in the field, where receiving large data files can be difficult. By providing a means to create GeoPDF files that can then be used for advanced collaboration in the field with virtually anyone, BAE Systems is helping customers to extend the use and utility of their SOCET GXP investment.

The TerraGo Map2PDF for SOCET GXP solution will allow for anyone with access to Adobe Reader® to view, mark up, or configure geographic attributes (GeoMarks) contained in the image or map from a desktop computer. The PDF document maintains predominant features and coordinates, yet compresses the file to a size suitable for transmission via email, portable drive or shared network.

“We are pleased to join forces with BAE Systems, one of the recognized leaders in image and geospatial analysis software,” said Rick Cobb, president and CEO of TerraGo Technologies. “Many of our joint defense and intelligence customers will now be able to seamlessly share their geospatial assets with users in the field, regardless of their physical location and technology constraints.”

Government and commercial analysts use SOCET GXP to produce and deliver highly accurate mapping and intelligence data to the field for mission planning, disaster relief, land-use management, and transportation planning.

Customer and partner spotlight | March 2008

Cardinal Systems extends software agreement with BAE Systems

VrOne is an ideal tool for highly efficient feature collection, providing fast data acquisition, easy editing, and robust data storage.

VrOne is an ideal tool for highly efficient feature collection, providing fast data acquisition, easy editing, and robust data storage.

VrOne is Cardinal Systems’ versatile software package for photogrammetric vector collection and editing, designed to maximize ease-of-use and productivity. The application allows users to extract geographic information such as roads, buildings, and vegetation from imagery and to store the information in a database for efficient map creation.

“The continued integration of VrOne with SOCET SET provides a complementary expansion of our geospatial and image analysis products and offers highly efficient, time-saving production tools to mapping professionals and GIS database creators,” said Curt Lima, product manager for BAE Systems Geospatial eXploitation Products.

When fully integrated with SOCET SET, VrOne’s 3D data collection functionality is combined with SOCET SET’s unlimited range of image sources and coordinate systems to deliver a complete mapping package.

“The reseller agreement has helped broaden VrOne’s software mapping customer base worldwide,” said Mike Kitaif, Manager of Software Development for Cardinal Systems. “Working with the professionals at BAE Systems has been a pleasant experience for us. VrOne and SOCET SET complement each other well and we plan to continue software development in this area.”

Cardinal Systems and BAE Systems have been partnered since early 2004.

About Cardinal Systems

Cardinal Systems, LLC is a provider of software for use in the mapping industry. With a long and successful history of developing photogrammetric and mapping solutions, Cardinal Systems continues to provide the most powerful, pragmatic mapping tools available today.

For information on Vr Mapping visit

Customer and partner spotlight | December 2007

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Astrogeology team employs photogrammetric technology to study and map geologic features of the solar system

The USGS is the primary producer of digital and hardcopy planetary maps in the U.S. Its
Astrogeology team, based in Flagstaff, Arizona, studies the properties and evolution of
planets and their satellites, asteroids, and comets. Using images and samples collected
by spacecraft expeditions, USGS researchers analyze and measure soil, water, terrain,
atmospheric conditions, and other properties that characterize solar system objects. Results
of these studies are used to construct topographic, geologic, and thematic maps, globes,
digital elevation models (DEMs), and 3D flythrough simulations to support geophysical
studies, education, and the planning and operation of subsequent missions.

Global topographic map of Mars Topographic model of Mars

The USGS produced the global topographic map of Mars, left, from nearly 1000 Viking Orbiter images by conventional analog photogrammetric methods. A team of analysts labored for most of the 1980s to complete this product, which has a post spacing of 1 km, though most of the points are actually interpolated from widely spaced contours. The topographic
model on the right, based on a single High-Resolution Imagining Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera stereo pair, contains approximately the same number of height points, spaced 1m apart. Using SOCET SET, its production required 60 hours of automated matching and 90 hours of interactive quality control and editing. The model shows debris flows associated with the central peak of the Mojave crater. Modern digital processing methods, including SOCET SET, make it practical to process gigabytes of image data for an individual research project.

USGS staff are involved in all stages of the planetary exploration and mapping process — in many cases they help to design, build, and test innovative new camera systems. Once images and supporting data are safely on Earth, they must be catalogued, processed into map products, and delivered to the customer. Ultimately, products go to NASA’s Planetary Data System, where they are archived for future users, but the immediate customer is often a team running another mission, urgently in need of maps to plan its next day, week, or year of exploration. Flexibility and efficiency of the mapping software are therefore key concerns.

The USGS has chosen an approach that makes synergistic use of both public domain
software written in-house, as well as commercial photogrammetric software. It uses
BAE Systems’ SOCET SET to accomplish its planetary mapping tasks, and its own system,
Integrated Software for Imagers and Spectrometers (ISIS), provides an end-to-end capability
for processing planetary images into orthophoto mosaics for use as base maps. By writing
the software in-house, the USGS maintains the flexibility to read, decompress, calibrate, and
model data geometrically from each new sensor as it becomes available.

Read the full case study >>

Customer and partner spotlight | May 2007

Swansea University uses SOCET SET to track glacial activity in Norway

Swansea University uses SOCET SET to track glacial activity in Norway

Swansea University uses SOCET SET to track glacial activity in Norway

SOCET SET customer Swansea University, in the U.K., is studying glacier melt in Svalbard, Norway. The glaciers around Svalbard could make the largest contribution to sea-level rise of any arctic region outside of Greenland. A field study, named Sea Level Rise from ICE in Svalbard (SLICES), was conducted to gather historic topographic data sets on sea-level rise for comparison with current records of the same area. Research began in 2003. The primary goal was to measure volume changes of the benchmark Svalbard glaciers, using LIDAR and photogrammetrically derived DEMs to provide a strong baseline for continued monitoring in the area. The findings were applied to the entire archipelago with a regional mass balance model, which was used to derive 20th and 21st century contributions to global sea-level rise in Svalbard.

Ice masses around the world are changing rapidly. The Glaciology group within the School of Environment and Society at Swansea is using advanced digital terrain modeling techniques to improve the quantification and our understanding of these changes. The group has chosen SOCET SET as our key photogrammetric data capture package. – Dr. Timothy James, Scientist, Swansea University, Swansea U.K.

Ice masses around the world are changing rapidly. The Glaciology group within the School of Environment and Society at Swansea is using advanced digital terrain modeling techniques to improve the quantification and our understanding of these changes. The group has chosen SOCET SET as our key photogrammetric data capture package. – Dr. Timothy James, Scientist, Swansea University, Swansea UK

For the SLICES project, there were many large images that had been captured at 1:50,000 scale and scanned at a high resolution to maximize DEM resolution. SOCET SET’s flexibility with large images, input file formats, and ASCII files was a major advantage. SOCET SET’s Automatic Terrain Extraction (ATE) and Interactive Terrain Editing (ITE) modules offer a combination of automated and manual tools for building terrain and surface models, and work equally well with new and century-old data.

Perspective view of a glacier in Svakbard, Norway

Perspective view of a glacier in Svakbard, Norway

Stereo matching on surfaces such as glaciers, with repeating patterns and a lack of texture, is notoriously difficult. Through the use of back-matching algorithms in ATE, the scientists have been able to eliminate many of the blunders that are normally associated with stereo matching on such surfaces, and thus obtain a better automated DEM with far less manual correction required.

Read the full story on the SLICES study, Imaging Notes, Spring 2007, pp. 24 – 29.

Read the full story on the SLICES study, Imaging Notes, Spring 2007, pp. 24 – 29.

Occasionally, in extremely steep areas, or areas where fresh snow cover makes stereo matching difficult, the team implements a hybrid approach, which involves measuring DEM points or breaklines manually in ITE, then using these as seed points in ATE. If stereo matching is unreliable, it is preferable to have a hole in the data, as opposed to blunders. A TIN (Triangulated Irregular Network) DEM from ATE with back-matching yields much better results; it will identify such points as blunders and discard them.

Results from the study show that between 1961 and 2005 the average rate of melt was found to be about 0.47 meters vertically per year, with more melt occurring in recent years. Small glaciers like those in Svalbard represent only four percent of the world’s total land ice, but account for an estimated 20 to 30 percent of 20th century sea-level rise — and the melt has increased substantially since 1988. This work is extremely important for improving predictions of sea-level rise due to the density of population along the world’s coastlines.

Looking ahead, the Swansea Glaciology Group is turning its attention to Greenland, an area that has been identified as crucial for predicting future sea-level rise. For details on these and other projects underway within the Swansea Glaciology Group, please visit:

Customer and partner spotlight | February 2007

Finnish Geodetic Institute purchases SOCET SET and BINGO to aid research efforts

Finnish Geodetic Institute

Finnish Geodetic Institute

The Finnish Geodetic Institute (FGI), a research institute for mapping sciences located near Helsinki, Finland, purchased the SOCET SET Pro Bundle as well as SOCET SET’s BINGO module to assist in their ongoing efforts to create an ideal research and testing environment. FGI’s primary responsibility is to research geospatial information and develop methods for public authorities and companies in Finland and elsewhere. Therefore the robust processing capabilities of SOCET SET’s new Adaptive Tie-Point Matcher (ATM) as well as its ability to work with multiple sensors in a single block adjustment is attractive to the FGI team. ATM can match imagery and create tie points automatically from disparate sensors, saving valuable time and resources. Furthermore, using SOCET SET’s Developers Kit, they can create their own sensor models with ease.

FGI manages and processes geodetic information and develops methods to support the national spatial data infrastructure of Finland. It is also tasked with fostering the introduction of geodetic, geoinformatic, remote sensing, and navigation methods and equipment in the acquisition and processing of geospatial information. Furthermore, it conducts field tests for airborne mapping, and manages geospatial metrology and the nationwide coordinate systems.

Among its responsibilities are studying and researching:

  • changes in the Antarctic ice load that cause crustal deformations
  • horizontal and vertical crust movement; large-scale postglacial land uplift
  • metrological measurements, which include the maintenance and development of the national gravity network
  • the quality and accuracy of GPS measurements.

The explosion of satellite technology and increased demands on geospatial accuracy and exploitation have yielded numerous innovative measuring and mapping techniques, which in turn require more extensive, continuous R&D efforts for the analysis of remotely sensed data. Through its research, FGI discovers and employs the highest standards and resources to promote excellence in the industry.

To succeed in this area, it renews its equipment, processes, and production lines on a regular basis. After a thorough evaluation of the products available, FGI opted to update to SOCET SET and BINGO. SOCET SET, with its unequalled range of image imports and sensor models for multiple sources, provides an ideal resource for FGI’s extensive research. BINGO performs photogrammetric bundle adjustment with self-calibration, based on rigorous mathematics: GPS, IMU and ground measurements, all included in the rigorous adjustment process. Moreover, BINGO uses groundbreaking statistical techniques for quality control checks; delivers fast adjustment of huge blocks; and produces smooth, reliable triangulation for rapid product creation.

The investment in these innovative tools gives FGI a broader canvas from which to work, and ensures accurate, timely results — important elements as it creates and disseminates photogrammetric and metrological testing methodologies and quality control baselines for geospatial data and airborne imaging systems.

FGI has an extensive network of contacts both in Finland and abroad, and its stature as a renowned European research institute, which serves the government, business sector and academia, is rising.

The Finnish Geodetic Institute at a glance

Department of Geodesy and Geodynamics

Establishes and maintains Finnish reference frames, the national geodetic and gravity networks, and builds relationships with the corresponding frames and measurements of neighboring countries and international systems. In addition, the Department carries out research in geodynamics, gravity and metrology.

Department of Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry

Carries out research in photogrammetry, remote sensing, mapping accuracy and calibration of airborne sensors. The Sjökulla photogrammetric test field is used in research projects for the Department.

Department of Geoinformatics and Cartography

Develops and researches geoinformatics for acquisition, storage, and analysis; uses geospatial information in visualization and cartographic presentations.

The Department of Navigation and Positioning

Carries out research into satellite-based real-time positioning, map- and satellite-based navigation, kinematic geodesy and kinematic mapping methods.

Metsähovi research station

The Department of Geodesy and Geodynamics manages all geodetic work that takes place at the Metsähovi research station, which is available to each of the four departments at FGI. The research and testing facility has a geodetic station, gravity laboratory and affiliated research site at Sjökulla.

For more information, visit the FGI website:

Customer and partner spotlight | September 2006

Romans seek assistance in recording Empire

A Roman legionnaire takes great interest in the use of digital photogrammetry as an aid to heritage documentation, ably guided by GXP customer Mick Clowes.

A Roman legionnaire takes great interest in the use of digital photogrammetry as an aid to heritage documentation, ably guided by GXP customer Mick Clowes.

English Heritage held its annual Festival of History show at Kelmarsh Hall, Northamptonshire, England in August 2006. The show is the premier historical event in the UK. Festival attendees experienced over 2,000 years of history including knights jousting, Vikings rampaging, re-enactments from various periods and a First World War aerial dogfight. Teams from English Heritage demonstrated their work in support of the organization’s needs. The Metric Survey Team from the Research Department uses SOCET SET to carry out surveys of historic properties and ancient monuments through close-range and aerial techniques. A stereo projector system adjacent to the laptop is used to project the left and right-hand images onto a high reflectance screen, enabling a large audience to enjoy stereoscopic viewing through simple spectacles.


April 2006 | Customer and partner spotlight

British Geological Survey makes large SOCET SET purchase

The British Geological Survey (BGS), the world’s oldest national geological survey and the UK’s premier centre for earth science information and expertise, has recently purchased six SOCET SET licenses. BGS intends to use the SOCET for ArcGIS module of the photogrammetric software package to enhance the mapping process by deriving and verifying digital geological information from a range of 3D sources such as digital stereoscopic photography.

The SOCET for ArcGIS module allows the ArcGIS community to exploit stereo imagery for the collection and editing of features, and the input of attributes, all in the user’s familiar ArcMap® environment. SOCET for ArcGIS uses the rigorous photogrammetry of SOCET SET in conjunction with the ESRI® ArcMap application. Operators can follow their ordinary GIS workflows while collecting accurate geospatial data in stereo.