December 2005

December 2005 | Executive compass

Welcome to GXP Mosaic, a great new forum for sharing important GXP news and updates with our customers and colleagues

Dan London

Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to visit many customer sites, and it’s truly rewarding to see first hand how well SOCET GXP is being received by the early adopters, and to observe how happy users are to have a flexible product that is easy to integrate into their working environments. It’s very gratifying to return to the office and share the news with the rest of the GXP team, especially the engineers who work so hard to build a fantastic product.

I encourage all of you to continue to provide your valuable feedback concerning functionality and
usability issues. Over the years, we’ve built a suite of extraordinary products, in part due to your willingness to stretch the products and provide vital input that assists in development efforts. Our goal is to understand the market and where it is going so that we can continue to offer superior products to the GIS community.

Sincerely,
Dan London
Dan London
Vice President, Sales and Marketing
BAE Systems GXP

December 2005 | GXP in the news

SOCET GXP to the rescue

The BAE Systems GXP team was contacted by the Homeland Security Operations Center (HSOC) to assist in gathering and analyzing up-to-date intelligence data to aid with Hurricane Katrina disaster relief efforts. This screenshot illustrates how the Multiport window in SOCET GXP is used to display Supervised Classification results to detect water in New Orleans using IKONOS® multispectral imagery, and insert these in a PowerPoint or other product to be used by rescue workers.

December 2005 | Destinations

2005 GEOINT Symposium

Other GXP demonstrations included SOCET SET and Common Geopositioning Services (CGS), the newly  established DoD-wide standard for precision targeting.

Other GXP demonstrations included SOCET SET and Common Geopositioning Services (CGS), the newly established DoD-wide standard for precision targeting.

BAE Systems had an impressive presence at the GEOINT 2005 Symposium, the nation’s premier geospatial intelligence event, held this year in San Antonio, Texas, October 30 – November 2, 2005. BAE Systems showcased numerous software and technology innovations represented by several business units. The Geospatial Exploitation Products (GXP) group unveiled new capabilities and functionality for SOCET GXP v2.1.1. SOCET GXP is the complete software package for image analysis, geospatial analysis and targeting. Many visitors to the booth had “heard the buzz” but not yet seen GXP. After viewing demos, potential users were very impressed with SOCET GXP’s capabilities and ease of operation.

Other GXP demonstrations included SOCET SET® and Common Geopositioning Services (CGS), the newly established DoD-wide standard for precision targeting. The powerful combination of CGS and SOCET GXP provides a world-class, easy to train and use capability for all-source precision geolocation with reliable and accurate 3D coordinates and statistically valid error estimates.

SOCET GXP Multiport showing CGS targeting capabilities.

SOCET GXP Multiport showing CGS targeting capabilities.

CGS brings together a combination commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS)/government-off-the-shelf (GOTS) software application for both UNIX® and Windows® platforms that provides precision geopositioning services for use in defense and intelligence applications. It can be deployed as a stand-alone workstation, which includes the SOCET GXP application as the CGS Integrated Viewer, to form a complete targeting workstation, and sets the standard for Target Location Error (TLE) determination.

In addition, the Global Analysis and Intelligence Analysis division of BAE Systems, in conjunction with Solid Terrain Modeling, displayed their 3D model of the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge Race.

BAE Systems was one of over 100 exhibitors at the four-day event, which was sponsored by the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation. This year’s theme was “SECURING FREEDOM – Defeating Threats, Saving Lives.” BAE Systems supported the overall theme with a focus on “Transforming data to knowledge…getting the benefits of technology into the hands of the user,” and participated in the Multi-source GEOINT Technology Demonstration. The demonstration illustrated worldwide interoperability within the geospatial intelligence community.

December 2005 | Destinations

Unique stereoscopic monitor featured at GXP events

Planar's SD1710 has excellent stereo image quality and superior viewing comfort.

Planar's SD1710 has excellent stereo image quality and superior viewing comfort.

If you attended the 2006 ASPRS Conference in Baltimore in March 2005, the ESRI International User Conference in July 2005 or the BAE Systems GXP International User Conference in February 2005, you may have seen SOCET SET or SOCET GXP being displayed on an intriguing stereoscopic monitor. Planar Systems recently unveiled a new stereoscopic monitor that has garnered positive feedback in the geospatial community.

Planar’s SD1710 has excellent stereo image quality and superior viewing comfort. Rather than toggling between left eye and right eye imagery like previous CRT-based solutions, the Planar SD1710 provides a continuous, flicker-free image to both eyes at a comfortable refresh rate (56-75 Hz). The brightness is sufficient to use in normal office lighting and the LCD response time (3 ms rise, 9 ms fall) is fast enough for image roaming. Because there is no restrictive “sweet spot,” multiple users can view vivid stereo imagery simultaneously. The StereoMirror technology uses two 17-inch AMLCD monitors in an up/down configuration separated by a 110° angle. A semi-transparent mirror is positioned at a bisecting angle between the two monitors. When this device is viewed with passive linearly polarized glasses, the right eye will see one monitor while the left eye sees the other. This unique approach creates a stereoscopic 3D monitor that uses the full SXGA (1280 x 1024) resolution and color of both displays. Planar’s SD1710 is a great hardware compliment to BAE Systems’ geospatial software.

For more information see www.planar.com/StereoMirror.

December 2005 | SOCET GXP | Software update

SOCET GXP v2.1.1

SOCET GXP's Finishing Tool offers many flexible options for creating user-defined, customized finished products on the fly. Using the Finishing Tool canvas, you can add auto labels, imagery, scale bars, annotations, map grids and a legend.

SOCET GXP's Finishing Tool offers many flexible options for creating user-defined, customized finished products on the fly. Using the Finishing Tool canvas, you can add auto labels, imagery, scale bars, annotations, map grids and a legend.

SOCET GXP v2.1.1 was released on October 14, 2005 with considerable updates designed to port the geospatial analysis workflow from image analysis (IA) to rigorous geospatial analysis (GA), photogrammetry, and targeting—all from a single user interface.

The most exciting enhancements include terrain visualization for viewing digital elevation models against imagery; a map finishing tool for creating advanced imagery products with the option of direct export to PowerPoint®; and 3D flythrough capabilities that simulate real world scenarios, giving viewers a cost-effective tool to monitor a geographic region for improved situational awareness and decision making. Flythroughs created in SOCET GXP can be recorded as digital movie files to include in presentations. In addition, the new targeting component is fully integrated with the U.S. Navy’s Common Geopositioning Services (CGS) targeting solution, and is compatible with an unequalled range of government and commercial image sources.

Watch for SOCET GXP v2.1.2, available soon. This release includes JTW v9.1.2.

December 2005 | SOCET SET | Software update

SOCET SET v5.2.1

SOCET SET v5.2.1 was released on November 18, 2005, and includes the following updates:

  • Improvements to Automatic Terrain Extraction for increased accuracy and blunder elimination. The improvements reduce manual editing for all terrain types thus increasing productivity for workflows requiring terrain. In addition, the improvements are relevant to both terrain surface models as well as reflected surface models.
  • SOCET for ArcGIS® enhancements were added based on customer feedback for the SOCET for ArcGIS product released in v5.2. Improvements include compatibility of grouped layers in the ArcMap® table of contents with SOCET SET display and collection; new snapping agent integrated with ArcMap; the addition of accelerator key mapping for commonly used SOCET for ArcGIS commands; and rotation of ArcMap display to match the SOCET SET Viewport.
  • Product improvements for Controlled Image Base® Format Production Module (which uses MIL-PRF-89041, 15 May 1999 format specifications) and SOCET SET Digital Point Positioning Data Base Format Production Module (which uses MIL-PRF-89034, March 1999 format specifications).

For up-to-date information, patches and downloads for all products, visit: www.socetgxp.com

December 2005 | Q & A

What are SOCET GXP and SOCET SET?

The Multiport represents the state-of-the-art in data exploitation and encompasses the heart and soul of  SOCET GXP.

The Multiport represents the state-of-the-art in data exploitation and encompasses the heart and soul of SOCET GXP.

SOCET GXP is BAE Systems’ revolutionary software that addresses the production needs of image analysts (IAs), geospatial analysts (GAs) and targeteers—all in one easy-to-use package with a single user interface. SOCET GXP gives analysts the capability to produce and deliver highly accurate mapping and intelligence data to the field in time to make critical decisions for mission planning, disaster relief, land use management, transportation planning and other activities that require superior visual intelligence.

SOCET SET is the established, market-leading software solution for geospatial analysis and photogrammetry, with comprehensive, powerful functionality for triangulation, DEM extraction, orthorectification and feature collection using multiple image sources. The software is renowned for its unequalled flexibility, depth, performance, and ability to ingest data from numerous government and commercial sources. In keeping with BAE Systems’ vision that IA and GA are merging into a single market requiring a single product, SOCET SET’s photogrammetric strength is being transferred to SOCET GXP and enhanced by SOCET GXP’s fresh architecture and productive user interface.

AutoSOCET, now available in SOCET GXP, was built using SOCET SET's photogrammetric libraries, so all of the precision that SOCET SET offers is now available as an automated module for IAs/GAs in SOCET GXP.

AutoSOCET, now available in SOCET GXP, was built using SOCET SET's photogrammetric libraries, so all of the precision that SOCET SET offers is now available as an automated module for IAs/GAs in SOCET GXP.

SOCET GXP and SOCET SET are COTS products for defense and commercial applications. Both are suitable for use as development platforms, enabling customers and systems integrators to create complex GOTS and commercial solutions for specific programs and missions.

What is our vision?

We believe that the distinction between IA tasks and GA tasks is diminishing such that the roles of these previously separate domains are merging. We have been developing a new product architecture over the last several years that is the foundation for bringing the imagery exploitation requirements for these domains together into a single architecture that is scalable and configurable across the entire IA and GA domain.

What have we done to achieve this vision?

We have combined SOCET SET (GA tools), MATRIX (IA tools), VITec® ELT (IA tools) and Common Geopositioning Services (CGS) (targeting tools) into a single software product architecture called SOCET GXP. We have built SOCET GXP with a single user interface so that a user can perform IA tasks, GA tasks, targeting tasks and HSI/MSI tasks from the same user interface. We feel that, since SOCET GXP has a single user interface for IA, GA, targeting and HSI/MSI functions, we can eliminate the problem encountered by customers today, who have to use several different software packages to finish their products. Some of them use as many as six packages, often unrelated or loosely integrated, and cannot possibly be trained well enough on each one to take full advantage of its capabilities. By minimizing the number of software packages required, SOCET GXP users can streamline training, reduce integration and O&M costs, simplify licensing and customer port and increase productivity. The SOCET GXP architecture is scalable and highly configurable such that customers can buy specific functionality to meet their requirements. With SOCET GXP, while a particular organization may have several configurations or bundle types in place, the software functions with the same underlying architecture and user interface.

Another advantage of SOCET GXP that is critical to many customers is that it offers the same appearance, performance and user experience on both UNIX® and Windows®, for ease of use among multiple workstations.

Is the vision realistic?

Our biggest customer is the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). In the editorial in the September 2005 issue of GPS World (“A Closer Look at NGA” on page 10), Editor-in-Chief Scottie Barnes summarizes an interview with NGA Director Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper (USAF retired). She writes, “When the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) changed its name to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) in 2003, it aimed to reflect the powerful capabilities this young agency was realizing by melding the geospatial and imaging tradecraft into a new discipline. Such convergence was the original intent when NIMA was created in 1996 – to merge the mapping, charting, and geodesy skill set of the Defense Mapping Agency with the image-analyst capabilities of the National Photographic Interpretation Center.” This makes the advantages of using SOCET GXP very clear.

But we haven’t really combined IA and GA yet!

It is true that, to date, we are only partially complete in porting over SOCET SET’s full functionality into SOCET GXP. However, we are on an aggressive path to full integration, and the end result will be well worth the investment. We have already achieved notable success by pioneering a new generation of software that is attractive to a growing community of users. SOCET GXP has the same rigorous sensor models as SOCET SET; highly accurate georeferencing is a GA requirement as well as IA. In addition, new terrain visualization tools help the IA with more insightful analysis. And AutoSOCET, which is an autonomous GA
workflow, is available with both SOCET GXP and SOCET SET.

What about the competition?

Our competitors also understand that IA and GA are merging, but they provide solutions by “teaming” with other vendors to expand their packages from IA to GA. With these approaches, however, you still have to buy, install, train, pay O&M for, integrate and work with customer port for several different packages, whereas with SOCET GXP there is only one package to install, train and port. Just one package with a single user interface, that’s the key! This is the single most important differentiator for SOCET GXP. It makes us different. It puts us ahead. Remember too that SOCET GXP offers the same appearance, performance and user experience on both UNIX and Windows, a versatility beyond the reach of some of our competitors.

Have users accepted what we’re doing?

SOCET GXP is already in use in the “War Against Terrorism” and the Iraqi Reconstruction Period. Several Unified Commands, many Tactical Units and the CGS Program have selected SOCET GXP as their software tool of choice. Additionally, with the upcoming release of the IEC v4.2/5.0 software baselines, SOCET GXP will be available as a fully-integrated application for IEC users within the NGA community.

What about SOCET SET commercial customers?

We continue to develop SOCET SET and we are investing considerable R&D dollars in projects that are significant to both SOCET SET and SOCET GXP, such as new algorithms for terrain extraction and image balancing. SOCET SET v5.2 is a strong release with impressive new functionality. SOCET SET v5.3 will be even better, with major innovations such as triangulation of ADS40 imagery and tiled terrain databases to accommodate enormous LIDAR point clouds. Many customers will be excited about new imports such as Intermap Technologies’ terrain and radar imagery, generic PATB and ISAT.

Will SOCET SET defense customers miss out?

Absolutely not. The current release for defense customers, v5.2.1, includes the powerful modules for DPPDB and CIB® generation as well as improved JPO2 functionality and integration with JTW v9.0.2/9.1. And v5.3 will include import of HRTI NITF. The WorldView and OrbView-3 sensor models benefit all customer groups, as do incremental improvements to SOCET for ArcGIS® and improved OpenFlight export. Everybody will be impressed by our leaps forward in terrain extraction and merging. MST’s new edge matcher for mixed mode imagery is primarily aimed at defense GAs.

SOCET GXP customers will benefit as well from all of these improvements.

What does the IA/GA integration bring to SOCET SET customers?

Once we complete the integration of our products into SOCET GXP, SOCET SET customers will be able to use SOCET GXP’s IA tools such as annotation and product finishing, which are erior to any packages on the market today. They will benefit from the intuitive user interface and the power of the Multiport. But we also see more subtle benefits. SOCET GXP’s strengths in viewing imagery, such as thumbnails and the virtual mosaic, are exactly what SOCET SET users want, both for initial review of imagery and for quality control. We can eradicate hard-to-use steps such as project creation. For SOCET GXP we are completely redesigning the approach to the big photogrammetric tasks of triangulation, terrain extraction, and generation of orthorectified imagery. SOCET SET users who have seen the new user interface for triangulation are thrilled.

Bits and pieces | December 2005

GXP team outing

After a busy summer, the San Diego GXP team enjoyed a chance to relax during a group outing at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Covering 1,800 acres, the San Diego Wild Animal Park offers visitors an up close and personal view of a myriad of animals as they might be seen in their native Asia and Africa. In the nearly 30-year history of the Park, hundreds of endangered species babies have been born in the park, and dozens of nearly-extinct species have been re-introduced into the wild.

The GXP team had a great time interacting with and feeding the animals —a fun time was had by all.