Q & A

April 2012 | Q & A

Managing the SOCET GXP Workspace file

Chris Mazur

Chris Mazur

I saved my workspace. However, I’m having trouble loading it. How do I recover my working environment and associated files?

The most common reason users experience difficulty loading a workspace is because the saved ‘Workspace’ file has been corrupted. This could happen for a number of reasons, e.g., saving over an original workspace with a new workspace of a different configuration, a system crash occurred, or the paths are no longer valid for the data. However, what’s most important is recovering the associated data.

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December 2011 | Q & A

Creating custom shapefiles in SOCET GXP

Casey Lossman

Casey Lossman

How do I create custom shapefiles in SOCET GXP?

SOCET GXP has functionality for creating both standard and custom, user-defined shapefiles.

In SOCET GXP v3.1.1 and beyond a shapefile is defined by a Specification File, the backbone or structure of the shapefile, and a Style Sheet, the symbology or graphics properties of the shapefile. SOCET GXP includes a default Specification File and a default Style Sheet. Both of these default values, configured in the Preferences file, can be customized and saved as new default values for an individual project.

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June 2011 | Q & A

Visualizing terrain with the slope map tool

SOCET GXP v3.2 offers multiple ways to visualize terrain data

What is the slope map tool used for in SOCET GXP?

SOCET GXP contains terrain analysis tools for in-depth geospatial awareness and analysis, such as Terrain Shaded Relief (TSR) displays. Now capabilities have been expanded to include more complex functionality for elevation slope and aspect analysis, terrain comparison, volume calculations, line of sight and registration. A slope map is a graphical depiction of the steepness of terrain or elevation data and is defined as an angle of rise over horizontal run. The slope can be calculated using many different algorithms, but SOCET GXP uses either average slope or steepest slope algorithms to determine the slope value for each terrain post. This is performed by imagining a center post with eight surrounding cells. The slope is calculated at each point in a grid by comparing the point’s elevation to that of its neighbors.

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March 2011 | Q & A

Using SOCET GXP to measure changes in coal mining piles

Can I use SOCET GXP to measure piles of coal extracted from a mine?

Background

BAE Systems’ regional GXP support team in St. Louis received an inquiry from a SOCET SET customer who was interested in measuring and monitoring piles of coal extracted from mines. The following scenario describes how SOCET GXP can be used to establish baseline coal volume at mining facilities, and outlines a methodology for measuring coal periodically to gain a perspective of what is actually mined, shipped and maintained.

USGS NED 10m terrain on GeoEye-1 image.

Figure 2. USGS NED 10m terrain on GeoEye-1 image.

GeoEye-1 image

Figure 1. GeoEye-1 image.

Methodology

The GXP team recommends using a combination of traditional photogrammetry with remote sensing analysis to produce the most accurate results. This task is accomplished using SOCET GXP v3.2.

The first step is finding data that can be used to set baseline coal pile amounts. Periodic re-measuring can be accomplished into the future if data is available. Thus, we are not concerned with providing change amounts to address this situation. We observed a coal mining transshipment point along the Mississippi River in the St. Louis area, and selected GeoEye-1 data of the area. We typically use this data for testing customer issues and demonstrating GXP software. In addition, we obtained USGS NED 10m GeoTIFF terrain over the same area that includes this coal mining transshipment point. Figures 1 and 2 illustrate the GeoEye-1 images and USGS NED 10m GeoTIFF terrain files in SOCET GXP Multiport viewing windows.

The recommended workflow to complete the project is a combination of traditional photogrammetry with remote sensing terrain analysis applied. First, we used a GeoEye-1 stereo pair and the USGS NED 10m terrain file run through SOCET GXP’s Multi-Sensor Triangulation (MST) process to increase the geopositional accuracy of the stereo pair. MST fine-tunes the geoposition of the stereo pair, creating adjusted support files. The next step is running SOCET GXP’s Automated Terrain Generation (ATG) process through the Next-Generation Automatic Terrain Extraction (NGATE) process to generate a 1.5m digital surface model (DSM) and digital elevation model (DEM). Some minor editing is required on the DEM to provide flat surfaces where the coal piles are located at the coal transshipment point. Figures 3 and 4 show terrain files generated using NGATE.

NGATE 1.5m DSM.

Figure 4. NGATE 1.5m DEM.

NGATE 1.5m DEM.

Figure 3. NGATE 1.5m DSM.

The end-result is a triangulated stereo pair and two high-resolution terrain files for remote sensing analysis. Next, both terrain files are loaded into a single Multiport window. The new SOCET GXP v3.2 Volumetric Terrain Comparison analysis tool is used to draw polygons around specific areas to determine the volumetric amounts contained within the polygons. In this case, two polygons are drawn around each of the two coal piles that were observed at the coal transshipment point. Figure 5 indicates results of the remote sensing terrain summary.

Volumetric terrain analysis results.

Figure 5. Volumetric terrain analysis results.

Results

One pile has 2,860 cubic meters of coal, and the second pile, 15,246 cubic meters. These measurements give the owner of the transshipment point an estimate of how much coal exists at the facility to establish baseline coal amounts for periodic review into the future, given additional commercial images. This coal measurement method does not indicate material loss through ground seepage or site waste (material lost in transport from using open ground storage vice permanent concrete storage facilities). However, further analysis can be derived by combining the results of the photogrammetric and remote sensing analysis and the shipping and inventory manifests for the site.

Conclusion

The St. Louis support team used SOCET GXP v3.2 to perform a quick volumetric terrain analysis to determine how much coal is being stored at the transshipment facility. The results generated from SOCET GXP are highly accurate due to enhancements to terrain analysis tools.

The same theory can be applied to mining facilities such as salt or rock queries that use open storage piles. It is also useful for dredging efforts along rivers to keep siltation from closing river transport efforts, and to capture terrain measurements associated with mudslides and avalanches.

SOCET GXP v3.2 volumetric terrain analysis workflow.

SOCET GXP v3.2 volumetric terrain analysis workflow.

Special thanks to Steve Lossman, GXP senior applications engineer, for providing input to build this scenario. Satellite imagery courtesy of GeoEye; USGS supplied terrain data.

December 2009 | Q & A

Setting elevation values using SOCET for ArcGIS® and ESRI® PLTS

I’m using SOCET for ArcGIS® with ESRI® Production Line Tool Set (PLTS) and my elevation values are wrong when updating a feature. What is causing this?

PLTS may be overwriting the elevation values when a feature is modified. To eliminate this behavior deselect the following option:

  1. From the ArcMap® main menu, select PLTS > Properties….
  2. Switch to the Z Management panel and deselect the Update Z values on modify option.

 

Select Properties from the PLTS menu.

Select Properties from the PLTS menu.

Uncheck the Update Z values on modify option.

Uncheck the Update Z values on modify option.

December 2009 | Q & A

Stereoscopic viewing systems for SOCET GXP® and SOCET SET®

Many customers have asked us about the NVDIA® 3-D Vision system with the Samsung LCD flat panel monitor for stereoscopic viewing.

We are excited about this new technology as an inexpensive alternative to other stereoscopic systems and have tested the system on Microsoft® Windows® XP and Vista™ operating systems with an NVIDIA Quadro® FX series video card. We have observed issues such as flickering and loss of stereo. The GXP engineering team is investigating these issues. Consequently, we cannot recommend using this system until we complete further research. We look forward to supporting this technology in the near future, so please check our Web site for updates.

October 2009 | Q & A

The future of SOCET SET®

Tips on how to transition from SOCET SET to SOCET GXP

The photogrammetric strengths of SOCET SET® are now available in SOCET GXP®, which gives users increased flexibility and accuracy. New automated tools for triangulation, terrain model generation, and orthorectification are easy to use, making complex processes and workflows more efficient.

To assist in making a smooth transition from SOCET SET to SOCET GXP, all SOCET SET customers with current upgrade entitlement are eligible to receive a free six-month SOCET GXP evaluation license that can be run in parallel with SOCET SET. As you migrate to SOCET GXP, you can convert SOCET SET licenses for equivalent functionality in SOCET GXP.

How do I make the transition from SOCET SET to SOCET GXP?

Think of it as a maintenance upgrade. Any SOCET SET customer with current upgrade entitlement status is eligible to receive a six-month SOCET GXP evaluation license. SOCET SET and SOCET GXP can be run side-by-side in the work environment. When ready, SOCET SET licenses can be converted to equivalent functionality in SOCET GXP.

As a SOCET SET customer, will I still receive customer support?

Absolutely. All SOCET SET customers with current upgrade entitlement can expect to receive top-notch support from our worldwide customer support representatives.

How do I obtain an evaluation license?

You can request a SOCET GXP evaluation license by completing the online form:
www.socetgxp.com/content/support/license-services

My daily workflows include triangulation, terrain generation and editing, and orthophoto generation. When will SOCET SET’s photogrammetric functionality be available in SOCET GXP?

SOCET GXP includes numerous push-button tools for photogrammetric workflows such as Ortho On-the-Fly, simplified triangulation, automated digital-terrain and surface-model generation, and the Mosaic Manager module for orthomosaic production. Additional photogrammetric functionality is planned for each new release.

How do I transition to SOCET GXP and manage SOCET SET project files?

The SOCET GXP Workspace file (.wksp) is similar to the SOCET SET Project file (.prj). A SOCET SET Project file loaded into SOCET GXP can be used immediately. A SOCET SET Project is converted to a SOCET GXP Workspace on Workspace save.

Can I use an image from a SOCET SET file in SOCET GXP?

Yes. In SOCET GXP, you load the SOCET SET support (.sup) files, and all images are automatically loaded into the Workspace Manager.

While transitioning to SOCET GXP, can I export data generated in SOCET GXP back to SOCET SET?

No. SOCET GXP-generated data files are not backward-compatible.

How do I move licenses to a new network?

Because every software installation is unique, with different modules and network configurations, we recommend that you work with your BAE Systems support team representative to ensure a smooth transition to SOCET GXP.

June 2009 | Q & A

What is the Automatic Terrain Generation module used for?

The Automatic Terrain Generation (ATG) module in SOCET GXP provides fully automated capabilities to extract elevation data from stereo imagery. The intuitive interface provides user-friendly options for creating accurate, high-resolution digital terrain models (DTM). In SOCET GXP, ATG natively generates SOCET GXP Grid, NITF, DTED, and GEOTIFF files, reducing editing and production time, while eliminating the need to import and export files.

SOCET GXP's ATG user interface

SOCET GXP’s ATG user interface

ATG consists of options for Automatic Terrain Extraction (ATE) and Next-Generation Automatic Terrain Extraction (NGATE). You select the method that is best-suited for the desired result.

What is the difference between ATE and NGATE?

ATE and NGATE are two options that can be used to create digital terrain models. Each uses a different algorithmic method to create the end result. The main difference is that NGATE generates a more-accurate and dense model. In SOCET GXP the output format of the DTM is a Grid; a two-dimensional array of elevation points called posts. The array of posts always is aligned north, south, east, and west with the coordinate system.

ATE performs image correlation on each post, whereas NGATE performs image correlation and edge-matching on each image pixel. Users control ATE speed by using large post spacing to reduce the number of posts. With NGATE, speed is controlled by stopping the application at a different minification level using different precision and speed options; speed is not dependent on post spacing or number of posts.

ATE is most useful for producing low-density models over rural and other non-developed areas. Functionality is available for seed DTM integration and bare-earth technology is included for removing trees and buildings. Batch capabilities also are provided. More posts require more processing time. ATE can produce models as dense as approximately 15 times the image ground sample distance; as density increases, the speed advantage of ATE declines.

NGATE is best for large-scale imagery in urban areas. ATE is not effective at distinguishing buildings from the ground. Therefore, the model climbs up over building roofs. NGATE DTM quality in those difficult areas is far better than that from ATE. As a result, NGATE can significantly reduce editing time.

NGATE almost always produces a more accurate model than ATE. If speed is important to production, you can change speed and precision options to generate the model faster than ATE with slightly better accuracy. If the desired product is an accurate and dense model, NGATE always performs better than ATE.

March 2009 | Q & A

What is time tampering and how does it affect SOCET SET® and SOCET GXP® software license installation?

Time tampering is the process of rolling back the system clock on a PC, tricking an application into continuing to function when it should have been disabled after a limited time, such as with trial versions. There are legitimate reasons for changing the system date and time — for example, clearing a system for classified use.

Recently, a SOCET SET® customer encountered a problem related to time tampering that prevented the software license from installing. The instructions below describe what to do if you receive the following error message in SOCET SET or SOCET GXP®:

Recently, a SOCET SET customer encountered a problem related to time tampering that prevented the software license from installing.

There are no clock tamper checks for permanent SOCET SET and SOCET GXP licenses. Prior to installing the software, it is imperative to confirm that the computer time and date are set correctly. Accuracy of the system clock also is very important for temporary licenses. A user who has been issued a temporary license must not change the date and time after the license has been installed on the computer.

The license server is configured to detect tampering of the system clock. About 500 system files are checked (in strictly read-only mode) to determine if the system’s clock has been set back to use an expired license. This process is initiated on startup, then periodically thereafter for approximately 10 to 20 seconds. If five or more files are found in violation in one calendar day, or if 1 percent of the system files are off by one calendar day, then a clock tamper is in effect.

The user needs to be careful not to violate any rules for Microsoft® time tampering. The BAE Systems process checks to see if Microsoft’s process has detected time tampering. Use of time altering software programs that are not Microsoft compliant should be avoided. One example is a program that adjusts its system’s time to that of an atomic clock.

SOCET SET and SOCET GXP software will not generate licenses if the system time is adjusted while the license server is operating. It is recommended that users shutdown the license server temporarily if the system time needs to be adjusted.

To correct for a clock tampering error:

  1. Run the SentinelLM Host Information Utility: C:\Program Files\BAE SYSTEMS\GXP License Manager\wechoid.exe.
  2. Check each available box in the Locking Criteria window.
  3. Send the Locking Data Selector and Locking Data Code information to the BAE Systems Customer Support department.

Check each available box in the Locking Criteria window.

Additional information about time tampering can be found on the SafeNet Web site:

December 2008 | Q & A

What is the SOCET GXP SEE module used for?

View, edit, and query feature layers using the SEE module for SOCET GXP.

View, edit, and query feature layers using the SEE module for SOCET GXP.

The Spatially Enabled Exploitation (SEE) module for SOCET GXP lets analysts capture daily collects directly into the ESRI® geodatabase using the SOCET GXP Multiport viewing window. Users can delineate objects and areas of interest visible in imagery with vector graphics, create new feature databases, or connect to existing feature databases; both are defined by specification files.

Analysts connect to multiple geodatabases from different sources and interact with them individually or collectively in one Multiport. Databases supported are ESRI multi-user and personal geodatabases, and the SOCET GXP feature database. Functionality includes capabilities for creating spatial, temporal, and attribute queries, populating feature attributes, creating feature style sheets; copying features between databases; importing and exporting shapefiles; and animating feature layers.

Follow the steps outlined below to use the SOCET GXP SEE module to connect to and display an existing feature database.

  1. From the Workspace Manager, select File > Database Connect.
  2. In the Feature Database Connect window, select the feature database type then select the database. Click the Connect button.
  3. Load an image to the Workspace Manager that geographically corresponds with the feature database.
  4. Click on the expand indicator next to the feature database to view and select specific feature classes.
  5. Select image data and feature classes, then right-click and select Open > All in One.

Tip
From the Workspace (Data view), double-click on the loaded feature database to query the database and create display layers.

Keyboard shortcut
When creating a feature, press the BACKSPACE key to delete the last vertex created and the ENTER key to drop the last point and finalize the feature.

More information about the SEE module for SOCET GXP:
www.socetgxp.com/content_products/modules/module_see.htm

Q & A | September 2008

Automatic interior orientation (AIO)

What is AIO?

AIO is an automated step in the photogrammetric workflow designed to increase productivity and accuracy for interior orientation of aerial images. SOCET SET employs AIO to speed manual interior orientation (IO). The underlying algorithm performs rigorous batch processing on multiple images being scanned simultaneously, eliminating the need for manual measurements.

The IO process for Frame and Panoramic sensor models converts film space (camera focal-plane space) to digitized image space. The units in film space are millimeters, whereas the units in digitized image space are pixels. Therefore, the transformation from film to image space is critical. The location of all fiducials is used to derive the transformation parameters for successive applications, such as triangulation or DEM generation. Inaccurate IO results decrease the final accuracy and reliability of related applications.

AIO is widely used in SOCET SET today, and will be available to SOCET GXP users in the near future. This article — although a rare case — examines an interesting scenario that may help other users understand the AIO mechanism.

Case-study example

While investigating an unusual AIO problem for a customer — as indicated by the AIO log files, roughly 25 percent of the frames failed with AIO operation among approximately 1,600 images — the GXP team recognized that the sup files were contaminated, thus advised the customer to re-import the images. However, the re-import yielded similar results. On additional investigation, the GXP team found that lowering one value (FOM_LIMIT) of one strategy file can help correct AIO results.

Interestingly, although this approach yielded good results, there were additional anomalies. The debugging results indicated that the scan resolution derived from the sup files, before and after AIO operation, was an approximately 0.7 micron-per-pixel difference. Before AIO located the fiducials, the scan resolution was 13.3 microns per pixel, while the scan resolution changed to 14 microns per pixel afterward. This had never happened before, and of course, should not happen at all.

It is well known that the default frame size is 230 mm x 230 mm for all commercial aerial cameras. Presuming that the scan resolution is 14 microns per pixel, the digital frame size is approximately 16,428 x 16,428; 0.7 micron per pixel difference. A scan resolution of 13.3 microns per pixel will result in a different digital frame size: 17,293 x 17,923. This indicates that the digital size is a difference of 865 pixels (17,293-16,428 = 865 pixels).

The customer’s scanner provided each frame with about 17,293 x 17,293 of the frame dimension for one of the commercial cameras called RMK TOP 15. The first scan resolution is based on SOCET SET’s frame-import, 230,000/17,293 = 13.3 micros per pixel, which helps initiate AIO’s automatic processing. The second scan resolution of 14 microns per pixel derived after AIO correctly located fiducials, should be much more precise than the first one.

However, considering the second scan resolution and the digital frame dimension of 17293 x 17293, the frame size was approximately 242 mm x 242 mm, quite different from the default of 230 x 230, which indicates that the sup files are contaminated — as initially suspected. Thus, it appears that AIO processing failed for some of the images.

Q&A

How did this scenario happen?

The scan range was set incorrectly. Always check the scanner to make sure the scan range is set correctly and that it matches the frame. Note the difference between the yellow and red markings in Figure 1 below; red is wrong, yellow is correct.

Figure 1: Make sure the scan range is set correctly before scanning; red is wrong, yellow is correct.

Figure 1: Make sure the scan range is set correctly before scanning; red is wrong, yellow is correct.

What kinds of problems does this scenario cause?

The AIO operation needs more time or simply fails since the scan resolution and camera type are only a priori knowledge that the AIO relies on to implement fully automatic processing; the wrong scan resolution means that the AIO starts searching blindly from an incorrect spot, and thus needs to work harder. Alternatively, the operation may have failed due to bad approximations. See Figure 1.

Is it possible to recognize the problem?

Yes. Since the scan resolution is normally set by the operator, perform a simple math calculation to guarantee that the scan range is set correctly; 230,000/scan resolution for the initial frames scanned, to verify that the scanned images’ dimensions are close to this value.

How do you resolve the problem?

It is not necessary to re-scan. Simply change the default size from 230 to an approximate value, such as 242 during frame import. See Figure 2.

As noted for the example cited in this review, no coding change is required for SOCET SET v5.3.1 or later versions. After changing the default size from 230 to 242 during frame import, the AIO ran very quickly and smoothly with a 100 percent success rate. See Figure 3.

Figure 2: Make sure the scan range is correctly set before scanning; red is wrong, yellow is correct.

Figure 2: Make sure the scan range is correctly set before scanning; red is wrong, yellow is correct.


Figure 3: In case the scan range is set incorrectly, calculate the real scan range based on the scan resolution, and then change the size(X)/size(Y) during frame import to guarantee a correct IOCEFF matrix in sup files for AIO operation.

Figure 3: In case the scan range is set incorrectly, calculate the real scan range based on the scan resolution, and then change the size(X)/size(Y) during frame import to guarantee a correct IOCEFF matrix in sup files for AIO operation.

Q & A | September 2007

What is Spatially Enabled Exploitation (SEE)?

Using SOCET GXP's SEE functionality, store graphics and features with their ground coordinates and attributes in a geodatabase for future retrieval and updating.

Using SOCET GXP's SEE functionality, store graphics and features with their ground coordinates and attributes in a geodatabase for future retrieval and updating.

SEE is the NGA initiative designed to enhance image exploitation by creating attributed ground space graphics in a connected enterprise geodatabase environment. SEE allows the analyst to answer critical questions using spatial, attribute, and temporal queries. In addition, smart vector attribution supports external ESRI multi-user/personal databases, shapefiles, and SOCET SET feature databases.

SEE: vector-supported image analysis

  • Connect to a database, create features, or query existing features
  • Extract information from imagery and save it for future analysis
  • Rely on accurate vectors to detect changes over time
  • Eliminate searches for historical textual data to determine changes
  • Streamline exploitation process

May 2007 | Q & A

How do I transition from SOCET SET to SOCET GXP?

Think of the transition to SOCET GXP as either a maintenance upgrade, or a follow on to VITec® or SOCET SET.

Immediate Access

If you have active Upgrade Entitlement (UE), you can call our Reston, Virginia office toll-free (800) 316-9643, or direct (703) 668-4385, to request automatic shipment of SOCET GXP media.

UE

Each software purchase comes with a 90-day free warranty, as well as options to extend the warranty by purchasing the UE package. UE is an added benefit that is offered to licensed GXP software users. UE is based on your individual or site license and the modules you have purchased.

Training

Be sure to take advantage of the professional software training hosted by experienced GXP staff to get up and running as soon as possible. We offer many flexible options, including free training, and group sessions for up to eight people at our Reston, Virginia facility.

Transitioning SOCET SET projects to SOCET GXP

One of SOCET GXP’s strengths is its flexible project workflow infrastructure, referred to as the Workspace Manager. You can load all project files, including data, images, and features into the SOCET GXP Workspace Manager. SOCET GXP references the files on your computer, giving you the flexibility to store the information in the most intuitive way.

February 2007 | Q & A

How are SOCET SET image coordinates defined?

Coordinate Measurement window

Coordinate Measurement window

SOCET SET image coordinates are expressed as an ordered pair of double precision, floating point numbers which identify a row (line) and column (sample) location within the matrix of pixels. The SOCET SET image coordinate values can be seen on the Coordinate Measurement window, or within measurement files from triangulation (*.ipf) and interior orientation (*.iop).

The origin, position (0,0), to which the line and sample values are referenced is defined as half of the total number of lines and half of the total number of samples measured from the center of the upper left pixel. This means that the origin of the image coordinate system may fall inside a pixel or on the boundary between pixels depending on whether the number of lines and samples is even or odd, respectively. Also it should be noted that the origin will be near the center of the image, not exactly at the center. The origin will be one half pixel down and to the right of the actual image center.

Figure 1. Even number of lines and samples, origin inside a pixel.

Figure 1. Even number of lines and samples, origin inside a pixel.

Figure 2. Odd number of lines and samples, origin at pixel boundary.

Figure 2. Odd number of lines and samples, origin at pixel boundary.

Positive line coordinates are measured downward from the origin and positive sample coordinates are to the right of the origin. Lines above the origin are negative as are samples to the left of the origin. The figure below shows some example image locations and their line and sample values in the SOCET SET image coordinate system. See Sensor Model section of the SOCET SET programmer’s reference for more detail.

Figure 3. Point, line and sample results

Figure 3. Point, line and sample results


Point, line, and sample results

Point, line, and sample results

Note to Developers: When integrating SOCET SET with other applications where image coordinates are being passed back and forth, it is the calling application’s responsibility to convert the image coordinates to/from SOCET SET coordinates, origin as described above, and the coordinate system used by the other application — most likely origin at the upper left hand corner.

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.