What’s the buzz?

April 2012 | What's the buzz?

Stewart Walker elected as ASPRS Vice President

Dr. A. Stewart Walker

Dr. A. Stewart Walker

Dr. Stewart Walker, GXP director of product initiatives, is recognized in the geographic information systems community.

The results of the 2012 election have been tallied by the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) Tellers Committee and they reported that Stewart Walker, Director – Product Initiatives for the Geospatial eXploitation Products business area of BAE Systems in San Diego, California, won the election to become ASPRS Vice President for 2012.

Read the complete press release >>

April 2012 | What's the buzz?

Stereo monitors: Which flat panel monitors work with SOCET GXP?

Scott Deitrich

Scott Deitrich

Flat panel stereo monitors are now affordable — and portable. Take a look at a few of the best monitors and glasses to consider when using SOCET GXP.

 

OptX AW2310

Alienware

Model: OptX AW2310 23″ 3-D monitor
Price: Approximately $400
Screen Size: 23″ wide
Resolution: 1920×1080
Color supported: 16.7 million
Video Signal: DVI-DL, HDMI
3-D Features: 3-D ready, 120 FPS support
* Requires active glasses

(more…)

December 2011 | What's the buzz?

Stewart Walker runs for ASPRS president

Dr. A. Stewart Walker, Director, product initiatives for the GXP business, is running for President, American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS).

Many in the photogrammetric and GIS communities are familiar with Stewart’s background and body of work. He has M.A., M.S.c.E., and Ph.D. degrees in geography and geomatics from the universities of Glasgow, New Brunswick, and Bristol, an M.B.A. from Heriot-Watt, and has authored approximately 200 technical papers.

Stewart is an ASPRS Certified Photogrammetrist and a chartered land surveyor (U.K.). In 1977 he switched from academic life at the University of East London to the private sector, where he has held positions in sales, product management, and business development, for Surveying and General Instrument Company, Kern, Leica, LH Systems, and Leica Geosystems, in England, Switzerland, and the U.S. He became product manager for SOCET SET in 1991, when Leica undertook worldwide distribution, joined BAE Systems in 2004 and is responsible for new directions in the development of SOCET GXP and enterprise software products.

(more…)

March 2011 | What's the buzz?

Automatic building extraction tool attracts technology innovators

Dr. Bingcai Zhang, GXP engineering fellow, was invited to speak at the University of Southern California’s Integrated Media Systems Center (IMSC) annual advisory board retreat on February 17, 2011.

His talk focused on automated 3-D object recognition from LIDAR point clouds, which is the research behind a new building extraction tool for SOCET GXP v4.0 that increases the productivity of geospatial data. The 3-D object recognition process generates city maps and site models and extends to the navigation of unmanned ground vehicles and aircraft.

According to Dr. Zhang, the new Automatic Feature Extraction tool (AFE), together with BAE Systems’ Next-Generation Automatic Terrain Extraction (NGATE) functionality, completes the next-generation photogrammetric automation system that the GXP R&D team began six years ago. NGATE uses a hybrid matching process to create precise elevation data for 3-D terrain and surface models and decreases manual editing time, resulting in shorter workflows. AFE automatically extracts 3-D buildings and houses using a digital surface model which can be from either LIDAR or NGATE. Automatic feature extraction is considered by many to be the Holy Grail in photogrammetry.

During the IMSC retreat, Bingcai fielded questions about his research from technology innovators, Facebook, Qualcomm, HP and IBM, who expressed an interest in geospatial technology. The fusion between geospatial information and social information could become the next new computing paradigm.

IMSC’s mission is to inspire and encourage students, faculty and industry to apply sophisticated IT techniques to designated geographical areas.

Learn more about 3-D object recognition from point clouds and
BAE Systems’ Automatic Feature Extraction tool.

December 2010 | What's the buzz?

GEOINT Symposium 2010: GXP Xplorer — Take command of your data universe

Recorded during the GEOINT 2010 Symposium last month, Dan London, vice president of sales, marketing and support for the Geospatial eXploitation Products business, discusses GXP Xplorer, a new data discovery and retrieval application from BAE Systems.

Get Flash to see this player.

He explains how GXP Xplorer is different from other products on the market today that require users to access multiple data stores. “Most systems out there are looking at building a super data store, and we all know that’s not realistic. There are multiple data stores that exist in the marketplace today, and it’s never going to happen where they’re all eliminated into one super data store” London says. “The product we built allows you to leave the imagery where it is, leave the data stores where they are and we simply catalog the data where it is so that the users can hit multiple data stores with one query.”

GXP Xplorer is ideal for military, DoD, intelligence and commercial customers, including map builders or others who have a large repository of maps, imagery, document files and other data.

Learn more about GXP Xplorer >>

GXP Xplorer

September 2010 | What's the buzz?

Rob Lacey joins BAE Systems as sales director for Asia, Australia, and
Pacific Rim

Rob Lacey

Rob Lacey

In August 2010, BAE Systems announced the appointment of Rob Lacey as the new GXP sales director for the Asia, Australia, and Pacific Rim (APAC) region, representing the GXP line of business.

Rob has an impressive geospatial-intelligence background working as a geospatial analyst and strategist for the Australian government. Early in his career, he was a GIS officer for Geoscience Australia where he developed natural disaster models in support of a disaster management program. Following his tenure at Geoscience Australia, Rob accepted a position with the Australian Department of Defence, Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation (DIGO). At DIGO, Rob conducted geospatial analysis for defense customers before assuming the role of Assistant Director of Data Management, where he established an enterprise-wide geospatial database to streamline internal business processes.

Subsequently, Rob was posted to Washington D.C. as the DIGO Technical Liaison working closely with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) on improving collaboration between DIGO and NGA.

Upon returning to Australia, Rob defined a DIGO geospatial strategy and future business model based on modernized Web-based architectural principles to improve the visibility and dissemination of geospatial information to DIGO customers. This work defined the future DIGO business model that will be implemented over the coming years.

Rob grew up in Canberra, Australia, where he received a Geology degree with Honors from the Australian National University. After further studies, he majored in Information Management and earned a graduate degree in Information Systems.

Rob has been busy attending industry events and meeting GXP customers in the APAC region. He can be contacted at Rob.Lacey@baesystems.com or +61 2 6229 1665.

September 2010 | What's the buzz?

New GXP customer portal set to debut in December

BAE Systems is pleased to announce the forthcoming launch of myGXP, the new GXP Customer Portal.

The self-service customer portal is an additional resource designed to provide GXP customers (with current upgrade entitlement) 24/7 access to GXP software account information. The BAE Systems GXP team developed the new site to optimize GXP customer support services. Using myGXP, you can:

  • Create and manage support requests
  • Download product literature
  • View and update contact information
  • Download exportable patches
  • Request software and licenses

Watch for your invitation and logon instructions coming soon!

June 2010 | What's the buzz?

Peter Gaska named “2010 eXtreme Analyst of the Year” at this year’s
BAE Systems GXP International User Conference and Professional Exchange

Peter Gaska named 2010 eXtreme Analyst of the Year

Conference exceeds expectations

Once again, BAE Systems’ annual GXP International User Conference and Professional Exchange was a big success. Nearly 300 participants — a record that exceeded expectations — attended the conference, held this past April at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines in San Diego. Attendees were impressed by the wealth of knowledge presented and found it beneficial to network with other users, while having technical staff available for questions. Information was exchanged throughout the workshops and product specialists encouraged attendees to offer input to improve software capabilities. Unclassified and classified briefings focused on use of in-field GXP products and real-world scenarios from users on the front lines.

During his keynote address, Kevin West, Deputy Director for ISR Enterprise Programs for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence at the Pentagon, discussed the importance of connecting users — including various government agencies, coalition partners, and individuals on the front lines — with real-time information sharing.

Another hot topic at the conference was the increase in video processing capabilities. Already an integral part of the geospatial-intelligence landscape, video data continues to become more widely available. GXP product specialists demonstrated current and upcoming video analysis capabilities, and conference attendees shared real-world workflow scenarios that helped BAE Systems better understand customer requirements for future product enhancements.

Debut of the ‘XA Cup’

At this year’s conference, the GXP team sought to find the most eXtreme Analyst (XA) of 2010. One lucky analyst walked away with product knowledge, insight, and the stunning silver “XA Cup” trophy. The XA Cup, new to the conference this year, is an exciting, interactive tournament that tests eXtreme Analysis skills. Contenders fired up their XA skills as they vied for the title of “2010 eXtreme Analyst of the Year” and bragging rights until the 2011 conference. Team GXP challenged competitors with a short quiz, trivia questions, and an online scavenger hunt. Those extreme enough to make it to the final round were given one final chance to show off their skills in the closing session. The finalists, Pete Gaska and Candida Allen, went head-to-head in the intense final game-show round. Audience members cheered on their favorite contenders as Pete and Candida competed against each other by answering questions, some humorous, posed by Team GXP, lending the audience comic relief from the extreme experience that is the XA Cup!

To win the title of 2010 eXtreme Analyst of the Year, finalists answered questions about XA processes, XA terminology and acronyms, and GXP history. The audience also joined in the fun as each finalist was given the option to use one lifeline to poll audience members during the final round of questions. The competition was exciting and entertaining, and in the end, Pete Gaska was named the 2010 eXtreme Analyst of the Year. The competition was stiff, but Pete pulled through and walked away the reigning champion. So from all of us on Team GXP, congratulations, Pete!

All in all, the 2010 conference offered knowledge, the ability to build relationships, exchange invaluable information — and plenty of amusement, proving that learning and fun can coexist. This year will be hard to top, but we hope that next year is even better. And more important, we hope to see you at the 2011 BAE Systems GXP International User Conference and Professional Exchange.

In the final round, Candida Allen challenged NGA collegue Pete Gaska for a chance at the title.
Congratulations to the top ten 2010 XA Cup competitors

June 2010 | What's the buzz?

The new generation of stereo monitors

Stereo monitors have come a long way in the past few years, spared mostly from the popularity of 3-D gaming and movies. Most everyone who views stereo imagery has had the joy of using a CRT either with the heavy and awkward active glasses or the very delicate Z-screen that covers the front of the CRT monitor. Although there are other viable, current stereo technology solutions available, this summary discusses the configuration and benefits associated with the new 120-Hz LCD monitor technology now available.

BAE Systems has been evaluating new technology for stereo viewing, and we are impressed with the resolution and cost of the stereo NVIDIA 3-D vision solution. This package includes an infrared (IR) emitter box and active glasses that are not heavy or awkward when used with a 120-Hz LCD monitor.

Tests included configuring workstations with two graphics cards. After initial troubleshooting and configuration changes, the NVDIA 3-D vision seems to be a solid solution.

Test one

HP Z800 workstation, 12 GB RAM, 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 operating system
NVIDIA Quadro FX 3800 graphics card with 1 GB of memory:

This graphics card requires the use of an additional three-pin adapter to sync with the IR emitter box. The FX3800 has one DVI output and one display port output that uses the display port to DVI adapter that came with the workstation to run a secondary monitor.

The 120-Hz LCD Samsung SyncMaster 2233RZ monitor was tested using this setup. This monitor has a very good resolution; I kept it at the recommended 1680 x 1050 resolution. To properly run the IR emitter box, the monitor comes with a USB cable for power and requires a three-pin adapter to sync with the graphics card. The active glasses are lightweight, with a battery that can be recharged by a USB cable from the workstation. This is a much more efficient solution than having the equivalent of enough batteries to power a small town’s energy consumption in your desk drawer, as required for the old active glasses.

The initial steps required to get this monitor configured for viewing stereo imagery in SOCET SET or SOCET GXP with the NVIDIA Quadro FX 3800 were difficult, but successful in a short amount of time. The following steps can be used to configure this workstation for stereo viewing:

  • Remove all the NVIDIA drivers on the workstation.
  • Restart the machine.
  • Install the 197.59_Quadro_win7_winvista_64bit_english_whql.exe driver.
  • Restart the machine.
  • Install the Quadro_3D_Vision_197.03_USB driver, which is important for allowing the IR emitter box to run properly.
  • Restart the machine.
  • Launch the NVIDIA control panel.
  • Select Manage 3-D settings.
  • Scroll down to Stereo-Enable and select On.
  • Directly above that is Stereo – Display mode; select On-board DIN connector (with NVIDIA IR Emitter).
  • Click Apply at the bottom and close the NVIDIA control panel.
  • At this point, you can launch either SOCET SET or SOCET GXP and load a stereo pair. You will notice that your IR emitter box has an icon that goes from dark green to bright green. This means that everything is working properly and you should be able to see stereo imagery through your NVIDIA active glasses.

Test two

HP xw8600 workstation, 8 GB RAM, 64-bit Windows Vista operating system
NVIDIA Quadro FX 3700 graphics card with 512 MB of memory:

This graphics card has a three-pin plug already built into the graphics card and dual DVI output. The dual DVI output can run two 120-Hz monitors at the same time; dual stereo monitors also are an option.

To configure a stereo setup on the HP xw8600 workstation, follow the steps as outlined above for the HP Z800 workstation. I used the same drivers and selected the same settings on the NVIDIA control panel to view stereo on a single monitor. To enable a dual monitor stereo configuration, a few extra settings must be selected on the NVIDIA control panel:

  • Select Change resolution and make sure the refresh rate is 120-Hz for both monitors.
  • Select Manage 3D settings and select Base profile under global presets.
  • Scroll down to Multi-display/mixed-GPU acceleration and select Compatibility performance mode.

These settings allow you to view the stereo imagery properly on both monitors. If this was not selected and it was left on the default Multiple display performance mode, it would show one stereo pair on one monitor as inverted and the other stereo pair as not inverted.

Graphics cards that support the new 120-MHZ LCD stereo viewing:
http://www.nvidia.com/object/quadro_pro_graphics_boards.html

Additional resources for 3-D vision drivers supported for SOCET SET and SOCET GXP:
http://www.socetgxp.com/content/support/knowledgebase/samsung-syncmaster-2233rz-120hz-lcd-hardware-drivers
http://www.socetgxp.com/content/?p=3655

Latest supported NVIDIA drivers for NVIDIA 3D Vision using SOCET SET and SOCET GXP:

  • NVIDIA Quadro FX series graphics drivers
  • Windows 7, Vista 64 bit – 197.59_Quadro_win7_winvista_64bit_english_whql.exe
  • Windows 7, Vista 32 bit – 197.59_Quadro_win7_winvista_32bit_english_whql.exe
  • Windows XP 64 bit – 197.59_Quadro_winxp_64bit_english_whql.exe
  • Windows XP 32 bit – 197.59_Quadro_winxp_32bit_english_whql.exe
  • NVIDIA 3D Vision USB drivers
  • All Windows Operating Systems 32 or 64 bit use – Quadro_3D_Vision_197.03_USB_driver.exe

To ensure you have the correct graphics card to run 3-D vision, please refer to http://www.nvidia.com/object/quadro_pro_graphics_boards.html, which identifies the Quadro FX graphics cards that support 120-Hz stereo.

Current supported drivers for SOCET SET and SOCET GXP are on our FTP site. To gain access to these drivers, please fill out the FTP request form:
http://www.socetgxp.com/content/support/request-for-ftp-site-access

Please state “NVIDIA 3D vision drivers” and the operating system you are running in the comments section of the form. For example, “NVIDIA 3D vision drivers using Windows XP 64 bit.”

I hope this helps alleviate some of the stress involved in getting new stereo monitors configured for use with SOCET SET and SOCET GXP. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact a customer support representative at 877 762 3873 or socetgxp.support@baesystems.com.

March 2010 | What's the buzz?

Coming soon: GXP Xplorer™

GXP Xplorer is a new BAE Systems software product that makes it easy to find and share geospatial data on a local network and across an enterprise. The application is ideal for users in work groups who are searching for images, terrain, features, videos, documents, and other files.

The GXP Xplorer Web application is a Web site that allows role-based access to catalog, search, view, and retrieve geospatial products and documents.

The GXP Xplorer Desktop application uses the Microsoft® Office 2007 Ribbon technology to optimize user experience. Search results display in the map for products that are geotagged. Results show up with an outline of the rectangular footprint of the product.

GXP Xplorer offers two options for working with, managing, and sharing data. GXP Xplorer Desktop is installed on a local workstation, and has the same look and feel as SOCET GXP®, which uses the Microsoft® Office 2007 Ribbon user interface. GXP Xplorer Server is an enterprise solution with convenient access through a Web browser and shares a similar user interface as GXP Xplorer Desktop.

Both products provide data views such as footprints overlaid on a map, thumbnails, metadata, video tags, and a viewer to examine data at full resolution. Analysts can search data temporally, spatially, and by textual attributes. Data is selectable and color-coded by type, such as image format or sensor, for quick visual identification. Selection within dense data sets is simplified with a flip tool and an add-to-cart capability. GXP Xplorer saves search information for repeat searches.

Geotagged search results are displayed graphically on a map with supporting text and thumbnail images. A data viewer is included for examining and selecting data for use in other applications. Data can be discovered and shared by many users across an enterprise.

GXP Xplorer is a SOCET GXP® add-on module. It also is available as a stand-alone application.

GXP Xplorer features at a glance

  • Discovers all data types from multiple sources and fuses them into a single, common picture.
  • Searches using freely entered text — as popular search engines do — with no need to know data schema or build queries.
  • Executes advanced searches such as spatial bounding box, polygon, radius, temporal, by attribute, and within documents.
  • Performs federated searches from multiple GXP Xplorer catalogs and other data sources. Users can order data that is not on the local network.
  • Automatically catalogs any file or document in specified file system folders based on file extension.
  • Generates PowerPoint® slides of on-screen data.
  • Reads and catalogs the formats analysts require.
  • Uses a modern architecture composed of services, plug-ins, and XML tools to add new data formats.
  • Interfaces with Google Earth and other applications using KML and GeoRSS.
  • Adds and updates geotags and metadata from permitted users.
  • Downloads data whenever it becomes available based on search subscriptions and indicates when search is complete.
  • Chips and reformats data for delivery. Option for JPIP streaming.
  • Supports Microsoft® Windows® Server, XP, Vista®, and Windows 7. Other platforms may be supported in the future.

To see a GXP Xplorer demonstration, or to learn more about the application, contact a sales representative in your region.

March 2010 | What's the buzz?

Targeting operator certification

Representing more than 25 years of development, BAE Systems’ CGS program is the Department of Defense standard for precision targeting, geopositioning services, and photogrammetric applications.

Representing more than 25 years of development, BAE Systems’ CGS program is the Department of Defense standard for precision targeting, geopositioning services, and photogrammetric applications.

The U.S. Air Force Precise Point Positioning Program received program accreditation from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in October of 2009 to train and certify Air Force intelligence personnel in precise point mensuration. Certification authorizes analysts to calculate geocoordinate and elevation data for coordinate-seeking weapons using SOCET GXP® and Common Geopositioning Services (CGS).

CGS combines with SOCET GXP to provide an all-source precision geolocation capability with reliable and accurate 3-D coordinates and statistically valid error estimates. CGS merges commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) and government off-the-shelf (GOTS) software applications for UNIX® and Windows® platforms for precision geopositioning services in defense and intelligence applications. Using SOCET GXP as the integrated viewer, CGS can deploy as a stand-alone targeting workstation, setting the standard for target-location error determination.

CGS delivers standard GOTS applications that integrate with various services-based architecture systems such as Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS)-Navy, DCGS-Army, Global Command and Control System – Imagery and Intelligence Information and DCGS-Air Force 10.2. Its applications also work with COTS and GOTS electronic light-table applications and viewers, and with targeting; command and control; and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems.

Read more about CGS >>

December 2009 | What's the buzz?

BAE Systems announces new batch licensing policy to increase productivity

BAE Systems has implemented a new licensing plan for SOCET SET and SOCET GXP

BAE Systems has implemented a new licensing plan for SOCET SET® and SOCET GXP®. Customers can increase productivity for computationally intensive processes, including automatic point measurement in triangulation, orthorectification, mosaicking, and automatic terrain generation.

The new license scheme makes it possible to run up to four concurrent processes with one license instead of the previous two. For example, one Next-Generation Automatic Terrain Extraction license is equivalent to four batch processing licenses, which allows for concurrent processing on four processors with one computer, or on multiple computers in the license server network. To request a license, please complete the Request support form online, or contact the customer support representative in your region for additional details.

March 2009 | What's the buzz?

BAE Systems responds to increased demands for geospatial-intelligence software training

Due to growing interest in SOCET GXP software, BAE Systems is expanding its training centers to cover all U.S. geographic regions.

Due to growing interest in SOCET GXP® software, BAE Systems is expanding its training centers to cover all U.S. geographic regions. “We have been swamped with requests for more information about SOCET GXP” said Nikki Spirakis, senior systems engineer and newly appointed training manager for the Geospatial eXploitation Products (GXP) business. “Everyone wants to know what it’s all about and what it can do.”

In addition to the Reston, Virginia, office, new training facilities in Tampa, St. Louis, Denver, and San Diego will make it convenient for software users across the country to participate in hands-on training using stereo workstations for both SOCET GXP and SOCET SET.

GXP also offers on-site customer training and in-field training for government field analysts overseas. Several U.S. military bases and commands have implemented training programs for BAE Systems’ software to prepare troops for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. BAE Systems provides geospatial-intelligence training for military intelligence schoolhouse programs including Fort Huachuca in Arizona, Goodfellow Air Force Base, San Angelo, Texas, and the Iraq Intelligence and Military Security School in Taji, Iraq.

SOCET GXP® v3.0 software gives infrastructure managers, first responders, and deployed forces wide-ranging new tools for operational planning, change detection, and situational analysis.

New training facility at BAE Systems' Tampa, FL office.

New training facility at BAE Systems' Tampa, FL office.

BAE Systems unclassified software training at a glance

Course Duration Cost Locations Content
SOCET GXP for the
geospatial analyst
3 days Free Reston, Tampa, St. Louis, Denver, San Diego Fundamentals, including: Workspace Manager overview, VCT, image manipulation, Multiports, image registration and comparison, graphics, templates, Finishing Tool, customizing SOCET GXP, triangulation, terrain generation and editing, orthomosaic generation
Introduction to SOCET GXP 1 day Free Reston, Tampa, St. Louis, Denver, San Diego Fundamentals, including: Workspace Manager overview, VCT, image manipulation, Multiports, image registration and comparison, graphics, templates, Finishing Tool, customizing SOCET GXP, triangulation, terrain generation and editing, orthomosaic generation
Optional topics: multispectral processing, stereo viewing, SPIA tags, flythrough, mosaic, terrain visualization, SOCET GXP system administration
SOCET SET 4 days $2,000 Reston, Tampa, St. Louis, Denver, San Diego Image import and enhancement, triangulation, DEM creation and editing, orthomosaic creation, feature extraction

Additional classes are added regularly. Click here to register and learn more about BAE Systems software training.

December 2008 | What's the buzz?

Free SOCET GXP® open house: learn about the product that created a buzz at this year’s GEOINT conference

Become an XA.

Become an XA.


BAE Systems is hosting a free open house to introduce the new eXtreme Analysis™ (XA) workflows available in SOCET GXP® v3.0. XA empowers users to satisfy analysis and mapping tasks quickly and efficiently, reducing the dependency on multiple tools. Real-time image analysis, triangulation, terrain model generation, orthorectification, and mosaicking can be accomplished using SOCET GXP’s pushbutton functionality.

BAE Systems SOCET GXP® open house
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
BAE Systems auditorium
11487 Sunset Hills Road, Reston, Virginia 20910

Photo identification is required for entry into the BAE Systems facility. Foreign visitors will be approved for entrance with photo identification and completion of additional paperwork upon arrival.

The day will be divided into two identical sessions. The briefings present an overview of key software capabilities and insight into how to implement SOCET GXP in the work environment. All presentations are unclassified and lunch is provided.

Preliminary schedule

Morning session: 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

8 to 8:30  |  Opening remarks and introduction to SOCET GXP v3.0
8:30 to 9:15  |  Demonstration: SOCET GXP v3.0 for the IA
9:15 to 9:30  |  15-minute break
9:30 to 10:15  |  Demonstration: SOCET GXP v3.0 for the GA
10:15 to 10:30  |  Demonstration: ArcGIS® connectivity
10:30 to 10:45  |  15-minute break
10:45 to 11  |  Demonstration: Web feature and map services
11 to 11:30  |  Preview of SOCET GXP v3.1 with Q&A

Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Afternoon session: 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

1 to 1:30  |  Opening remarks and introduction to SOCET GXP v3.0
1:30 to 2:15  |  Demonstration: SOCET GXP v3.0 for the IA
2:15 to 2:30  |  15-minute break
2:30 to 3:15  |  Demonstration: SOCET GXP v3.0 for the GA
3:15 to 3:30  |  Demonstration: ArcGIS® connectivity
3:30 to 3:45  |  15-minute break
3:45 to 4  |  Demonstration: Web feature and map services
4 to 4:30  |  Preview: SOCET GXP v3.1 with Q&A

Click here to register for the free, unclassified SOCET GXP Open House.

Directions to the SOCET GXP Open House:
www.socetgxp.com/docs/contact/bae_map_reston.pdf

September 2008 | What's the buzz?

eXtreme Analysis™ with SOCET GXP®

eXtreme Analysis

eXtreme Analysis™ (XA™) is the ability to use one intuitive application for image analysis, mapping, geospatial production, and 3-D visualization.

XA can be accomplished with a single application that employs a ground coordinate system to record latitude, longitude, and elevation data, eliminating the need for manual registration. Automated, user-defined workflows characterize the application, eliminating excessive time spent on laborious tasks.

Become an XA with SOCET GXP

eXtreme Analyst

The eXtreme Analyst™ (XA™) is capable of completing a wide range of complex image analysis, geospatial analysis, photogrammetric, and mapping tasks using a single application. Previously, multiple specialized software packages had to be used.

The XA has direct access to geospatial databases to store and retrieve features; a link to Google Earth™  for enhanced situational awareness; and the capability to create and transmit geospatial data products to colleagues, field commanders, and operation control centers from the convenience of a desktop or laptop computer.

Increasingly, image and geospatial analysis workflows are being integrated. Image analysts need the capability to extract accurate geospatial information, while geospatial analysts require additional analysis resources and increased ease of use. BAE Systems has listened to users who must learn multiple applications to complete their tasks; SOCET GXP® was built to address these issues. eXtreme Analysts use SOCET GXP to manage geospatial information and build GEOINT and mapping products. The intuitive interface, automated processes, and customization options give organizations and users maximum control.

XAs have the best of both worlds — image analysis and geospatial analysis combined in a single application — SOCET GXP.

June 2008 | What's the buzz?

New plug-and-play trackballs for SOCET SET/SOCET GXP offer USB connectivity

ITAC Systems' $200 3D input trackballs for SOCET SET and SOCET GXP have USB connectivity — no drivers to install or support.

ITAC Systems' $200 3D input trackballs for SOCET SET and SOCET GXP have USB connectivity — no drivers to install or support.

ITAC Systems, Inc., developer and manufacturer of trackballs and other computer input devices, has designed two custom USB compatible trackballs for SOCET SET and SOCET GXP stereo workstations. Jim McKinney, vice president of sales for ITAC Systems, unveiled the new evolution
Fx-Scroll for SOCET GXP and evolution Fx-Scroll for SOCET SET trackballs at the 2008 GXP International User Conference last month in San Diego. The new evolution Fx-Scroll products are part of the Mouse-Trak® product line, popular on BAE Systems’ computer workstations for many years, and the only products on the market that offer direct USB connectivity for SOCET SET and SOCET GXP.

Mouse-Trak trackballs give users who spend many hours a day navigating large maps and images an alternative to the typical PC mouse. They are designed to compliment a standard mouse or trackball and provide powerful z-axis control, as well as six programmable keyboard function keys for application-specific tasks. The programmable trackball keys let users map frequently used functions with any of the six keys, and the ergonomic design eliminates the need for repetitive side-to-side motion, which helps reduce stress and injuries to hands, wrists and arms. The evolution Fx-Scroll sits on the desk under one hand, leaving the other hand free for standard mouse and keyboard activity.

“These new evolution Fx-scroll trackballs are going to make a lot of our users very happy.
You just plug them in and they’re ready to go.”

—Rob Stout, Product Manager, BAE Systems GXP

The smooth z-axis control, rugged construction, and economical price are favored by many customers worldwide. In addition, Mouse-Trak devices are reliable, and perform well in harsh environments. The evolution Fx-Scroll for SOCET GXP and evolution Fx-Scroll for SOCET SET, both designed for optimum productivity and ease of use, each sell for $200, which makes them a cost-effective option for secondary mouse navigation on stereo workstations.

Because Mouse-Trak input devices are convenient and easy to operate, many companies such as United Airlines, Motorola, Morgan Stanley, Intel, and Sun Microsystems have implemented similar Mouse-Trak products in their work environments.

About ITAC Systems, Inc.

ITAC Systems, Inc. provides standard and custom trackballs in addition to other input devices for a variety of applications and environments. For more information please visit: http://www.itacsystems.com/inlink.cfm?ref=126

ITAC Systems, Inc offers USB models for different operational environments: office environments, less pristine forward areas, and the dirty, dusty field. All models provide smooth z-axis control, function keys, and require no driver installation.

ITAC Systems USB trackball models
Office desktops Industrial desktops Rugged field areas
evolution Fx-Scroll
for SOCET SET

evolution Fx-Scroll
for SOCET GXP

Industrial Fx-Scroll
for SOCET SET

Industrial Fx-Scroll
for SOCET GXP

HAND-TRAK Fx-Scroll for
SOCET SET

HAND-TRAK Fx-Scroll
for SOCET GXP

  • Designed to complement a standard mouse or trackball
  • Six keyboard function keys, all quickly and easily assigned in SOCET SET or SOCET GXP
  • Powerful z-axis control
  • Designed to complement a standard mouse or trackball
  • Four keyboard function keys, all quickly and easily assigned in SOCET SET or SOCET GXP
  • Smooth, fast z-axis control
  • Optional dust ring to install in dusty locations
  • Built with Mouse-Trak Industrial trackball mechanical parts
  • Suitable for use in forward areas
  • Designed to complement a standard mouse or trackball
  • Three keyboard function keys, all quickly and easily assigned in SOCET SET or SOCET GXP
  • Smooth, fast z-axis control
  • Sealed (NEMA 4, IP66 rated)
  • Very small footprint
  • Suitable in high g-force operational surroundings
  • No cursor drift due to vibration
  • Dimmable for low light applications

March 2008 | What's the buzz?

Stereo monitors: a candid review

Since the days of mammoth sized CRT monitors appear to be numbered, how in the world am I supposed to view stereo imagery?

Now that many companies are reporting that they are no longer producing CRT monitors, many GXP users are asking the same question. Fear not, my fellow stereo viewing geospatial types; all is not lost.

Over the past few months, I have had the opportunity to try out several different stereo display options in the hope of finding that one special monitor I call the “Holy Grail” of stereo monitors. This special monitor should have the following qualities:

  • light weight
  • flat panel
  • high-resolution
  • easy to set up and configure
  • work well when roaming, or in mono mode

In addition, the monitor should not require a separate apparatus such as synch box, ZScreen or active glasses. Last but not least, I should not have to take out a second mortgage to pay for it.

You may be thinking to yourself that I should be committed for believing a monitor like the one described above could exist. You may be right; but I set out to prove that such a monitor was a reality and I’m happy to report…it sort of is.

The stereo displays I evaluated include: Planar, MacNaughton, MiraCube, and True3di. Ratings are based on ease of use, set up/configuration, display/performance and cost. Each stereo display is given a number based on the following rating system:

Holy Grail criteria

5 = best
1 = least desirable

Note: All prices are approximate; contact the manufacturer for exact pricing.

Stereo displays reviewed

Planar

Planar SD01710 17-inch LCD display

Planar SD01710 17-inch LCD display

Model reviewed: Planar SD01710 17″ LCD Display
Other models available: 20″ SD2020, 24″ SD2420W, 26″ SD2620W
Price: Approximately $4,000 for model reviewed
Specifications and additional stereo display models can be found at:
http://www.planar3d.com/3d-products/

The Planar monitor uses two LCD flat panels with a semi-reflecting mirror at a diagonal between them. A special pair of polarized glasses is used to view in stereo. The Planar monitor requires a computer that contains dual PCI Express slots (if dual screen display is required) and the ability to hold a separate stereo flip card. The benefit is increased resolution for each monitor because each is run off an individual video card, provided by Planar. The display performance is also excellent; graphics appear clean and crisp. In addition, there does not seem to be any lag or other issues when roaming over imagery.

The Planar system can be more difficult to set up compared to some of the other options below, which is primarily due to the need for additional hardware. However, once properly configured and set up, the Planar monitor is easy to use, and the LCD displays are bright enough to allow stereo viewing even in a well lit environment.

RATING

Ease of use: 4
Setup/configuration: 2
Display/performance: 5
Cost: 2
Total score: 13

MacNaughton

McNaughton Perceiva 19-inch LCD display

McNaughton Perceiva 19-inch LCD display

Model reviewed: Perceiva DSD190 19″ LCD Display
Other models available: N/A
Price: Approximately $6,500 for model reviewed
Specifications for this display can be found at:
http://www.nuvision3d.com/download/Perceiva%20sheet-corp-mid.pdf

The Perceiva stereo display is an all-in-one unit containing a synch box and two LCD displays. However, the total size of the monitor is much smaller and lighter than a CRT monitor. The Perceiva has a flat screen which is very bright, making stereo viewing in lighted areas easy. A benefit of this monitor is the wide angle of view; you do not have to be directly in front of the monitor or at a certain height to see stereo. Additionally, set up is a breeze; only one stereo enabled video card is required, along with the choice of using one DVI or VGA input.

The monitor can cost more than some other options; however, there is no need for additional hardware. The light source within this monitor is very bright, which means it will get extremely hot. Imagery can look somewhat grainy in mono mode when compared to standard flat panels, but when in stereo mode, the monitor performs well. Lastly, when roaming around an image, it can appear to blur more when compared to roaming on a standard flat panel.

RATING

Ease of use: 5
Setup/configuration: 4
Display/performance: 3
Cost: 1
Total score: 13

MiraCube

MiraCube G240S 24-inch LCD Display

MiraCube G240S 24-inch LCD Display

Model reviewed: G240S 24″ LCD Display
Other models available: 31″ G320S, 19″ C190X, 19″ C190S
Price: Approximately $4000 for model reviewed
Specifications can be found at:
http://www.miracube.net/product/

The MiraCube stereo display has a 24″ glossy screen and looks like a standard 24” flat panel monitor. One of the best features of this monitor is how easy set up and configuration is; simply plug the monitor in and make sure the video card has been stereo enabled.

There are four stereo input modes to choose from: sequential frame, interlaced, and two-sub-field formats (images displayed side-by-side or top-to-bottom). SOCET SET uses sequential frame-to-display stereo. The monitor resolution must be set to 1900X1200 to display stereo. No matter what the input stereo format is, the monitor will reformat the video output to be horizontally interlaced, dropping the resolution to 1900X600 when displaying stereo. The reduction in resolution is not very noticeable when viewing imagery. The view is similar to that of the MacNaughton Perceiva monitors, with a slight graininess.

The interlacing method has a profound effect on graphics. Thin lines, those only one pixel wide, tend to look more like dashed lines than solid lines. Making the graphics thick alleviates part of the problem. The interlacing can also affect the cursor display by occasionally dropping the horizontal parts of the cross hair. Despite these deficiencies, the monitor proves sufficient for simple feature extraction and terrain editing.

The monitor has a fairly small sweet spot (six-degrees viewing angle), making it suitable for a single analyst, however, two people would have a hard time seeing stereo. When you venture too far out of the sweet spot, the image appears in pseudo-stereo.

RATING

Ease of use: 2
Setup/configuration: 5
Display/performance: 2
Cost: 3
Total score: 12

True3Di

True3Di 19-inch display

True3Di 19-inch display

Model reviewed: 19″ True3Di
Other models available: 40″, 24″ and 8″ versions
Price: Approximately $4,000 for model reviewed
Specifications can be found at:
http://www.true3di.com/content/products.htm

This stereo display is very similar to the Planar setup; it contains two LCD monitors with polarized glass set at a diagonal between them. These LCD displays are housed within a single case making the monitor about as large and heavy as a standard CRT. Moreover, if you wish to run a second monitor such as a standard flat panel, a second video card is required on the machine. There is no need for an additional flip card as that is done within the True3Di display.

Since this stereo display uses two independent LCD monitors, the resolution is very good and the display performance is excellent. Roaming around an image is smooth, and viewing stereo in a lighted room is easy. The display is slightly harder to set up due to problems with the documentation; however, we have been in contact with the manufacturer and they are working on improving this. Once set up and configured, the display is easy to use. The stereo image appears to be at the back of a tunnel due to the fact that both LCDs are inside a case. This tunnel-like effect may take some time getting used to; but it does not seem to have any influence on production.

RATING

Ease of use: 2
Setup/configuration: 2
Display/performance: 5
Cost: 3
Total score: 12

Conclusion

The stereo displays featured in this review may not fit perfectly into the description for “Holy Grail” of stereo monitors; however, depending on the work environment and the products produced, any one of these displays provides an excellent alternative to the near-extinct dinosaur, CRT-asaurus.

Stay tuned. When I find the Holy Grail I will spread the word.

Note: Some of these vendors will be exhibiting at our forthcoming User Conference. I invite you to come and try these stereo displays, and decide for yourself the best possible CRT replacement.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at socetgxp.support@baesystems.com.

December 2007 | What's the buzz?

San Diego fires threaten Rancho Bernardo campus

A special thanks to all of our valued customers, industry partners, and colleagues for your concern and well wishes during the recent southern California fires this past October. All of us here in San Diego watched in horror as the flames, spread by extreme Santa Ana winds, threatened much of San Diego and nearby counties. We are grateful for the dedicated responders, relief agencies, and citizens who cooperated to limit the loss of life and property during these widespread fires. We are also proud of our company. BAE Systems announced a three-pronged approach to support employees, the relief efforts, and the first responders. This support illustrates an ongoing commitment to the local community, which is demonstrated year after year.

BAE Systems made a $100,000 donation to the American Red Cross’ Natural Disaster Relief Fund. The company also made a $50,000 donation to the California-based Fire Services Training Institute which was identified as the preferred beneficiary by the California State Firefighters’ Association. The Fire Services Training Institute is a California-based non-profit with the primary mission of bringing quality training to firefighters and promoting firefighter safety.

September 2007 | What's the buzz?

New ITE algorithms provide basis for bare earth tools in SOCET SET®

In many applications, customers need a bare earth digital terrain model/digital elevation model (DTM/DEM). SOCET SET’s NGATE and ATE modules generate a digital surface model (DSM), which has points on top of trees and buildings. Customers spend a significant amount of time editing these points down to the bare earth. Some customers spend as much as 65% of their DTM production budget on editing. To address this need for efficient editing, we have developed six new bare earth tools, which will be available in SOCET SET v5.4.1 later this fall. The six tools employ new filtering algorithms to create bare earth surfaces over areas with dense tree canopies, and urban areas with trees and buildings. The bare earth tools also help in the editing of small objects such as dense grassland and brush, by removing anomalous spikes and wells based on terrain histogram profiling. In SOCET SET v5.4.1, these six new tools are part of the Interactive Terrain Editing (ITE) module. In future releases, bare earth tools will be integrated with NGATE for generating DSMs, DEMs or both.

September 2007 | What's the buzz?

BAE Systems develops leading-edge tools for image analysis and change detection integrated with GOOGLE Earth and ESRI® geodatabase

Software link-up with Google Earth helps military mission planners

Connect to Google Earth with SOCET GXP

Connect to Google Earth with SOCET GXP

A new version of BAE Systems’ image analysis and mapping software enables analysts to evaluate and share intelligence data more effectively by integrating with Google Earth, and the ESRI geodatabase. SOCET GXP v2.3, available in September, interacts with Google Earth in real time for quick, 3D color visualization and gives geospatial context to objects of interest, resulting in enhanced intelligence for mission planning. With additional tools for detecting changes from one day to the next, analysts can anticipate conditions such as rough terrain or collapsed bridges and pinpoint operational routes more accurately.

It also provides a direct connection to the ESRI geodatabase, the Environmental Systems Research Institute’s common data storage and management framework. Connection with the database allows users to work with data over secure networks for accurate, timely analysis.

An image of a location in San Diego Bay is synchronized between Google Earth (right image) and SOCET GXP interface (left image). The thin green line outlines the area of interest the user is working with, which is shown in the SOCET GXP window.

An image of a location in San Diego Bay is synchronized between Google Earth (right image) and SOCET GXP interface (left image). The thin green line outlines the area of interest the user is working with, which is shown in the SOCET GXP window.

“Out in the field, where SOCET GXP is used to make quick decisions, efficiency and accuracy are crucial,” said Dan London, BAE Systems’ vice president for Geospatial eXploitation Products. “With the integration of Google Earth and ESRI database, SOCET GXP transforms data into usable intelligence.”

The SOCET GXP upgrade enables analysts to use familiar tools and universal file formats to edit, store, and retrieve information, avoiding time-consuming searches for hard-copy reports. The application also supports the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Spatially Enabled Exploitation initiative to standardize image data formats for optimal information sharing across global networks. The application produces image graphics – such as roads, buildings, and targets – using a ground coordinate system that records latitude, longitude, and elevation data, eliminating the need for manual registration.

SOCET GXP v2.3 runs on Microsoft® Windows and UNIX® Solaris 8, 9, and 10 operating systems and supports ground space graphics for a wide range of government and commercial sources.

February 2007 | What's the buzz?

Mark your calendars, and register now!

2007 BAE Systems GXP International User Conference
March 26 – 30, 2007
Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines
San Diego, California

Master classes offered

During the 2007 Conference we will debut our master level software classes, designed for experienced SOCET SET and SOCET GXP® users. Following the success of this optional activity last year, we will offer users the opportunity to work closely with our most knowledgeable and experienced instructors.

Classes include details of new functionality, workflows, tips and tricks. Most importantly, registrants will be contacted before the Conference and asked about compelling topics to cover. After reviewing the input we receive, the program will be tailored according to the feedback, and adequate time will be allowed for impromptu discussions based on popular topics. Class materials will be distributed to all attendees.

For more information, visit our website: www.gxpuserconference.com.

2007 BAE Systems GXP International User Conference

2007 BAE Systems GXP International User Conference

Conference highlights

  • New features for SOCET SET v5.4 and SOCET GXP v2.3
  • Preview of SOCET GXP v3.0
  • Focused, hands-on product workshops
  • Software workflow presentations
  • Special sessions for government and classified customers
  • Social activities and networking events

September 2006 | What's the buzz?

Airborne Digital Imagers: An Overview & Analysis

On behalf of BAE Systems, Stewart Walker attended the ISPRS Commission I Symposium, in Paris, France, in early July, and gave a joint paper with Gordon Petrie of the University of Glasgow-a regular contributor to the European journal GeoInformatics. The paper, “Airborne Digital Imagers: An Overview & Analysis” covered hardware, software and industry trends.

It was clear during the Symposium that the airborne digital imagers that have attracted so much attention over the last six years are now fully operational and selling well. There are perhaps 120 systems from the three best known suppliers in use, plus an even larger number of medium-format single- and multiple-camera systems of many different types from numerous suppliers. Experts are reviewing issues such as calibration, triangulation and systematic image distortions, but the critical trend is that we have moved forward from talking about the basics of the new systems to reviewing their performance and potential. The airborne digital imager, sensor or camera, is here to stay.

There is abundant evidence of superb image quality and the capability of the new systems to serve as the basis of workflows leading to timely and compliant deliverables. There is some suggestion that results equivalent to or better than those from scanned film can be obtained even with larger pixel sizes, though not yet enough examples to induce new guidelines or principles. Similarly, it is too early to judge the effect of the new imagery on the success of operations such as image matching. And of course return on investment is a complex, longer-term issue that will become clearer in the months to come.

Immediately after ISPRS Commission I, Walker took part in a meeting of the Geospatial Data Acquisition Technologies in Design and Construction Committee of the Transportation Research Board, held in Port Angeles, WA. The meeting addressed many topics, but the most captivating moments were spent participating in a discussion on the future of the aerial film camera.

The Committee has many members from various Departments of Transportation (DOTs), the State level bodies responsible for highways in the U.S., which have been prime movers in the development of U.S. photogrammetry over the years. Concern was expressed that the days of the aerial film camera are numbered. People are worried, for example, that it will soon become difficult to obtain the cameras themselves, or spare parts, or technicians with the skills to assemble and install them. They are worried that films, chemicals and papers may become unavailable.

The suppliers would say otherwise: film cameras are readily available for purchase, as are spares and supplies. It is true that users of the new digital cameras are allocating as much work as possible to them, so some film cameras are seeing less use than before, but it seems certain that our industry, with its customary ingenuity and search for efficiency, will use film and digital methods in the optimal combination for many years to come. We are in the midst of healthy debate, but the underlying process is evolutionary rather than cataclysmic.