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Exelis VIS at the ESIP Federation Summer Meeting

ENVI & IDL Services Engine provides advanced web services for EO data

Thomas Harris

Thomas Harris (@t_harris) here, reporting in from the ESIP Summer Meeting in Frisco, CO.


The Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) is an open networked community that brings together science, data, and information technology practitioners. ESIP is a rapidly growing organization, doing great work promoting a vibrant community around Earth observation.


This week, I’ve been presenting a handful of projects VIS has been working on with collaborators in the Earth observation community, applying ENVI & IDL Services Engine to solve problems in data access and usability by providing online ENVI & IDL analytical capabilities as web services. The diversity of these projects speaks to the power and flexibility of ENVI & IDL Services Engine.


All of these applications highlight the potential value of ENVI & IDL Services Engine to organizations managing large amounts of Earth observation data. Existing IDL code, that may have been developed over decades in support of specific EO missions, can easily be deployed as web services, providing advanced algorithms for working with specific data types to a global audience.


A great example comes from James Goodman at HySpeed Computing who’s been using the ENVI & IDL Services Engine to develop the HICO Online Processing System, a cloud computing system that will provide online, on-demand, scalable remote sensing image processing capabilities. The HICO Online Processing System is funded by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), and uses imagery from The Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO), an imaging spectrometer that is flying on the International Space Station (ISS), and that's optimized for acquisition of aquatic targets. HICO data is archived and distributed by the Ocean Color team at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. HySpeed Computing was able to easily create web services for a collection of coastal remote sensing algorithms that had been written over a number of years in IDL for deriving information on water properties, water depth, and habitat characteristics. The ENVI & IDL Services Engine allowed HySpeed to deploy the IDL applications to a global community of HICO data users via the web.  Be sure to contact me (Thomas.harris@exelisinc.com) if you’re interested in beta testing the HICO Online Processing System when it goes live via a site hosted on the Amazon Cloud. Click below to check out a poster describing the system.



Joe Lee from the HDFGroup built an on-line processing engine for working with and visualizing NASA Hierarchical Data Format (HDF) data. The HDF Group provides a unique suite of technologies and supporting services that make possible the management of large and complex data collections. The HDFGroup mission is to advance and support Hierarchical Data Format (HDF) technologies, ensuring long-term access to HDF data. The HDFGroup developed NASA HDF-EOS data visualization web services from existing IDL codes, and deployed the services within the the HDFGroup web enterprise. The ENVI & IDL Services Engine works behind the scenes to execute the NASA HDF-EOS visualization application, and creates a visualization that can be displayed on a desktop, across an enterprise, or on any device that has access to the World Wide Web. Check out Joe’s presentation by clicking on the image below. 



Martin Landsfeld and Bruce Caron from New Media Research created an open source Drupal module for interfacing with ENVI & IDLServices Engine. Their work provides a way for users of ENVI & IDL Services Engine to easily build a Drupal client interface that can be used to present IDL visualizations to users across the web. New Media Research is pointing the way forward for all those researchers who have IDL-based algorithms for working with specific data types, and who want to share those algorithms with a broader user community via the web. For example, the web site implemented by Marty and Bruce uses data from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura spacecraft, and provides users on the World Wide Web a way to interact with these data. If you’re interested in building a web client interface for interacting with ENVI & IDL Services Engine, consider the Drupal framework and extending the IDL/ENVI Bridge Module (1.0) from Science on Drupal Central. Check out a PDF of their poster by clicking on the image below.





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