ENVI 5.5.1 Release Notes

This article contains release notes for ENVI 5.5.1. See the following sections:

Supported Platforms

Refer to Platform Support for ENVI 5.5.1 and IDL 8.7.1.

New Features

This software release includes the new and enhanced features listed below.

Note: You can update to ENVI 5.5.1 from the previous release without needing to reactivate your license entitlement. We have resolved a number of licensing issues in this release, and we want to share the new features and those improvements in a seamless manner. 

Supported Data Types

ENVI supports the following sensors and data types:

  • Alsat-1B
  • FormoSat-5
  • PlanetScope reflectance imagery
  • Updates to Sentinel-2 metadata

When saving an image to Compressed ARC Digitized Raster Graphics (CADRG) format, you can specify the Originating Station ID and Originator's Name from the associated NITF metadata. Color quantization has also been improved in CADRG output.

ArcGIS Integration

ENVI 5.5.1 now supports ArcGIS® version 10.6 in addition to 10.5.

ENVI Py 1.1 provides support for the following data types in ArcGIS: ENVIRASTERARRAY, ENVIROI, ENVIROIARRAY, and ENVIURIARRAY. As a result, the following ENVITasks can be deployed as standalone tools in ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro. See the Running ENVI Analytics in ArcGIS Pro tutorial to learn more:

  • ENVIBuildMosaicRasterTask
  • ENVIDiceRasterByDistanceTask
  • ENVIDiceRasterByPixelTask
  • ENVIDiceRasterByTileCountTask
  • ENVIDiceRasterByVectorTask
  • ENVIROIMaskRasterTask
  • ENVIROIToClassificationTask
  • ENVIVectorAttributeToROIsTask
  • ENVIVectorRecordsToROITask
  • ENVIVectorRecordsToSeparateROITask

Topographic Shading Tool

Use the Topographic Shading Tool to blend a color representation of a digital elevation model (DEM) with a topographic feature. Examples of topographic features include shaded relief, slope, aspect, and derivatives of slope and aspect. The result is an image that provides a better visual representation of the shape and texture of topographic features than using the DEM alone. A common use is to blend a colored DEM with a shaded relief image to produce a hillshade image that emphasizes terrain relief.

You can preview the resulting image as you adjust settings for the DEM, topographic features, and the level of blending. Then you can save the result to an ENVI-format image with the same spatial resolution as the input DEM. The resulting image can be used for visualization and presentation.

See the Topographic Shading help topic for more information.

Contour Lines

Use the New Contour Layer menu option to display contour lines on a single-band image. This option provides a quick way to display contour lines in the current view, using a reduced-resolution version of the image to approximate the contour lines. Or, use the Generate Contour Lines tool (available in the ENVI Toolbox) to create a shapefile of contour lines from a full-resolution image. See the Overlay Contour Lines and Generate Full-Resolution Contour Lines topics for details.

Download OpenStreetMap® Vectors

Download, open, and display OpenStreetMap vectors within ENVI. A common use is to overlay the vectors on an image or other dataset. To get started, open an image and select File > Open World Data > Download OpenStreetMap Vectors from the ENVI menu bar. Or, use the Alt+O keyboard shortcut. See the Download OpenStreetMap Vectors help topic for more information.

ENVI Modeler Updates

Connect parameters that produce arrays of rasters or vectors directly to View and Data Manager nodes.

Search for tasks by category using the new Filter by Tag button. Similarly, right-click on any task in the search result list and select Find Similar Tasks. The list updates to show tasks that are in the same category. When publishing a task, you can enter a comma-separated list of tags to categorize the task by function.

The Input Parameters node provides additional options to set the display name, description, and order of individual parameters.

RPC Orthorectification Updates

You can choose the output projection of orthorectified images in the RPC Orthorectification workflow and the RPC Orthorectification Using DSM from Dense Image Matching tool. Similarly, the following ENVITasks have a new OUTPUT_COORDINATE_SYSTEM property where you can specify the output projection of orthorectified images:

  • ENVIRPCOrthorectificationTask
  • ENVIRPCOrthorectificationUsingDSMFromDenseImageMatchingTask
  • ENVIRPCOrthorectificationUsingReferenceImageTask

Save Vector Symbology

If you modify the display properties of a vector layer, you can save the symbology settings for later use. Each time you reopen the vector file, ENVI applies the styles defined in the associated symbology file (if it is present). See the Work with Vectors help topic for more information.


New ENVI Tutorials are available:

  • Getting Started with ENVI
  • Running ENVI Analytics in ArcGIS Pro
  • Sentinel-3 Marine Data

The Image Change Detection Tutorial was updated to use Sentinel-2 imagery of a flooding event in Peru in 2017.


New ENVITasks

Task Description
ENVIBufferZoneTask Create a buffer zone image from a classification image.
ENVIDownloadOSMVectorsTask Download OpenStreetMap vectors.
ENVIExportRasterToCADRGTask Export a three-band byte raster to CADRG format. A NITF/NSIF Module license is required to write to CADRG format.
ENVIFlatFieldCorrectionTask Apply Flat Field atmospheric correction to an image.
ENVIGenerateContourLinesTask Generate contour lines from an input raster and convert them to a shapefile.
ENVIGenerateIndexArrayTask Create an array of numbers (typically used with contour lines).
ENVIGetColorTableTask Get an array of red/green/blue (RGB) values from a specified IDL color table name.
ENVIIARReflectanceCorrectionTask Apply Internal Average Relative Reflectance (IARR) atmospheric correction to an image.
ENVITopographicShadingUsingHLSTask Blend an HLS (hue/lightness/saturation) color representation of a DEM with a topographic feature such as shaded relief.
ENVITopographicShadingUsingHSVTask Blend an HSV (hue/saturation/value) color representation of a DEM with a topographic feature such as shaded relief.
ENVITopographicShadingUsingRGBTask Blend an RGB color representation of a DEM with a topographic feature such as shaded relief.

New Routines

Routine Description
ENVINITFQuerySensorModels Get a list of available CSM sensor models from the Mensuration Services Program (MSP), given a valid NITF input file and image segment. This routine is only available with the ENVI Department of Defense (DoD) plug-in. This is a separate package that provides additional support in ENVI for data formats and sensor models that are commonly used by customers in the U.S. defense and intelligence community. Contact your sales representative for more information.
ENVIStretchParameters Define the stretch type to apply to a single-band raster, along with its minimum and maximum values and percentages. This object is currently only used with the topographic shading ENVITasks listed above in New ENVITasks.


Other Programming Updates


The ENVI API version was updated to 3.3.

Task templates include a new tags key that is used to categorize tasks. As a result, the task schema was updated to 3.3.

ENVI_CAL_DOIT now supports the use of masks. On output, masked pixels are set to a data-ignore value of 10-34.

The following are new elements that you can add to a user interface:

  • ENVIColorTable_UI: Select a predefined or custom color table.
  • IDLSubRect_UI: Enter X and Y pixel or map coordinates that define a spatial subset.

Fixed Issues

CLASSIC-68555 On Macintosh systems, the ROI Tool was blank except for the top menu.
ENVI-71001 Using the Export View To > Image menu option resulted in artifacts in large files.
ENVI-71356 The automated Spectral Hourglass Wizard did not progress when the input file had XSTART/YSTART values defined in the header.
ENVI-71389 More documentation was needed on which ENVITasks accept masked input.
ENVI-71394 The SPEAR Metadata Viewer issued an error message when reading NITF 2.0/2.1 files.
ENVI-71396 The help topic for ENVI Py did not mention permissions when creating toolboxes in ArcGIS Pro.
ENVI-71397 The TOPO_DOIT routine produced different results than the Topographic Modeling tool and ENVITopographicModelingTask.
ENVI-71398 The Transformed Difference Vegetation Index (TDVI) implemented the wrong equation and was documented incorrectly.
ENVI-71405 The Edit Metadata dialog did not provide the ability to import RPCs from another image.
ENVI-71411 Output filenames in the Dice Raster by Distance tool contained the wrong column/line order.
ENVI-71413 Map coordinates were incorrect when saving bands to ASCII x,y,z format.
ENVI-71418 The ENVIColorSliceClassificationTask topic needed more clarification about the use of color tables.
ENVI-71558 Exporting images with no spatial reference to PCI (.pix) format resulted in error messages about invalid pixel sizes.

A Note About Product Licensing for This Release

Harris Geospatial Solutions recognizes that our transition to a new licensing technology in ENVI has not gone as smoothly for customers as we had hoped. We have resolved a number of priority licensing issues, but have others still to fix. Normally, when a release has as many new features as this one, licensing requires a new activation after installation. However, you will be able to update from ENVI 5.5 to the features and fixes of ENVI 5.5.1 without needing to reactivate your license.

- Bill Okubo - Product Manager, Harris Geospatial Solutions, Inc.

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