Monday, February 25, 2008

Introduction to the Leica Image Manager: the Business Problems...

The Leica Image Manager is an Enterprise Class software developed to solve the business problems associated with managing massive volumes of Geospatial Information (GI); with and emphasis on imagery and terrain data.

If your a business that manages large amounts of imagery or terrain or have distributed offices and complex workflows for managing this data type, the Leica Image Manager has been built for you!

Before I explain the "features" of the product and how they work, I'd like to present the business problems that are addressed by the Leica Image Manager. A business problem in this presentation is defined as any situation that constrains a user or scenario that prevents a user from accomplishing their goal in a timely manner.

1. The Data (overwhelmed) - Gridded data sources have unique business problems inherit in the digital modeling and persistence this data type. First and foremost, the data is physically massive in size compared to traditional business data. An ADS40 sensor collects 1TB of data an hour (and thats just the raw data). This phenomena of the data creates large storage requirement and application throughput requirements. This "large data" phenomena puts a high load on the system for each constituent user added to the system. Secondly, the sheer number of imagery formats is high; each proprietary in nature. The user may not have access to a geospatial application that supports the format of imagery acquired or the ability to create the data format requested of a customer. Finally, imagery and terrain data is workflow or application specific requiring a "geospatial expert" to provide the domain knowledge to produce the requested end product or "setup" the user with the capability to produce the end product.

2. The Search (where) - The volume of images and terrain datasets is massive, causing the number of datasets to be very high. The number of imagery and terrain "files" that may cover a given area may be in the thousands...tens of thousands depending on the resolution. Additionally, the data may be spread throughout the organization in databases, storage area networks and other proprietary storage mechanisms. This prevents the end user from understanding what data exists and where the data exists, or have the means to determine which data is the "best" for what they want to accomplish. If users can't easily access the data, they simply won't use it.

3. Lack of Interoperability (can't) - The proprietary and application specific nature of GI has limited the ability of organizations to share data internally and externally. This inability to share forces time consuming processes to convert data into "formats" usable by the customer. This barrier has prevented the free flowing of data throughout the business and external to customers and has "isolated" GI to a boutique skill, rather than readily accessible, easy to use and easy to integrate business data.

4. Security - although geospatial data is business critical data for most enterprises, there is an inherit lack of a standard security model in it's access and distribution. This is more apparent as the number of data sources increase and volume of data increases. The ability to secure the data becomes extremely complex just in terms of traditional data access security. This is further complicated with a requirement to extend security with spatial security features (user 1 can only see this area, or can not see this area).

5. Domain Knowledge - The requirement for some level of domain knowledge to exploit GI is required in todays application specific workflows of GI. Most organizations have some in-house GIS or Remote Sensing Department or user group. These geospatial professionals are the proxy to request and receive meaningful GI. Understanding geospatial principles should NOT be a requirement to using a GI as a business critical data product.

All of the problems stated above prohibit the GI from being a traditional business data source, free flowing throughout the enterprise, easily integrated into business logic applications and securely accessed by the business and the customers.

Welcome to the next generation of Enterprise Geospatial products.

Find, Describe, Catalog, Discover, Exploit Geospatial Information (GI)

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