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ENVI Services Engine - What is it?

Patrick Collins

Last week I gave the second to last session in the 2013 ENVI Rapid Learning Series which focused on the ENVI Services Engine. I get alot of questions about the Services Engine, and really enjoy discussing the topics of where image analytics are going and how cloud technology is changing the way we think about extracting information from imagery. However, the question I most often get about the Services Engine is..."What isit?"

As many of you know ENVI is an image analysis software solution that allows users to extract information from data such as satellite imagery, LiDAR, and radar. The ENVI Services Engine allows you to enable this capability at the server level. It is scalable, which means that it can be deployed across multiple servers and jobs can be distributed for faster computing power. The result is that large, batch processing can be handled in short amounts of time,freeing up computer and personnel resources to conduct other tasks.

Scalable, Multi-Core ENVI Services Engine

The ENVI Services Engine is also a web server, which gives the user the ability to view and analyze data and display results via the web. It is built on industry-accepted interoperability standards so it can be easily incorporated into existing architecture and can be leveraged to support web or mobile clients. In its simplest form a client can be a button on a JavaScript page that runs an analysis and displays a result. In this scenario, the ENVI Services Engine is passed a call with a parameter of how many classes you want to segment the image into, then returns the result.

ENVI Rapid Learning ESE Client

More complex clients can be built to enable the user more control over the data and algorithms they run. IDL can be leveraged to extend ENVI tasks, chain them together, or even create applications that scan folders for new content and runs predefined analysis on that content to automate pre-processing or detailed analysis. The ENVI LiDAR API is also available to be utilized via the engine, which allows you to view and process LiDAR point clouds in a web environment.

ENVI Services Engine LiDAR Client

Finally, the ENVI Services Engine has been incorporated into ENVI for ArcGIS® - Services Edition. This allows ENVI tasks to be uploaded and run via ArcGIS for Server, which enables that functionality across the entire Esri® platform, including desktop and online environments. Clients and models can be created that incorporate both ENVI and ArcGIS tasks, allowing you to leverage the power of both software packages in a single instance.

The implementations and capabilities of the ENVI Services Engine are vast and could improve workflows across industries. How do you see shared processing power and image analysis across clients improving your geospatial products?

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