Saturday, May 24, 2008

New ERDAS Video

Check out the video Introducing the New ERDAS: geared towards the GeoInt community and a nice job covering the myriad of new solutions provided by ERDAS supporting the entire ‘geospatial business system.’

TITAN is a small part of this presentation (near the end around time marker 7:20) Erin presents TITAN as a ‘connection tool’, acknowledging that TITAN falls under the Connect category of the broad, 4-part geospatial business system solution that ERDAS now offers.

I really like this slide the Defense teams made for’s hard to sum up TITAN in one slide and they’ve done an excellent job.

A couple of points I’d like to clarify however: At one point Erin states that:

‘The base for TITAN is a 3D globe, however the uniqueness behind TITAN is not the globe, but the Geospatial Instant Messenger.’

The TITAN Client is comprised of two components: the Geospatial Instant Messenger (GeoIM) and the TITAN Viewer (the 3D globe), both carrying tremendous value. Depending on the application, either component may be of greater importance to a particular user. In Defense, the Viewer carries a heavy weight. Not to diminish the utility of the TITAN Viewer, but I make it a point to describe the GeoIM as the heavy-lifting mechanism of ERDAS TITAN. The GeoIM is the component where you publish data, set permissions for access, search, discover, chat with other users, manage connections to unlimited sources of data, and ultimately retrieve data into the variety of applications you use on your desktop. This is a pretty powerful proposition.

The TITAN Viewer has exceptional capability in that you can amass a variety of geospatial data and location-based content and, with the click of a button, share that ‘geospatial presentation space’ with others on the TITAN Network, with permissions. After saving your ‘MyWorld’, you can invite others to switch to your MyWorld and participate in this 3D presentation space. That’s pretty amazing technology too.

One other point that Erin makes that I’d like to clarify:

‘Users can view each other’s data, but they’re unable to access the data from one system to another.’

This is simply a case of semantics: What Erin is describing above is that TITAN does not yet enable true download of shared raster and vector datasets. Currently in TITAN requested raster and vector datasets either get converted to WMS, encoded tile URL (for Virtual Earth) or KML (for Google Earth) before they are delivered. I’ll argue that this is in fact ‘access’ to data. But in my argument I recognize that Erin's audience (Defense realm) may argue right back that it does not.

But soon, Erin will not say that at all, because in 2009 TITAN will enable true download of data. So...any argument over what access means, at least for TITAN, will become a moot point.

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