Opticks Open Source Remote Sensing and Image Processing Software, a Community College GIS Program, and Collaboration

Session Type: 
Nathan Jennings, American River College/Opticks

Nathan Jennings, GIS professor at American River College in Sacramento, California has currently been using the Opticks open source digital image processing software (produced and provided freely by Ball Aerospace) for remotely sensed imagery and serves as the primary software used in the required Remote Sensing and Digital Image Processing course. With very tight budgets across the Los Rios Community College District, open source software such as Opticks has allowed this required course to continue and serve a growing demand for this course, its knowledge content, and students’ abilities to obtain hands-on training with highly functioning software. In addition, with a highly useful and “free” software, students can continue their learning and obtain additional hands-on experience by being able to use the software at home, whereas, with other commercial software packages, students are required to spend $100-$200/license which many cannot afford. The Opticks software allow remote sensing students to gain practical knowledge and develop image processing skills in many of the digital image processing functions and methods found in the remote sensing and GIS industry. Opticks provides capability in areas such as image enhancement, spectral signature processing, and hyperspectral and RADAR image analysis. The paper will review the following:

1. Use of Opticks in a community college geographic information systems (GIS) Program
2. Review Author’s RADAR algorithm development using Opticks
3. Collaboration of the author with Opticks and Google Summer of Code Program
4. Summarize using the Opticks Python Scripting Extension

Speaker Bio: 

Adjunct GIS Professor, American River College, Sacramento, CA
Sr. GIS Analyst, City of Sacramento, Sacramento, CA
Principal, JenningsPlanet, GIS Consulting
Opticks, Contributor-Collaborator-Mentor