Product Overview - LizardTech’s GeoExpress 7

By Nora Parker

LizardTech's products focus primarily on making large quantities of imagery data easy to handle and deliver to users (for further background, look at this article's intro regarding Express Server 6). GeoExpress 7 is a product used to manage massive quantities of imagery data as they flow into an organization. The product allows you to compress (into MrSID and JPEG2000 formats) and manipulate imagery data and, as such, it is the workhorse that organizations use to process incoming imagery data to prepare for their applications. In GeoExpress 7, released this week, LizardTech has addressed its most common customer needs, these requests having come to the company's attention through direct support-related interactions and a customer survey conducted within the last year.

Jon Skiffington, LizardTech senior product manager, demonstrated the new version for a group of geospatial journalists last Friday in Denver. He believes the most exciting enhancement in the release is the integration with LizardTech's other core product, Express Server. The combined offering is known as the "LizardTech Express Suite." If a customer is also a user of LizardTech's third product in this suite, Spatial Express, that will be included as well. (Spatial Express allows users to manage imagery data in an Oracle Spatial database.) GeoExpress 7 sits at the beginning of an imagery management workflow ("intake") and Express Server sits at the back end ("serve the data out to users to feed their applications"). In the past, users had to close one program and open up the other - a tedious process when working with large datasets. Now, the two work together seamlessly. Skiffington demonstrated and discussed other upgrades, including the ability to crop images by polygons using shapefiles, improved cropping tools (including one that automatically de-mosaicks an image), a series of despeckling tools, and the availability of a floating license that can be passed from user to user over a network server or checked out to a laptop. In addition, the software is now a 64-bit application (up from 32-bit) so it runs faster on computers that support 64-bit computing. GeoExpress runs in Windows, Linux and Solaris (Sun).

The "unlimited edition" of GeoExpress 7 is $7,900 and allows you to manage an unlimited amount of imagery data. Pairing GeoExpress and Express Server totals $13,995. With the addition of Spatial Express, the price rises to about $31,000. "Standard" versions of GeoExpress 7 allow set amounts of imagery to be managed and, depending on the level, range from $2,900 to $7,900.

According to Skiffington, there are "thousands" of GeoExpress licenses in use. Department of Defense and Intelligence agencies account for about half of the installed base, with civil agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Geological Survey, oil and gas companies and data providers accounting for the other half. The largest group in that second half is the data providers.

Skiffington is confident that existing customers will be thrilled with the new release because it is based entirely on their requests. Potential users can envision the advantages of GeoExpress via a new website set to launch next Monday (Feb. 4). It will allow users to test out GeoExpress and Express Server. Users will be able to compress imagery, upload it and try some of the GeoExpress and Express Server tools. Later this week the company will launch two new community offerings: a blog (Zoom) to facilitate better interaction with customers, and a "tips and tricks" online community forum.

Published Friday, February 1st, 2008

Written by Nora Parker

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