An Easier Way to Work with Imagery & Raster Data

September 15, 2021
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by Esri

This article brought to you by Esri.

Remotely sensed data such as imagery, lidar, and rasters is a critical element in GIS for understanding change, seeing what’s happening on the ground, conducting urban planning, and much more. However, managing and extracting information from such a high volume of data takes time and requires considerable staff and resources. But now, there’s an easier way. Host, analyze, and stream imagery and raster collections natively within Esri’s web GIS mapping software, ArcGIS Online—no infrastructure management required.

ArcGIS Online now integrates imagery into geospatial workflows through a new extension, ArcGIS Image for ArcGIS Online. Together, gain a seamless, cloud-based ecosystem for working with imagery and raster data and communicating authoritative results – inclusive of vector data. The extension’s hosting capabilities and prebuilt tools make remotely sensed data easier to work with. It streamlines image analysis tasks that GIS analysts perform, like change detection and feature extraction. And, where previously advanced raster or scripting skills were required, ArcGIS Image Online now allows analysts to do them with out-of-the-box tools and trained models. Look at what else is possible.

Learn all about ArcGIS Image for ArcGIS Online in under 3 mins. 

Make growing imagery collections accessible 

The days of imagery trapped in stacks of hard drives or disparate locations are over. Increase the value of this data by putting it into the hands of those who need it. Host large construction sites, cityscapes, entire regions, and your post-event imagery, rectified scenes, ortho mosaics, elevation, multidimensional or categorical rasters all in the cloud. With ArcGIS Image Online, imagery can be streamed as intelligent tiled imagery layers that allow hundreds or even millions of people to put your data to immediate use.

Unlike tile cache, tiled imagery layers are ready for analysis. These layers retain pixel information, allowing you to obtain pixel values for any location, set different enhancements and renderings.

If you have overlapping, temporal, and multiresolution imagery, ArcGIS Image Online also has you covered. Dynamic imagery layers provide server-side dynamic mosaicking and on-the-fly processing, giving your organization rich analysis capabilities in web and desktop applications and performance over low bandwidth networks.

Free yourself from infrastructure management

Save on infrastructure costs and maintenance using Esri's secure, scalable, and performant cloud environment. ArcGIS Image Online is a complete software as a service (SaaS). If you already have extensive image collections in Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure cloud, consider the managed SaaS offering, ArcGIS Image Dedicated. This option brings processing, analytics, and streaming capabilities directly to your imagery.

In addition to relieving you from infrastructure management, managing this type of data has also been simplified. Now, you can manage imagery in under five steps from your web browser.

To create an image service in ArcGIS Online, start by clicking the Create Imagery Layer button. Then, choose the layer type you want to make, configure the layer, upload your data, and set the appropriate properties – it’s that simple. Once this is complete, your data is ready for visualization and analysis.

Go from hosting to analysis to storytelling with ArcGIS Image Online in this end-to-end demonstration.

Quickly generate insights from imagery

Run image analysis and raster analytics at site, city, country, and global scales. Benefit from an intuitive web experience or opt for a rich ArcGIS API for Python that provides the flexibility to develop custom raster functions.

You can now perform all of the following imagery workflows in ArcGIS Online:

  • Detect change: Apply deep learning to analyze images of built and natural environments.
  • Inspect assets: Upload images of your investments and infrastructure, then apply image processing and analysis to evaluate the conditions of those assets.
  • Monitor vegetation: Examine multiband imagery to extract information about vegetation coverage and health.
  • Trace water flows: Locate areas that contribute downstream water flow to forecast available water supply, evaluate the environmental impact of planned projects (like a new dam), and design roads and storm drains.
  • Plan routes and networks: Analyze imagery to identify the optimal paths and connections between areas, enable road and supply networks in remote areas, and plan wildlife corridors among protected habitats.
  • Build your workflow: Use the Raster Function Editor within ArcGIS Online to chain together one or more raster functions to produce a processing workflow.

Easily integrate imagery into your storytelling

Share the insights you gain with internal and external stakeholders as interactive apps, dashboards, and reports to drive faster and more effective decision-making. The imagery and analysis results you create are saved as image services. These services make it easy for you to update and integrate with the rest of ArcGIS.

Wish there was an easier way to work with imagery and raster data? 

Explore what ArcGIS Image for ArcGIS Online can do for you. 


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