Changes between Version 1 and Version 2 of history


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Timestamp:
Oct 20, 2010 4:37:09 AM (9 years ago)
Author:
pborissow
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  • history

    v1 v2  
    11= OSSIM History =
    22
    3 OSSIM began out of frustration.  The core developers worked for ImageLinks Inc. - a venture capital spin off from Harris Corporation.  ImageLinks specialized in advanced commercial satellite image processing with a Harris Government Off The Shelf (GOTS) toolkit - the Multi-image Exploitation Tool (MET).  MET was developed over period of almost 15 years with an average team of 40 scientists, developers and engineers.   It was developed for classified government programs with autonomous image registration, mosaicking, and rigorous sensor modeling as just a few of it many capabilities. To this day it remains one of the leading software tools sets for photogrammetry, remote sensing and image processing.
     3OSSIM began out of frustration.  The core developers worked for !ImageLinks Inc. - a venture capital spin off from Harris Corporation.  !ImageLinks specialized in advanced commercial satellite image processing with a Harris Government Off The Shelf (GOTS) toolkit - the Multi-image Exploitation Tool (MET).  MET was developed over period of almost 15 years with an average team of 40 scientists, developers and engineers.   It was developed for classified government programs with autonomous image registration, mosaicking, and rigorous sensor modeling as just a few of it many capabilities. To this day it remains one of the leading software tools sets for photogrammetry, remote sensing and image processing.
    44
    5 ImageLinks was granted commercial rights to the MET package and subcontracted a team of Harris software developers to modify it for limited commercial use.    Harris and ImageLinks agreed to share developed technology for the next two years.  In April of 1996, ImageLinks Inc was formed, Mark Lucas became one of the founders and the Chief Technology Officer.
     5!ImageLinks was granted commercial rights to the MET package and subcontracted a team of Harris software developers to modify it for limited commercial use.  Harris and !ImageLinks agreed to share developed technology for the next two years.  In April of 1996, !ImageLinks Inc was formed, Mark Lucas became one of the founders and the Chief Technology Officer.
    66
    7 ImageLinks was started on the premise that scheduled launches of the new commercial imaging satellites coupled with advanced MET technology would provide a successful business model.  MET required expensive SGI and Sun workstations and software licenses.  The cost per seat was in the range of $25,000.  Delays and failures in the commercial imaging business strained the financial resources of the company.  The small dedicated development team found it necessary to be in a constant state of crisis development to accomplish difficult projects in a small market.  Cash flow was very tight and the company found it difficult to expand due to the expensive hardware and licensing costs.  In retrospect, this was a blessing in disguise as it forced the development team to work side by side with the production team and encouraged management to consider alternatives to the standard enterprise solutions.
     7!ImageLinks was started on the premise that scheduled launches of the new commercial imaging satellites coupled with advanced MET technology would provide a successful business model.  MET required expensive SGI and Sun workstations and software licenses.  The cost per seat was in the range of $25,000.  Delays and failures in the commercial imaging business strained the financial resources of the company.  The small dedicated development team found it necessary to be in a constant state of crisis development to accomplish difficult projects in a small market.  Cash flow was very tight and the company found it difficult to expand due to the expensive hardware and licensing costs.  In retrospect, this was a blessing in disguise as it forced the development team to work side by side with the production team and encouraged management to consider alternatives to the standard enterprise solutions.
    88
    99In 1997 several members of the development team were experimenting with Linux.  One day at lunch we wondered if it would be possible to compile the MET software on the Linux platform.  It was no believed that it would match the performance of the commercial workstations, but the team thought it might be able to accomplish some functions.  A detour to the local  computer parts store with a company credit card acquired what was needed to assemble a back room Linux PC.  This was a skunk works project - the development team would steal time to build up the system and try to compile the software.  Jeff Largent built the hardware and got Linux up and running.  Ken Melero and Dave Burken took turns working on the software.  Linux and the tools were still evolving and it took a couple of months and Linux software releases before the first version was up and running.
    1010
    11 A substantial amount of code, libraries, and tools was involved in building the MET baseline.  On an SGI workstation it took almost 12 hours of compiling and linking to assemble the technology. The team was amazed to see the Linux workstation complete the build in just under two hours.  Much of this performance increase was due to the rapid advance of PC technology.  We were comparing two year old workstations to rapidly evolving commodity PCs with more memory and faster disks.  The software performed all of the functions and ran faster on hardware that was one tenth the cost.  In a very short time span we converted the ImageLinks production to Linux boxes.
     11A substantial amount of code, libraries, and tools was involved in building the MET baseline.  On an SGI workstation it took almost 12 hours of compiling and linking to assemble the technology. The team was amazed to see the Linux workstation complete the build in just under two hours.  Much of this performance increase was due to the rapid advance of PC technology.  We were comparing two year old workstations to rapidly evolving commodity PCs with more memory and faster disks.  The software performed all of the functions and ran faster on hardware that was one tenth the cost.  In a very short time span we converted the !ImageLinks production to Linux boxes.
    1212
    1313The development team quickly became aware of the advantages of using open source technologies.  Expensive development tools were replaced with open source equivalents eliminating licensing costs and headaches.  When problems were encountered with open source projects the response was immediate - there were several cases where problems were identified, posted on the project mailing list, and then fixed before the next working day began.  Cash flow in the company improved, our cost for production dropped dramatically, and the business eventually became profitable.
     
    1515 
    1616
    17 After a couple of years the business environment and relationship with Harris Corporation had changed.  ImageLinks was limited in its pursuit of government development contracts with the MET software product.  The technology exchange between the two companies was not working to either companies satisfaction.  ImageLinks could not use the Harris MET package in its government pursuits.  ImageLinks decided to replace MET functionality with open source software as a strategic objective.
     17After a couple of years the business environment and relationship with Harris Corporation had changed.  !ImageLinks was limited in its pursuit of government development contracts with the MET software product.  The technology exchange between the two companies was not working to either companies satisfaction.  !ImageLinks could not use the Harris MET package in its government pursuits.  !ImageLinks decided to replace MET functionality with open source software as a strategic objective.
    1818
    19 ImageLinks did not have the financial resources to develop a replacement for the MET capabilities.  The team reasoned that they could slowly work towards that goal with an open source approach.  Hopefully, others would help,  progress would be made - eventually they would get there.  When we established the website we were hoping that we wouldn’t embarrass ourselves.   The team continued to support open source geospatial technologies and subsequently established remotesensing.org as a portal for those technologies.
     19!ImageLinks did not have the financial resources to develop a replacement for the MET capabilities.  The team reasoned that they could slowly work towards that goal with an open source approach.  Hopefully, others would help,  progress would be made - eventually they would get there.  When we established the website we were hoping that we wouldn’t embarrass ourselves.   The team continued to support open source geospatial technologies and subsequently established remotesensing.org as a portal for those technologies.
    2020
    2121The website immediately began to attract a community of interest.  Frank Warmerdam, Norman Vine and others brought their software and network of contacts into play.  The site quickly hosted Frank’s Geospatial Data Access Library (GDAL), the tiff libraries and geotiff extensions, and a number of other related visualization and mapping projects.  Oscar Kramer, Garrett Potts, Dave Burken, and Scott Bortman performed much of the initial software development on the OSSIM baseline.  Oscar created much of the sensor modeling and photogrammetry framework, Garrett is the overall system architect, Dave has maintained and improved the overall baseline, and Scottie has focused on Java / Web Mapping services.
    2222
    23 ImageLinks continued to make reasonable progress with open technologies as many new capabilities were added to the production system.  The remotesensing.org site began to attract attention. 
     23!ImageLinks continued to make reasonable progress with open technologies as many new capabilities were added to the production system.  The remotesensing.org site began to attract attention. 
    2424
    2525Wired magazine published an online story about remotesensing.org - in typical dotcom fashion, the website and the attention exploded overnight.  This triggered calls and interviews from numerous publications.  Interested parties in various government agencies contacted us to find out more including the white house science advisor, congressional staffers, and interested parties in the defense and intelligence community.  Overnight the remotesensing.org community grew and the number of hosted projects increased.  This exposure, and the subsequent technology demonstrations, led to government support of the technology and the continuation of a virtual development team that has survived despite changes in programs and company involvement.
     
    3535== 1999 National Reconnaisance Office (NRO) and NIMA Multi-Modal Image Fusion Conference ==
    3636
    37 The Multi-Modal Image Fusion Conference was established to reach beyond the traditional government contractors and discover what innovative technologies and approaches might be available for processing, analyzing and fusing various types of satellite, aerial and LIDAR data.  ImageLinks was selected to participate in this conference hosted by Kodak in Rochester, New York.
     37The Multi-Modal Image Fusion Conference was established to reach beyond the traditional government contractors and discover what innovative technologies and approaches might be available for processing, analyzing and fusing various types of satellite, aerial and LIDAR data.  !ImageLinks was selected to participate in this conference hosted by Kodak in Rochester, New York.
    3838
    3939With open source tools the team was able to demonstrate various types of cross sensor fusion, change detection and parallel processing with PC clusters on Linux.  Immediately after the presentation the NRO and NIMA scheduled follow up briefing and projects to investigate the technology and the open source model.  Ed Mahen and Steve Jayjock from the NRO and Bill Allder from NIMA quickly became very interested in the open source model and the technologies being developed.  This led to a continuing series of studies, projects and development efforts that have enhanced the OSSIM baseline over the last ten years.
     
    7272== Living beyond a single company. ==
    7373
    74 In April of 2003 Harris Corporation decided to re-acquire ImageLinks Inc.  The production team was successfully integrated and continues as a world class geo-spatial production capability to this day.  The management at Harris made it clear that they had no intention of supporting OSSIM or open source business models - but offered the development team good positions on existing Harris contracts.  The core OSSIM development team decided to leave and went to work for Intelligence Data Systems (IDS) where they were encouraged to continue OSSIM support.  This demonstrated another aspect of open source development - the software baseline is not owned by a single company or agency.  Contributors are free to continue to work on the baseline if they change companies.  Collaboration occurs by default as any improvements to the baseline automatically benefit other agencies using the baseline.  It avoids the issues encountered when one agency or company ‘controls and limits’ use of the software as a means of acquiring additional funding or lock in on a program.  As the years have gone by the core team has moved between companies and programs, but have continued to collaborate on the OSSIM baseline and leverage the results back into their projects.
     74In April of 2003 Harris Corporation decided to re-acquire !ImageLinks Inc.  The production team was successfully integrated and continues as a world class geo-spatial production capability to this day.  The management at Harris made it clear that they had no intention of supporting OSSIM or open source business models - but offered the development team good positions on existing Harris contracts.  The core OSSIM development team decided to leave and went to work for Intelligence Data Systems (IDS) where they were encouraged to continue OSSIM support.  This demonstrated another aspect of open source development - the software baseline is not owned by a single company or agency.  Contributors are free to continue to work on the baseline if they change companies.  Collaboration occurs by default as any improvements to the baseline automatically benefit other agencies using the baseline.  It avoids the issues encountered when one agency or company ‘controls and limits’ use of the software as a means of acquiring additional funding or lock in on a program.  As the years have gone by the core team has moved between companies and programs, but have continued to collaborate on the OSSIM baseline and leverage the results back into their projects.
    7575
    7676== 2003 GIS Conflation Research Hub ==