Opened 13 years ago

Closed 12 years ago

#666 closed task (fixed)

Incubator Application: Opticks

Reported by: kstreith Owned by: dadkins
Priority: normal Milestone:
Component: Incubator Keywords: application


  1. Please provide the name and email address of the principal Project Owner.

Kip Streithorst (kstreith@…)

  1. Please provide the names and emails of co-project owners (if any).

Trevor Clarke (tclarke@…)

  1. Please provide the names, emails and entity affiliation of all official committers
    • Michael Considine (mconsidi@…) - Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
    • Stuart Miller (sbmiller@…) - Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
    • David Sulgrove (dsulgrov@…) - Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
    • Trevor Clarke (tclarke@…) - Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
    • Dustan Adkins (dadkins@…) - Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
    • Dick Forehand (rforehan@…) - Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
    • Kip Streithorst (kstreith@…) - Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
    • Todd Johnson (tjohnson@…) - Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
  2. Please describe your Project.

Opticks is a remote sensing and imagery analysis software platform. It is very similiar in functionality and purpose to commercial tools like ERDAS Imagine, RemoteView, ENVI or SOCET GXP. Opticks has GIS support (in the support of georeferencing in WGS84 and shapefiles), but the focus of the application is on image, video analysis or more generally raster data analysis.

We will also be including the following 3 Opticks extensions for OSGeo incubation:
Python scripting extension
IDL scripting extension
Spectral processing extension

The Python and IDL scripting extensions provide the ability to write IDL/Python code directly into a scripting window in the application to prototype algorithms.

The Spectral processing extension provides algorithms related to hyper-spectral and multi-spectral data analysis.

You can read more details at the following links:

  1. Why is hosting at OSGeo good for your project?

We believe the community for Opticks and other OSGeo projects overlap and both Opticks and the OSGeo community would benefit from Opticks joining the foundation.

  1. Type of application does this project represent(client, server, standalone, library, etc.):

Desktop Application

  1. Please describe any relationships to other open source projects.

Opticks currently uses the following open-source projects:
Part of OSGeo:

  • gdal
  • geotiff
  • tiff
  • proj4
  • ossim
  • shapelib

Other projects:

  • Boost
  • cfitsio
  • curl
  • doxygen
  • ehs
  • expat
  • ffmpeg
  • glew
  • graphviz
  • hdf4
  • hdf5
  • jpeg
  • minizip
  • openjpeg
  • pcre
  • pme
  • pthreads
  • qt
  • qwt
  • raptor
  • xerces
  • xqilla
  • yaml-cpp
  • zlib
  1. Please describe any relationships with commercial companies or products.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. pays the salaries of all of the current commiters. In addition, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has developed two closed source extensions on top of Opticks for sole use by the US Government.

The ATIC, Advanced Technical Intelligence Center, offers an Introduction to Opticks training course.

  1. Which open source license(s) will the source code be released under?

LGPL v2.1

  1. Is there already a beta or official release?

We have had official open-source releases dating back to June 2008. The software was developed originally as closed source starting in Spring of 2000.

  1. What is the origin of your project (commercial, experimental, thesis or other higher education, government, or some other source)?

Opticks was originally developed by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. for the US Air Force, specifically the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) starting in the Spring of 2000. In 2006, Ball Aerospace and the Air Force started working jointly to release the core application as open source and this was accomplished in December 2007.

  1. Does the project support open standards? Which ones and to what extent? (OGC, w3c, ect.) Has the software been certified to any standard (CITE for example)? If not, is it the intention of the project owners to seek certification at some point?

Opticks imports and exports a number of standard file formats (developed and defacto) including:

  • BMP, CGM, ENVI raster, ENVI signature library, GeoTIFF, HDF4, HDF5, JPEG, PNG, CDF, shapefile, NITF (2.0 and 2.1)
  • Export only: KML/KMZ, PostScript, MPEG-1, MPEG-4/AVI
  • Import only: ASPAM/PAR, ASTER spectral library, DTED, FITS, Landsat FAST format, ArcSDE

Opticks also has a "generic raster" importer based on GDAL so it consequently supports a number of additional formats including OGC WCS and WMS. Many of the Opticks internal data formats are based on W3C compliant XML. Opticks has a couple of embedded W3C compliant HTTP servers for XML-RPC control and KML export.

Opticks is "NITF certified for interpret and generate of NITF 2.1 CLEVEL 7", via the JITC.

See for more details.

  1. Is the code free of patents, trademarks, and do you control the copyright?

This review was done before the software was released into the open-source in December 2007. Some plug-ins may have licensing restrictions such as the MPEG video exporter. These are not BATC or Opticks levied restrictions but are 3rd party restrictions.

  1. How many people actively contribute (code, documentation, other?) to the project at this time?

Seven of the eight committers listed in question 3 contribute on a regular basis.
Opticks participated in Google Summer of Code 2010 and worked with 2 students that each developed extensions to Opticks
Nathan Jennings works at American River College in Sacramento, CA and has contributed an Opticks extension to the community and has developed a quick start guide to Opticks.
A number of other Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. employees contribute to the project in terms of tech editing and testing of the software.
A number of smaller, one off contributions have occurred as well.

  1. How many people have commit access to the source code repository?

8 individuals, see answer to question 3 above.

  1. Approximately how many users are currently using this project?

We are aware of users at American River College in Sacramento, CA and Central State University in Dayton, OH.
We are aware of approximately 250 users within the DoD community.
Since November 2009, we are averaging 452 downloads per month of the software and 30 downloads per month of the SDK used to develop extensions for Opticks.
Since March 2010, we are averaging 17 downloads per month of the IDL scripting extension.
Since March 2010, we are averaging 36 downloads per month of the Python scripting extension.
Since March 2010, we are averaging 87 downloads per month of the Spectral processing extension.

  1. What type of users does your project attract (government, commercial, hobby, academic research, etc. )?

Since the project was released open-source we have attracted interest from government, commercial, hobby and academic research.

  1. If you do not intend to host any portion of this project using the OSGeo infrastructure, why should you be considered a member project of the OSGeo Foundation?

We would intend on moving the following project infrastructure to OSGeo:

  • Subversion Repositories
  • Mailing Lists
  • IRC logging

We would be willing to investigate moving the following infrastructure to OSGeo:

  • File hosting
  • Main website
  • Automated build system

We would be committed to permanently self hosting the following infrastructure:

  • Bug tracker
  1. Does the project include an automated build and test?

The project includes a nightly build system using Hudson that performs nightly builds and testing on Windows 32-bit, Windows 64-bit, Solaris Sparc 64-bit and Linux 64-bit. We do have an automated test system that is currently closed source. The actual test code could be released as open-source, but a large amount of the Test Data could not be released publicly and would need to be replaced with public data sources. It is for this reason that we have treated the open-sourcing of our test code as low priority up to this point.

  1. What language(s) are used in this project? (C/Java/perl/etc)

The application is developed in C++. We have an extension that supports Python scripting inside the application which includes some Python code. We have another extension that supports IDL scripting inside the application which includes some IDL code. Our build scripts to support automated builds are written in Python.

  1. What is the dominant written language (i.e. English, French, Spanish, German, etc) of the core developers?


  1. What is the (estimated) size of a full release of this project? How many users do you expect to download the project when it is released?
    • A single Opticks release is currently 987 MB consisting of Windows 32-bit release, Windows 64-bit release, Solaris Sparc 64 release, Linux 64-bit release, Windows SDK, Solaris SDK and Linux SDK.
    • A single release of the Python scripting extension is 1 MB.
    • A single release of the IDL scripting extension is 13 MB.
    • A single release of the Spectral processing extension is 78 MB.

If you refer to the answer of question 16, you will see the predicted amount of downloads for each of the above.

Change History (8)

comment:1 by tmitchell, 13 years ago

FYI - Opticks is registered at ohloh as well in case you want to browses their development stats, etc.

comment:2 by tmitchell, 13 years ago

Component: Systems AdminIncubator
Owner: changed from sac@… to warmerdam

Switching ticket component to Incubation committee

comment:3 by mlucas17, 13 years ago

I'd be happy to mentor this project as I have some background with them and understand some of the challenges with government supported open source projects. Opticks is also very much in the advanced image processing category which is a good fit with OSSIM efforts.

comment:4 by mlucas17, 13 years ago

Dustan Adkins will take over for Kip as the Opticks lead. Asked that the status be updated and for him to make contact with Jody so we can begin to move the incubation process forward.

in reply to:  description comment:5 by dadkins, 13 years ago

The Principal Project Owner should be changed to me, Dustan Adkins.

comment:6 by mlucas17, 13 years ago

Keywords: application added
Owner: changed from warmerdam to mlucas17
Status: newassigned

comment:7 by mlucas17, 13 years ago

Owner: changed from mlucas17 to dadkins
Status: assignednew

comment:8 by jive, 12 years ago

Resolution: fixed
Status: newclosed
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