By Larry Biehl1, Abdur Rahman Maud1, Wei-Kang Hsu1, Tsung Tai Yeh1

1. Purdue University

Image processing application to display and analyze geospatial images

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Archive Version 3.0
Published on 05 Mar 2019
Latest version: 3.51. All versions

This tool is closed source.



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MultiSpec is an image processing tool to display and analyze geospatial images. The online version has all of the features in the Macintosh and Windows desktop versions. More information on MultiSpec can be found at the MultiSpec site.

Note that you need to create an account (register) on mygeohub. You can set it up so that you stay logged in so that you do not have to log in each time. (Note that there may be a delay after registering before the account is approved.)

The MultiSpec Reference contains the documentation for MultiSpec. Several tutorials (listed below) are also available.

Tutorials on using the Processor->Display Image menu item are at:

    - Tutorial 1: Basic display of images.

    - Tutorial 2: Image enhancement features.

A tutorial on Unsupervised Classification is at: 

    - Tutorial 3: Uses the Processor->Cluster menu item.

A tutorial on Supervised Classification is at: 

    - Tutorial 4: Uses the Processor->Statistics menu item (and several more menu items). 

Other tutorials high lighting features in MultiSpec are:

    - Tutorial 5: Combining Separate Image Files into a Single Multispectral Image File.

    - Tutorial 6: Overlay Shape Files on Image Window.

    - Tutorial 7: Selecting Areas in Image Window and the Coordinate View.

    - Tutorial 8: Creating Vegetation Indices Images.

    - Tutorial 9: Handling HDF and netCDF Formatted Image Files.

    - Tutorial 10: Visualizing Growing Degree Day (GDD) Images.

    - Middle/High School Lesson: Landsat 5 Flood Lesson.

The latest version (3.0; 3/1/2019) is a merger of the code being used for the 64-bit version of MultiSpec for MacOS. The wxWidgets 3.1.2 library is used. The are changes in the layout of many of the dialog boxes. 
One can now hold the zoom in and zoom out buttons down for continuous zooming (with some delay). The same is true for the previous and next buttons on the histogram graphs.
Version 2.29 (8/29/2018) adds the ability to read PCI Geomatics PCIDSK (.pix) image files. This version has been tested with a few PCIDSK formatted image files.
Dialog boxes with lines and columns greater than 32,000 are now handled correctly.
Changes were made so that the wait (watch) cursor is displayed more consistently when long operations are underway.
Version 2.27 (7/31/2018) adds the ability to read National Imagery Transmission Format (NITF) image files. This version has been tested with a few single and multi-segment NITF files.
Sentinel S2A and S2B jp2 image files do not need to have S2A or S2B in the file names as long as S2A_ or S2B_ are in one of the parent folder names for MultiSpec to recognize that the image files were collected by one of the Sentinel 2 sensors.
Version 2.25 (7/20/2018) adds the ability to recognize PeruSat-1 data and associate the band description information with the channels as long as PER1 is in the file name. The bands are plotted in wavelength order for the selection graphs when one plots the data by wavelength or band width. One has the option to create a new image file in wavelength order using the Processor->Change Image File Format menu item. Newly created files do not need to have PER1 in the file name for GeoTIFF formatted files; the instrument name is included with the TIFF description tag.
-This version will also recognize Sentinel 2B data and associate the band description information with the channels as long as S2B is in the file name. The band description information for Sentinel 2A has been changed from the design specs to the actual specs.
-Processor->Reformat->Rectify: Problem was fixed which caused part of the output rectified scene to have missing data around the edges for some situations.

Version 2.21 (6/19/2018) modifies the File->Open Image dialog box so that when one selects multiple files and then selects the 'Open' button an option window will be displayed requesting whether the user wishes to link the files together if the link option was not already selected.

-The Output file drop-down menu in the Reformat->Change Image File Format dialog box was modified so that the non-available options would not be displayed.
-Some changes were made in the status dialog box when clustering to provide more consistent information.
Version 2.20 (5/2/2018) adds the ability to create a false color palette for classification images based on the training class mean values in the project statistics for three selected channels. The project file needs to be open to use this feature.
-Improvements were made in the selection and list data graphs along with a bug which would cause MultiSpec to crash in a specific circumstance.
-Also a change was made so that the open file dialog box will always open in front of all other windows; this would not occur if a graph or project window was the topmost window and there were no open image windows.
- A fix was made which caused MultiSpec to crash when generating cluster overlays when overlays existed for other image windows.

Version 2.15 (3/8/2018)adds the ability to handle the GDAL VRT file structure for images. Some changes were also make in scaling for selection graphs.


Version 2.10 (1/30/2018) adds the ability plot selected multispectral data in a graph indicating the wavelength band width, if available, for each band (channel). The x-axis label allows the user to select channel number, wavelength, and wavelength band. Additionally if the image data represents both reflective and thermal data, the x-axis label allow one to plot only the reflective data or thermal data against the wavelengths that the respective bands represent.

- Another feature that was added is the ability to select the mixing value for the Leave One Out Covariance option in the Stats popup menu in the project window. Hold the shift key down before selecting the menu to have the ability to select this option; the LOOC choice will look like 'LOOC...' to cause a dialog box to appear with LOOC mixing options. See pages 59, 89-90 of the MultiSpec Reference for more information about this option.
Version 2.05 (12/19/2017) adds the ability plot selected multispectral data against wavelength in selection graphs. The x-axis label allows the user to select channel number or wavelength if that information is available for the image. This version also fixes an issue with displaying hdf4, hdf5 and netcdf files when the data set is changed from the default.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Larry Biehl; Abdur Rahman Maud; Wei-Kang Hsu; Tsung Tai Yeh (2020), "MultiSpec,"

    BibTex | EndNote