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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Version 2.01 - published on 12 Oct 2017

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MultiSpec is an image processing tool to display and analyze geospatial images. It is currently has most of the features in the Macintosh and Windows desktop applications with the same name. More information can be found at the MultiSpec site.

The MultiSpec Reference contains the documentation for MultiSpec.

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.

The latest version (2.01; 10/10/2017) fixes an issue with the File->Save Image to GeoTIFF menu item. It also fixes an issue with using MultiSpec as a file handler. Other changes include the ability to link separate Landsat image files which use a modified naming system; for example LT05... instead of LT5... Also an error was fixed which caused the BiPlot Processor to crash.
Version 2.00 (9/26/2017) adds the ability to set the Gaussian stretch parameter in the Display Multispectral Image dialog box. One holds the shift key down and then selects Gaussian in the Enhancement Stretch drop down menu to be able to set the number of standard deviations to use to stretch the data from the darkest to brightest display value. A fix was also made when reopening hdf formatted base images in project files.
Version 1.99 (8/2/2017) fixes several bugs in the system relative to the user interface. Fixes are also made for displaying groups in thematic images. One now starts from the last directory that files were read from when using File->Open Image instead of always starting from the default directory.
Version 1.98 (2/24/2017) adds the ability to display the features for all polygonal shape files being displayed on the image window rather than just the first one.
Version 1.97 (2/17/2017) fixes a bug which caused MultiSpec to crash when one used the overlay feature in clustering and classification when no shape files were loaded.

Version 1.96 (1/27/2017) fixes a couple of bugs. TIF files can be created using the Reformat->Change Image File Format processor without causing a crash and project statistics histograms can be displayed when shape files are displayed on the image window without error messages.

In Version 1.95 (1/23/2017) the selection graph window has been modified to become a selection window. This selection window includes three features for the active image window: a graph of a select pixel or area; a list of the data values for the selected pixel or a list of the average, min/max values & plus/minus 1 standard deviation of the pixels in the selected area; and a list of the features for the selected location within a polygonal (top most) shape file if being displayed. One can show/hide each of these 3 selection window features. Work continues to be able to show features for multiple shape files. This version adds the ability to handle JPEG2000 formatted image files and the ability to add/modify the channel descriptions like one can do in the Mac OS and Windows desktop versions. Several bugs have also been fixed which sometimes caused MultiSpec Online to crash.
Version 1.9 (12/9/2016) includes the ability to recode thematic (classification) images. It also includes fixes in Rectify and List Results dialog boxes. The units are now listed correctly in the output text window for the List Results processor. Additionally changes were made so that the File->Save Image (Selection) As menu item works correctly for thematic image windows.
Version 1.85 (9/28/2016) corrects a problem introduced in the last version which causes the MultiSpec tool to not be able to read hdf5, grib, jpeg, png, pds and some other image file formats. This version adds the ability to read tiff/geotiff formatted files which use the 'Deflate' compression algorithm. Additional tool tips have also been added.
Version 1.84 (9/21/2016) includes tooltips (information notes) for choices in almost all of the rest of the processor dialog boxes that were not included in version 1.83. If one holds the cursor over a choice for a second or so, a popup box will be displayed with information about the choice. Let us know if the information displayed is not clear. A fix was made to handle the class area choice properly in the single pass and isodata cluster dialog boxes. The output image file from the Statistics Image processor will now include that for all of the classes side by side instead of each being in a separate image file.
Version 1.83 (8/26/2016) includes tooltips (information notes) for choices in the Display, Histogram, List Data and Change Image File Format dialog boxes. An option has been added to the Options menu item to turn the tool tip messages off for those who do not wish to see them.
Version 1.82 (8/10/2016) includes changes in the spacing of information in the text window. The tabs in the window now represent only 1 space; this allows data in columns such as histograms to line up better. Corrections were also made in listing histogram processor data for image data that are larger than 2 bytes.
Version 1.81 (7/14/2016) includes corrections for use as a file handler with hdf5 formatted files. Also the maximize button for the text window and graph windows will cause the window to fill the available application space but will not cover up the menu and tool bars.
Version 1.8 (7/8/2016) includes the Statistics Image processor (Processor->Utilities->Create Statistics Image menu item). This feature allows one to view an image of the correlation matrix and mean/standard deviation values for each selected class or of a selected area. Improvements were also made in the BiPlot processor and handling hdf5 image files on iRods Fuse Mount. Changes were also made for user interface elements. The zoom indication for the active image window is now in the tool bar to the right of the zoom buttons; the maximize button for image windows causes the border of the window to be around the current image and will not cover up the menu and tool bars.
Version 1.7 (6/6/2016) includes the BiPlot processor (Processor->Utilities->BiPlot menu item). This feature allows one to plot the data values for two selected channels. Also fix was made so the the application would not crash when closing and reopening hdf4 and netcdf files. The information in the coordinate bar behaves better when the cursor goes over and away from the images. The Reformat processor to convert Project areas to a thematic image has been added.
Version 1.61 (5/23/2016) improves the timing for displaying status information.
Version 1.6 (5/18/2016) adds the ability to plot graphs of the pixel values from within the List Data processor. Also the selected image is displayed directly without showing the Display dialog box when used as a file handler from an iRods file archive.
Version 1.53 (5/5/2016) adds the ability to launch MultiSpec as a preview tool from project files and includes changes to allow one to display 2-bytes per pixel thematic image files.
Version 1.5 (4/6/2016) adds the ability to use the statistics enhancement and feature extraction processors. Note that the feature extraction processor does not include the preprocessing (projection pursuit) algorithm yet. These processors are discussed on pages 28-39 and 133-139 in the MultiSpec Reference document.
Version 1.46 (3/16/2016) includes improvements in zooming speed for larger images (those larger than 2000 lines/columns). This version will handle full scene Landsat images easier. Additional messages about process to follow have been added for the upload file feature and when one exits MultiSpec.
Version 1.45 (2/24/2016) adds the ability to plot the histograms for the training classes and fields and provides a different approach to display the training/test field and shape file vectors so that the lines do not become thick as one zooms in. There is also consistency now in the ability to strike the enter/return keys to be a quick way to select the OK button in all dialog boxes.
Version 1.4 (2/9/2016) adds the ability to select polygonal type training and test areas for supervised classifications, usage of the Mahalanobis algorithm as a classifer option, the ability to read NASA's PDS (Planetary Data System) files such as those from the MARS rovers and allows one to read a broader range of ENVI formatted image files.
Version 1.3 (12/18/2015) added the ability to create training and test areas in an image for supervised classifications, list the class statistics and list the class histograms. The Project Window is available in this version.
Version 1.2 (10/19/2015) added the ability to use the List Results and Feature Selection processors. One can also graph selected areas in the image window using the Window->New Selection Graph menu item.
Version 1.1 (9/28/2015) added the ability to use the Statistics and Classify processors. One can also import Project files created by the Macintosh or Windows desktop versions.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Larry Biehl; Abdur Rahman Maud; Wei-Kang Hsu; Tsung Tai Yeh (2017), "MultiSpec,"

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