Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) December 10, 2007
TerraServer, a leading online satellite and aerial imagery service, has recently released a site upgrade which adds additional drawing and measuring functionality. TerraServer subscribers can now access advanced drawing features such as displaying custom drawings on multiple image dates, saving drawings online and adding drawings to downloads and prints. The new upgrade was made possible by utilizing open source technologies including MapServer and PostgreSQL as well as the acquisition of new servers and storage.
The improved editing package now allows drawings that are done on the site to be added to file downloads and prints purchased by the customer. The drawings can also be saved online in a personal favorites folder which can later be accessed from any Internet browser. This online drawing and measuring tool allows users to outline property boundaries or highlight areas of interest. Subscribers can create a drawing and then switch image dates, pan, zoom, and even change over to topographic maps, all the while the drawing will remain in place. This functionality allows for advanced change detection and analysis. TerraServer has also added additional colors, line widths and the ability to add a fill color to drawings. The measurement tool has also been improved and can measure surface distance and area within the imagery in a number of English standard and metric units.
The site upgrade has been made possible by a number of software and hardware improvements. TerraServer has recently acquired new HP ProLiant servers and storage in order to increase service speed, reliability, and capacity. TerraServer has developed a customized version of the open source MapServer software, which was originally developed by the University of Minnesota with support from NASA and is now a part of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OS Geo). TerraServer has also implemented PostgreSQL, an open source database management system, and the PostGIS extension, which is an open source software that adds geographic support to the database. TerraServer uses PostgreSQL to store the drawing data as well as other vector and raster information. TerraServer then uses MapServer to render and deliver this data online.
"Our goal right now is to provide a complete online GIS solution for our customers. We are developing the site to have the most imagery, the most functionality, and the best tools," said Brian Randy Funk, COO of TerraServer. "With these new improvements, 2008 is looking like an exciting year for TerraServer."
The advanced drawing tool is the first in a line of upgraded GIS type features that TerraServer plans to bring to its site. TerraServer is working to expand its capabilities to allow users to upload and input their own data in a number of formats including shape files and KML data. In addition, TerraServer plans to further refine the drawing tools to include the ability to draw circles, add point marking and add text labeling to imagery available on the site.
Since 1997, TerraServer® has positioned itself as the leader in online imagery. The company, based in Raleigh, NC, aims to be the one-stop site for aerial photos and satellite pictures. The interactive TerraServer.com website allows customers to easily search and view imagery from multiple sources and offers custom image downloads and prints.
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