Geographic Imager Adobe Photoshop Plugin Updated for Spacial Imagery Editing

Most Photoshop plugins perform such straightforward image editing or correcting functions as mask creation, sharpening or color modification. Avenza Systems' Geographic Imager is more esoteric, in that it enhances Photoshop by adding tools and technology to support the import, editing, manipulation and export of geospatial images, such as aerial and satellite imagery. It's also possible to prepare images in Geographic Imager and use them in Avenza's MAPublisher for Illustrator.

The plugin allows the use of Photoshop's native imaging functions, such as cropping, transparencies, individual pixel editing and brightness/contrast control, while adding the ability to import and recognize GeoTIFFs and other raster formats, automatically mosaic and tile images, reproject and transform images, geo-reference images based on ground control points, and re-export images with all spatial information intact. Automatic coordinate system transformation during mosaicing allows images with different coordinate systems and pixel sizes to be mosaiced by automatically transforming the images to the same coordinate system and pixel size as the destination image in a single process. It's also possible to measure areas in images using the Photoshop Measurement Log panel.

Included is MrSID write support for the Windows version, when Lizardtech GeoExpress image compression software is installed; BSB format import support; and the ability to load DEM layers individually and to set transparent alpha channels in Advanced Import. Support is provided for writing to the DEM TIFF format, which saves raw DEM values. And noteworthy is functionality to export web tiles to Google Maps or Microsoft Bing Maps format, which is said to allow users to spend less time dealing with image referencing and more time creating online mapping solutions.

The Georeference tool makes it possible to georeference by matching control points with real world coordinates, as well as including coordinate system detection and an improved rectification process. Also significant is the ability to use the Export Web Tiles feature to generate image tiles that can be used for online map purposes, with support for OpenStreetMap and TileMill; DEM export to the ArcInfo ASCII Grid and BIL formats; the ability to export a PDF Maps package and upload it directly to the PDF Maps digital map store; and mosaic options that include including the ability to apply blending mode and place mosaic layers above a destination layer.

New in version 5.1 is full compatibility with Photoshop CC 2015.5, with the GeoPackage format now supported as a Photoshop save type and the Geographic Imager panel options menu making a return. Other new functionality includes the addition of dynamic preview zoom into the selected area for image download; improved GeoCrop with dynamic preview zoom and enhanced cropping tools; and improved WMS functionality and usability.

Geographic Imager 5.1 for Mac and Windows Photoshop CS6-CC 2015.5 is priced at $699 for the full version, while a Basic license, set at $99, makes the plugin accessible to those with more modest mapping requirements. It's said to maintain the same geospatial framework, and can still import all support spatial imagery that the Full version can, but only allows for limited export to major GIS formats, including GeoTIFF and geospatial PDF. More information and a trial version is available on the the Avenza site.

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