Expanding Access to THEOS with
Free Educational Software
Sally E. Goldin & Kurt T. Rudahl
Geoinformatics Laboratory at KMUTT
King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi
Bangkok, Thailand
THEOS Data Users Meeting
13 February 2012
A New Era for Remote Sensing in Thailand
Abundant, affordable data
 Near-real-time information
 High resolution
 Under Thai control
 Water management
 Forest conservation
 Urban planning
 Etc...
Expanded User Base for RS Imagery
Government agencies
Local administrative bodies
Educational organizations
Commercial companies
Communities and cooperatives
Many of these new users will know little about analyzing and
interpreting remote sensing data
What do these new users need?
Theoretical knowledge
Principles of remote sensing
Limitations of imagery
Image processing algorithms
Practical skills
Interpreting images
Planning and executing analyses
Software tools
This is our topic today
Introducing OpenDragon
Easy-to-use image analysis and raster modeling
Multilingual user interface (including Thai)
Detailed user manual and context-sensitive help
Rich set of core analysis capabilities
Imports THEOS data sets
Programmer's Toolkit for extensibility
History of OpenDragon
1984-1986 - Goldin & Rudahl, at Asian Institute of Technology, recognize the
need for affordable software for remote sensing education
1987 – Dragon V1.0 – first remote sensing image analysis package to run on
an off-the-shelf PC
2004 – KMUTT provides three years funding for OpenDragon project, to
make the software free for educational organizations in SE Asia. After project
ends, Goldin-Rudahl Systems, Inc. continues support.
2010 – Goldin-Rudahl Systems makes OpenDragon free for everyone,
announces plan to open the source code
Since then, the software has been downloaded by people in 85 countries
OpenDragon was designed for teaching
Context-sensitive help explains
every parameter
No magic or wizards – approaches
analysis operations step by step
Scripting capability allows
instructors to automate more
complex operations
Fully internationalized, with
versions for many languages
Users new to remote sensing do
not have to struggle with English
OpenDragon Capabilities
Gray, composite and pseudocolor display, image
overlay, annotation, zoom, capture
Band arithmetic, vegetation indices, convolution,
principal components, masking
Geometric correction/registration
Supervised and unsupervised classification
including training, signature editing, MDM, max
likelihood, K-means clustering, slicing, error
Vector capture with image background,
rasterization, measurement, area histograms,
transect profiles, irregular subsetting, recoding
Interactive value display for pixels and regions
Buffering, aspect and slope calculation, multicriteria modeling
Image histogram, scatterplot, statistics, metadata
display and editing
Import and export of raster and vector data
Log capture to create scripts
Programmer's Toolkit
Provides header files and libraries to
allow users to add new capabilities to
Written in standard C for use with free
compilers such as gcc
Read and write Dragon format images,
vectors, signature files, etc. Manage
meta data.
Excellent resource for education
Shortcut to teaching geoinformatics software
Support for researchers developing new
Education using OpenDragon: Case Studies
High school workshop on drought analysis
2B-KMUTT – High school research project
Graduate thesis work
Professional education in geoinformatics programming
High School Remote Sensing Workshop
In October 2005, at the request of HRH Princess Maha Chakri
Sirindhorn and with the cooperation of GISTDA, the OpenDragon
project presented a three-day workshop for students from Mahidol
Wittayanusorn school.
The topic was remote sensing for drought monitoring
Experts on remote sensing technology, meteorology, and water
resources provide background lectures
Labs used OpenDragon for multitemporal analysis of images of
reservoirs around Thailand, from normal versus drought years
On the third day, students presented their results and conclusions
OpenDragon High School Workshop
Normal Year
Drought Year
2B-KMUTT Program
Original Image
Mathayom 5 students spend three
weeks at KMUTT during summer
break, working on research projects
with faculty
One young woman worked with us to
develop code for the Tassled Cap
transformation using the Programmer's
Although she knew nothing about
remote sensing before she came to
KMUTT and little about programming,
she successfully completed her project.
Master's Thesis
Improving the Estimated Area of Rice Cultivation by Classification Techniques
by Ithiphol Ekahitanonda
Compared standard maximum
likelihood classification with
multitemporal fuzzy-rule-based
Best fuzzy rule set was developed using
Genetic Algorithms
Mr. Ithiphol wrote more than a dozen C
modules using the Programmer's Toolkit
to implement his novel algorithms
Computer Programming for Geographers
Course for graduate students in Geoinformatics – many already work in geospatiallyoriented positions
Presented twice at Chiang Mai University, once at Burapha University
Goal is to teach students enough programming that they can:
Understand how geospatial data is represented and manipulated in a program
Modify an existing program to customize its behavior
Understand what is “under the hood” of geospatial software in order to critically evaluate
the answers that software provides
Half lecture, half lab – Programmer's Toolkit used for raster exercises
Hand-on work modifying real code builds students' confidence
How can you get OpenDragon?
Go to
Fill in the contact form to register
You will receive a serial number by email
Return to the site. Enter the serial number to
download the package, sample data, and the Programmer's Toolkit, if
you wish
OpenDragon currently runs on Windows XP, Windows Vista and
Windows 7. A port to Linux is planned for the future.
Other Resources
Learning Remote Sensing is a
textbook aimed at new users of R/S
imagery. It provides hands-on
exercises using downloadable data
The book is available in both digital
and print formats.
Contact us at break or visit the
OpenDragon website for details
OpenDragon is not for everyone
OpenDragon can process images up to 1024x1024 in size.
These capacity limits mean it is not appropriate for production image processing
Dragon/ips® Professional is a more powerful commercial version capable of
processing full THEOS scenes
OpenDragon provides a way for new users to ease into the complex world of remote
sensing image processing
OpenDragon speaks your language
OpenDragon is free
Contact us for more information!
Sally Goldin & Kurt Rudahl
Geoinformatics Lab at KMUTT