ENVI, Modules, IDL

What is ENVI?

ENVI image analysis software is used by GIS professionals, remote sensing scientists, and image analysts to extract meaningful information from imagery to make better decisions. ENVI can be deployed and accessed from the desktop, in the cloud, and on mobile devices, and can be customized through an API to meet specific project requirements.

ENVI image analysis software uses scientifically proven analytics to deliver expert-level results. Businesses and organizations choose ENVI because it integrates with existing workflows, supports today's most popular sensors, and can easily be customized to meet unique project requirements

Video Link: https://harrisgeospatial.hubs.vidyard.com/watch/6ypL7F2ukuRT5oLFcfug1A?

ENVI Features


ENVI provides a powerful API that lets organizations add their own proprietary algorithms, extend existing tools and models, automate high-frequency tasks, and string together multiple tools to produce desired outcomes.

Combine multiple tools, including image analysis functionality, to create new custom image analysis capabilities based on desired outcomes.

ArcGIS Integration


Harris is a platinum business partner with Esri and together we provide solutions for GIS users. ENVI analytics can be executed from within any ArcGIS environment and results can be accessed directly from ArcMap or via ArcGIS Online.

Workflows and automated tools open in the ArcToolbox®and results can be pushed directly to ArcMap or accessed via ArcOnline


Data Support

ENVI supports the latest sensor data including Geiger-mode LiDAR from Harris and other commercial data from DigitalGlobe, Airbus, Planet and more. Supported modalities include panchromatic, multi and hyperspectral, LiDAR, SAR, and FMV.

ENVI works with any size data set and has automated tools to quickly and easily prepare big and small imagery for viewing and further analysis.



ENVI workflows automate popular image analysis tasks such change detection, anomaly detection, viewshed analysis, and many more. These workflows are easy to learn and deliver expert-level results regardless of image analysis experience.

Support for hyperspectral and multispectral data, analysis tasks such as change detection, anomaly detection, viewshed analysis, and more.

ENVI Modules

Easily extend your analysis. Use ENVI Modules to quickly and easily perform highly specialized tasks that require advanced image analysis tools.

1.Feature Extraction Module

Find and extract specific objects of interest from all types of imagery with the ENVI Feature Extraction Module (ENVI FX). User-friendly tools enable users to extract features from geospatial imagery based on the object’s spatial, spectral, and texture characteristics and identify them as objects like vehicles, buildings, roads, coastlines, rivers, lakes, and fields

3D point cloud feature extraction is also available in this module. Feature identification can be performed on an entire point cloud scene or a user-defined subset of a scene – providing accurate information in a fraction of the time. Features users can extract include buildings, trees, and power lines.

The inherent flexibility of ENVI FX lets users modify parameters and data at any stage of the process. Designed specifically for GIS users and fully integrated with ESRI’s ArcGIS® software, ENVI FX includes unique step-by-step workflows to walk through previously complex image analysis tasks.


2.DEM Extraction Module

The ENVI DEM extraction module is used to quickly and easily create spatially accurate DEMS of geospatial imagery. A step-by-step, guides users through the process, producing accurate and robust models from virtually any airphoto or stereo satellite images with RPCs, including those from pushboom sensors such as WorldView 2, ASTER, IKONOS, OrbView-3, QuickBird and SPOT 1-5. These tools let users view anaglyph images, measure building or mountain heights, edit DEM values, and extract 3D features.


3.Atmospheric Correction Module

Remove atmospheric interference from imagery with the ENVI Atmospheric Correction Module (ENVI ACM). The ENVI ACM module delivers accurate, scientific details creating a true, reliable representation of a specific image scene. This flexible solution offers either advanced, physics-based techniques or more of an on-the-fly method for real-time data processing and works with both multispectral and hyperspectral data.


4.Photogrammetry Module

Register imagery to ground coordinates and geometrically correct them to remove distortions that happen during image capture with the ENVI Photogrammetry Module. This Module delivers a trusted, rigorous orthorectification method with robust capabilities. A wizard-based interface guides users through orthorectification steps to quickly produce expert-level results regardless of experience level. This solution creates a seamless data transition, easily taking you from data ingest through orthorectification with the option to export results for further analysis or inclusion in GIS products.This module also generates synthetic 3D point clouds and a DSM from spaceborne optical imaging platforms via multi-ray photogrammetry techniques that involve feature detector pixel correlation and dense image matching. This functionality produces LAS format output files that can be used with the wide variety of point cloud visualization and processing tools available in ENVI. Users can take advantage of large commercial imagery archives and also use this capability to create point cloud and terrain products where flying airborne LiDAR is not feasible or would be cost-prohibitive


5.NITF Module

Read, edit, and deliver NITF files using the ENVI NITF Module, certified by the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC). The ENVI NITF/NSIF Module was tested by the JITC and recommended for full compliance and registration to complexity level 7 for NITF 2.1 and complexity level 6 for NITF 2.0 – the highest awarded for each format.

ENVI Specialized tools

1. ENVI Opticalscape

ENVI Opticalscape generates Digital Surface Models (DSMs) and orthorectified images from spaceborne and UAV data while giving users the industry leading tools for imagery preparation and data fusion.


Digital Surface Model generated from SPOT-7

stereo-data and corresponding land displacements

derived from SAR differential interferometry

UAV Module

Opticalscape UAV processes multiple stereo images to create orthorectified mosaic images while correcting for sensor orientation. The DSM generation is based on the most advanced algorithms and automated ortho image mosaicking. To facilitate the image orientation, images must include a coarse platform position, however, attitude data are not mandatory.

Spaceborne Module

Opticalscape Spaceborne processes optical stereo and tri-stereo images acquired from satellites for the generation of DSMs and ortho images. The DSM generation is based on the most advanced algorithms and takes into account new sensor characteristics.

Fusion of Opticalscape and SARscape Products

High-resolution spaceborne or UAV DSMs can be ingested into SARscape Interferometric Stacking module to derive precise land displacement maps. Opticalscape and SARscape fuse DEM data generated from SAR and optical sensors. This data fusion is unique to ENVI Opticalscape and greatly improves the accuracy of the DEM product. Futhermore, the fusion considers the sensor characteristics rather than simply averaging the different heights (top).

Monitoring Coastal Erosion with ENVI Opticalscape

One early adopter of ENVI Opticalscape plans to use the software combined with SARscape to fuse SAR and optical data to improve the accuracy of 3D products generated.  These 3D products can be used to closely monitor coastal erosion among other uses.



2.ENVI® Crop Science

Agricultural operations work on razor thin margins. One key to profitability is being able to use the minimum amount of crop inputs while simultaneously maximizing yields. This is often easier said than done since conventional field inspection methods are time consuming and inefficient. Missing a small area of pest or insect infestation can result in a big loss come harvest, and over fertilizing can be just as costly as using too little fertilizer over the long term.

Satellite and UAV imagery offers an efficient and effective way to survey small to large scale farming operations to assess overall crop health. Remote sensing techniques can then be used to analyze aerial imagery to pinpoint areas of crop stress and determine exactly what is needed to remedy the situation. This type of analysis provides actionable information to determine when, where, and how much water, pesticide, and fertilizer is needed to produce a healthy crop.

Minimize Losses to Maximize Yields

Hotspot Analysis


Crop Counter


3.Access ENVI Where and When You Need It

ENVI analytics are easily accessible through cloud and enterprise environments. Flexible subscription models are available to meet specific project needs and discrete analytics can be deployed on public or private clouds such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure.


Analytics at Scale (Enterprise)

Deploying ENVI image and data analytic capabilities within an enterprise environment takes advantage of existing investments in server and enterprise technology and enables the use of lightweight browser-based clients and apps to access ENVI analytics. The results are reduced hardware and software management costs, improved organizational collaboration, and the optimization of analytic workflows. Learn more about deploying ENVI analytics through our Geospatial Services Framework (GSF) technology and how it can help organizations successfully migrate to the cloud.


ENVI Analytics Available Through Partners

ENVI Analytics can be accessed from many of our Partner’s Platforms including:


ENVI in the Cloud offered through CloudEO

Using a convenient subscription model, ENVI in the Cloud offers the full desktop experience of ENVI and IDL through a web browser. This service enables organizations to quickly get up and running while saving time and money on IT support and infrastructure. The full ENVI desktop software, as well as atmospheric correction, photogrammetry, and feature extraction modules are available on a monthly 

basis. Users simply login to virtual instances of ENVI or IDL and can start working right away. Subscriptions also include storage, making it possible to upload project data or access CloudEO’s data services.


4.ENVI OneButton

Image processing made easy for your drone/UAV data. ENVI OneButton products are easy to use, yet powerful enough to support the most advanced GIS solutions and advanced analytics.


ENVI OneButton speeds up the time between image capture and decision making by using the most advanced photogrammetric and computer vision algorithms. Use ENVI OneButton to create fully georeferenced 2D and 3D products from UAS data, and produce outputs including orthomosaics, Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), true color 3D point clouds, orthorectified multispectral mosaics, and controlled oblique imagery. These products can be used as inputs for ENVI to support projects across industries including precision agriculture, utilities, transportation and more.


Key Features

  • Includes all of the fully automatic processing provided by ENVI OneButton
  • Complete control over the orthorectification process
  • Real-time progress, auto-save and recovery capability
  • An interactive multifunction control station to step through the

photogrammetric process and refine all processing parameters on-the-fly

  • Complete control over the aerial triangulation and bundle block solution process including tie point improvement, correspondence (matching) improvement, and filtering
  •  Complete control over DEM and 3D point cloud creation including model density and smoothing for approximated bare earth models and trade-offs between model quality and processing time
  • Complete control over mosaicking including seamline placement, editing and feathering
  • Facilities to divide large projects into tiles/sheets and combine multiple projects together to produce large orthomosaics, well into the tens of thousands of images, which can be color and tone balanced
  • A fast geoclipboard that selects for you all the images taken in a specific geographic location, displays them, and lets you select an appropriate image to replace undesirable content in mosaics that may appear due to shadows, transient objects, or poor image quality. Also provides control over feathering of patches and after change recolor/tone balancing
  • Management functions to allow complete projects to be split across workstations and division of labor across projects


  • Increases ROI and lowers costs of data collection and processing
  • Imagery products are easily ingested into your GIS and analytics packages such as ENVI
  • Supports complex analytics for precision agriculture, pipeline inspection, construction and engineering projects, and more



IDL is the trusted scientific programming language used across disciplines to extract meaningful visualizations from complex numerical data. With IDL, you can interpret your data, expedite discoveries, and deliver powerful applications to market.


IDL is the programming language of choice for many scientists and engineers because it is easy to learn, easy to use, and requires fewer lines of code than other programming languages, making it easier and faster to go from data to discovery.


It is used to extend ENVI capabilities.


IDL Capabilities

A modern programming language

The dynamically typed nature of IDL gives you more flexibility in your programming than a static language, saving you valuable time and allowing you to focus on data analysis and visualization, rather than on programming details. Because the IDL language is based on intuitive and easy-to-learn rules and conventions, you can create visualization programs and even full-blown applications with fewer lines of code. With an extensive library of prebuilt analysis and visualization routines, IDL is the choice for programmers of any experience level.

Easily integrates with other applications

IDL is a flexible and extensible visualization, analysis, and development environment that easily integrates with the other software tools you use. IDL provides a host of ways to import code and functionality from other programming languages and advanced methods for exporting IDL capabilities to your applications written in other languages.

Access virtually any type of data

IDL provides built-in support for the data sources, data types, file formats, and file sizes you use. Receive data from remote servers or write files to a disk at a remote location using common protocols. IDL acts as a client to HTTP and FTP servers, and provides access to common Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) servers such as Web Map Service (WMS) and Web Coverage Service (WCS).