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Enhancements - IDRISI GIS Analysis


The biggest enhancement to the IDRISI GIS Analysis component is in the area of decision support. Clark Labs has always been a leader in the provision of multi-criteria and multi-objective decision tools, having provided the first viable multi-objective solver for raster GIS. With the release of TerrSet, we have also added the important ability to achieve multi-objective solutions that are spatially contiguous and have a user-specified degree of compactness. This can be achieved either with the radically new implementation of the MOLA (Multi-Objective Land Allocation) module or the new Spatial Decision Modeler (SDM).

With the new MOLA, allocations can be non-contiguous or contiguous. When contiguous allocations are chosen, one can also control the degree of compactness and the number of separate clusters. Further, allocations can be specified either in terms of their desired area or in terms of their maximum cost based on a specified land price image. Single allocations are also allowed with these options.

SDM is a graphical modeling interface similar to Macro Modeler. However, it has been specially designed for multi-critera and multi-objective decision problems. Data objects are categorized as variables, factors, constraints, objectives and allocations. Operations include RECLASS, FUZZY, MCE and MOLA.

TerrSet SDM

RECLASS converts variables into constraints. FUZZY converts variables into factors. MCE creates objectives from factors and constraints. MOLA creates allocations from one or more objectives using the various options indicated above. Using SDM, for example, one could design a set of reserves for species protection. Perhaps the design called for two separate but internally-contiguous reserves with a minimum span of 1 kilometer up to a maximum expenditure of two million dollars.

Other enhancements in the IDRISI GIS Analysis components include:

Enhancement - IDRISI Image Processing

With the successful launch of Landsat 8 and the consolidation of the entire Landsat archive at the USGS Earth Explorer site (, we have completely revised our LANDSAT module to capitalize on the strengths of this archive. After downloading a scene from Earth Explorer, the LANDSAT module reads the metadata file, lists all the associated files and provides options, in a single integrated sequence, to:

We’ve also overhauled several of our previous modules including:


IDRISI Image Processing

Enhancement - Import/Export


With this release we have made some important adjustments to the interface. In prior versions of the IDRISI system one had to toggle between Pan mode and Feature Inquiry mode (similar to most other geospatial software systems). With TerrSet we have integrated these two modes. The system senses automatically what you want to do by the nature of your action. Click the mouse down on a feature and it will show the value at that position from the layer highlighted in Composer. However, if you click on a feature and hold the left mouse button down, it switches into Pan mode, allowing you to move the composition.

Options have also been streamlined for digitizing features on the screen. Two new modes allow you to digitize multiple features without having to use the keyboard – a very handy feature when you’re digitizing training sites for classification of remotely sensed imagery.

We’ve also added a new Identify mode that drills down through all the layers listed in Composer to identify the values and/or features at that location. Previously this was offered only for layers belonging to the same raster group. However, we’ve found that drilling through all layers listed in Composer is far easier and includes both raster and vector layers.

Under the Hood

Some of the most significant changes in the TerrSet system aren’t visible at all – they’re in the native binary code of the software itself. Over the past two years we have changed to a new compiler that allows us to keep up with the latest developments in the evolving Windows system, including the basis for a 64-bit system in the future. We’ve also been busy revamping modules to optimize their speed.

A Major Upgrade

TerrSet is, without question, the most significant release in the 28 year history of Clark Labs’ geospatial software development. If you are working with an older version, we strongly recommend that you upgrade to the TerrSet constellation. Attractively priced with free email technical support, the system offers an exceptionally comprehensive set of tools for monitoring and modeling the Earth system.