ERDAS APOLLO Assists Restoration of German Forests Ravaged by Tornado

Norcross, GA, USA — ERDAS APOLLO was used last year to assist in the cleanup of storm damage after a tornado swept through the forests in the state of Saxony in Germany, leaving behind a path of destruction approximately 100 km long and 6 km wide.

The state agency Sachsenforst protects and manages the forests of Saxony, and first obtained ERDAS APOLLO from GEOSYSTEMS earlier last year. ERDAS APOLLO is the market leading geospatial solution for managing and delivering imagery. ERDAS APOLLO consistently delivers more data, quicker, using less hardware than other image serving products. An interoperable OGC/ISO based solution, ERDAS APOLLO also easily delivers feature data, terrain and virtually any digital object in an enterprise.

Immediately after the tornado, Sachsenforst began the aerial survey and orthoimage production process for 600 square kilometers of forest. The raw data consisted of 326 tiles with each tile displaying 2 square kilometers at 20 centimeter resolution, in color infrared as well as true color RGB. To make the data more manageable, it was mosaicked and compressed using ERDAS’ Enhanced Compression Wavelet (ECW) technology, which allows a considerable reduction of the data volume without losing visual quality. The ECW data format also enables highly efficient data transfer using the ECWP streaming protocol.

To optimize access speed and data security, a separate server was set up to distribute the disaster data independently of the existing ERDAS APOLLO-based raster data management system. Sachsenforst used ERDAS APOLLO Essentials – Image Web Server, a low-cost solution providing high-speed access to large volumes of imagery on a minimum hardware set. Image Web Server requires very little server administration, and leverages the unmatched power of ECWP and Optimized Tile Delivery to ensure images are delivered very quickly.

Shortly after the tornado, various forestry agencies responsible for restoring the damaged forests were able to access the actual orthoimages of the storm damage. This was done via the Sachsenforst data portal. These organizations could use the precise geoinformation for damage assessment and coordination of the clean-up operations.

“The forestry agencies that obtained imagery from Sachsenforst using our data portal responded positively to the experience,” said Karina Hoffman, Remote Sensing Consultant, Sachsenforst. “We were able to successfully manage our orthoimages and safely deliver them online with very good performance. This approach serves as a model for future disaster response endeavors.”

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ERDAS – The Earth to Business Company – helps organizations harness the information of the changing earth for greater advantage. ERDAS creates geospatial business systems that transform our earth’s data into business information, enabling individuals, businesses and public agencies to quickly access, manage, process and share that information from anywhere. Using secure geospatial information, ERDAS solutions improve employee, customer and partner visibility to information, enabling them to respond faster and collaborate better. It also means better decision-making, increased productivity and new revenue streams. Welcome to ERDAS: a trusted name, with a new energy, and a new vision. Earth to business starts here. ERDAS is a part of the Hexagon Group, Sweden. For more information about ERDAS or its products and services, please call +1 770 776 3400, toll free +1 866 534 2286, or visit

GEOSYSTEMS is a solution provider and software vendor with outstanding expertise in remote sensing, photogrammetry, and geospatial data management. As one of the largest distributors of ERDAS, Inc., the company holds a world-renowned software product in its portfolio. On the basis of its first-rate knowledge in the processing of geospatial data, GEOSYSTEMS provides customized systems for satellite and aerial image exploitation and data management, following OGC standards and supporting INSPIRE. The holistic approach with GEOSYSTEMS covers workflow streamlining, process orientated consulting, software development, system integration, support, training, updates and maintenance. GEOSYSTEMS has been internationally successful for over 20 years. Solutions by the enterprise are mainly used in environmental monitoring, forestry, security and infrastructure planning. GEOSYSTEMS GmbH is located in Munich, Germany and offers a European network with seven company shares and distributors.