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eCognition is to Image Analysis What a Cockpit is to a Pilot

When we recently asked Trimble eCognition users how integral the software is to their work, we received answers like this one from Jarlath O’Neil-Dunne: “eCognition is to image analysis what wings are to birds.” And this one from Nils Erik Jørgensen: “eCognition is what ArcInfo is to GIS.”  

It gives us great pride to hear and to know that the “e” in eCognition is an essential element to so many users’ success, and that it provides the functionality, intelligence and flexibility to enable them to tackle complex projects involving massive datasets.  

Whitney Broussard, for example, a GISP and Senior Scientist at JESCO, is using eCognition to integrate five bands of 7.5-cm resolution data to develop a habitat map for the Navy. With an area coverage of 14 sq miles, eCognition is processing and analyzing over 32 billion pixels.   

For Broussard, “eCognition is like mortar to a stonemason.”   

For Tanja Schell at RLP AgroScience, the software enabled her to create a “madly huge” and intricate ruleset to automatically provide a comprehensive land cover model for the whole federal German state of Rhineland-Palatinate.  

Land Info Worldwide Mapping has nearly completed a 10-m country-wide land-use/cover data set of the USA that includes over 2,000 Sentinel satellite imagery scenes and ancillary layers. According to Chris Lowe, Land Info’s Director of Imagery Analysis, this may be the first nationwide 10-m land-use/cover data set with elevation as an input.  

For Lowe, “eCognition is like fire to a barbecue.”  

And for Associate Professor Dr. Dirk Tiede, Head EO Analytics at the University of Salzburg, eCognition gave him the ability to develop a real-world humanitarian operational application in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake in 2010. Using eCognition Developer and eCognition Server, his team created a rule set to analyze full GeoEye VHR scenes to identify, classify and map damage. Dr. Tiede says the proposed methodology was, to the best of his knowledge, the only automated damage assessment method that delivered results in only a few days after the Haiti earthquake to assist rescue efforts.  

For Dr. Tiede, “eCognition is like a Swiss army knife to MacGyver.”

It’s a fitting analogy for a software that has that “jack of all trades” reputation and can seemingly manage whatever spatial analysis task is asked of it. What’s particularly exciting is when users push the software to enable them to pursue new markets and application areas such as the oil and gas industry and seabed mapping. Please keep telling us about how eCognition is sitting in your image-analysis cockpit and enabling your innovative applications to take flight. Drop us a line in the eCognition Community!