Imagery and raster data are core to GIS. It exists as digital aerial photographs or satellite imagery. It includes imagery from any type of sensor, such as multispectral or thermal. It is elevation models or scanned maps. It can be thematic raster data such as a land classification or the grid-based output from an analysis or interpolation process.
Imagery is important because it provides information and often supports much of the GIS work you do. ArcGIS provides a complete system for working with imagery, with tools for:
- Visualization—2D and 3D
- Management—Storage, cataloging, processing, and dissemination
- Processing—Geoprocessing tools, analysis tools, and on-the-fly functions
- Serving—Image services, map services, and caching
Esri provides services of imagery through ArcGIS.com, such as world-wide imagery, hi-resolution imagery, imagery specific to current events, and so on. There are also services provided by users.
Specific web applications let you explore and compare imagery, such as Landsat imagery. The Landsat image services are a multispectral and multi-temporal collection of Landsat imagery providing over 30 years of information. You can interact with them as individual services or using the ChangeMatters Viewer.