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Opticks is an expandable remote sensing and imagery analysis software platform that is free and open source. If you are interested you can learn about the history of Opticks.

If you've used commercial tools like: ERDAS IMAGINE, RemoteView, ENVI, or SOCET GXP, then you need to give Opticks a try. Unlike other competing tools, you can add capability to Opticks by creating an extension. Opticks provides the most advanced extension capability of any other remote sensing tool on the market.

Download Opticks

Download Extensions

Download Sample Data

Imagery and Multispectral Data provided by Digital Globe. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data provided by Sandia National Labs.

  • Free and open source
  • Supports the following file formats: NITF 2.0/2.1, GeoTIFF, ENVI, ASPAM/PAR, CGM, DTED, Generic RAW, ESRI Shapefile, HDF5, AVI, MPEG, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP
  • Zoom, pan, rotate spatially large datasets
  • Quickly layer GIS features, annotations, results, and other information over your data to provide context
  • Many image display controls such as colormap, histogram, transparency, etc.
  • Support for datasets larger than four gigabytes
  • Analysts can quickly combine steps using graphical wizards
  • Support for processing data in its native interleave of BIP, BSQ or BIL
  • Get extensions to drop in new capability.

Opticks Gear from CafePress

CafePress is now offering items with the Opticks logo at their store.
No proceeds are given back to the Opticks project.

Official Opticks News and Announcements
  • None
  1. Feb 19, 2010

    I wanted to post to the Ball Team a big Thank you for the most recent developments to Opticks.  I think these are very good tools to have in this product.  They may even help me in my quest for developing some additional functionality to Opticks.  I have good intentions, but the limitation of the current Earth Day (i.e. 24 hrs) is not enough time for me to do all that I would like to do, one of them doing some development using the Opticks SDK and great product that the Ball Team has put together and continues to support.

    I am an Adjunct Professor in GIS at American Rive College teaching a remote sensing and digital image processing class where I would love to use Opticks as a primary teaching tool.  I am not quite there yet since there is still some functionality that I would like to see in Opticks that I don't think is fully developed and I, unfortunately, haven't had the time to work on myself.  I currently teach using ERDAS and cover the following subjects:

    Traditional Image classifications - Unsupervised, Supervised, Hybrid, spectral signature creation, analysis, evaluation, editing

    Object Based/Feature Based Classification and Identification - Feature Analyst

    RADAR - speckle removal, texture analysis

    LiDAR - from text file to image dataset creation


    Image Enhancments - Edge detectors, convolutions using moving windows over multiple bands

    Band Ratios - NDVI, Tassled Cap, various band ratios

    DEM creation

    Image Rectification using Image to Image techniques with one image in "real world" coordinate systems.  I also do an overview to Photogrammetry

    Accuracy Assessment - I have a Python script I wrote to create and compute Error Matrices and statistics based on "polygons/zones" rather than individual pixels

    Some of my interests are:

    Supervised/Unsupervised Classification (the spectral signature work may be moving in this direction)

    Spectral Signature Creation/Evaluation/Analysis (some of this may be addressed in the latest releae....I will have to check it out)

    RADAR processing - Speckle removal, texture analysis, slant to ground range adjustment

    Pixel Based and Neighborhood based processing such as Edge Detectors, convolutions using canned and custom kernel sizes (maybe the techniques are moving in a different directions these days).

    I have C++ code from a long time ago (OS2) during my grad school days and was hoping to incorporate with developing some modules for Opticks.  I just haven't been able to put it all together, yet.

    Additional work:

    Feature Based (Object Based) classification - similar to those of "Feature Analyst" and eCognition for use with high resolution image data to pick things out like buildings, trees, specific cover types, etc.

    I also teach a Python class in GIS and started down a path of doing some image processing development using Python which didn't get very far, but I have this vision of creating an image processing algorithms class that would use Opticks as the primary software to teach in.  This, for me, is down the road, but I am trying to promote Opticks as a solid open source image processing package.

    I think Opticks is very well set up and supported and has a lot of knowledgable people on board.  I only wish had some more time to help the cause.

    Good luck with future developments.  I appreciate all those that work on this full time!

    Thank you again.  All the best in future Opticks Development.


    Sr. GIS Analyst - City of Sacramento

    Adjunct Professor -  GIS American River College


    Opticks Developer wannabe

  2. Dec 01, 2010

    I would like to add an update to my comment...

    I have successfully used Opticks in my Remote Sensing and Digital Image Processing course for American River College in Sacramento.  I want to personally thank the Opticks team and staff who continue to develop a great Open Source product and provide continuous support for Opticks, develop new functionality, and support the open source development community, of which, I am a part of.  This has been my saving grace, since the school has been faced with significant cut-backs for school resources and I was unable to obtain professional grade software licensing just before the semester started.

    I currently have Opticks installed in 2 labs at American River College and my class of 20 (started out at 34) are all using it at home.  In addition, the students were able to take advantage of a draft copy of an additional algorithm, provided by Opticks, that fit very well with a segment I was teaching on unsupervised/supervised traditional image classification techniques.  I also took significant advantage of using the Spectral Processing Extension for a number of different classes, including hyperspectral.  I also was able to successfully implement my own custom built RADAR extension for the RADAR segment of my class.  I hope to see some of the additional Open Source Development Community's work as it becomes available.  Click here for a course outline, topics list, and how I have used Opticks in my class.

    As my small contribution back to Opticks, I have created a practical Opticks User's Guide that I developed, provide, and will continue to provide to my students and colleagues for remote sensing and digital image processing.  I plan on spending some time looking into the Python Extension and how this can be used to develop and add functionality to Opticks.

    The Spring semester is coming, and with it, I will be using the latest version of Opticks.

    Here Here! for the Opticks team.  Continue the great work!


  3. Aug 30, 2013

    What a valuable tool this team has created !!

    A doctoral student of mine at the University of Zimbabwe, Department of Computer Science, wants to use remote sensing as a component in a fully-automated irrigation system. This is essential in his drought-stricken nation, Zimbabwe Africa, the world's third poorest. Still, they do have a direct link to a satellite that covers the area of interest.

    Am going to bring a copy of Opticks to him, along with the sample data and, of course, the web link. Internet connection is slow and unreliable over there so I am using Wget to vacuum the whole set of data.

    Have collected a lot of CreativeCommons material on remote sensing. If the team wants a copy, just drop me a line. Glad to bring it over.

    Many thanks for your contribution to a valuable bit of research by a very intelligent and eager student.

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