Installation | The TerraLook Project | License | Known Issues
Version 1.1: April, 2008
This application is designed to run on Windows systems, and has been tested on Windows XP and Windows 2000. A 300 Mhz Pentium or faster system is recommended with at least 512MB of memory, though it will run on slower systems (just…slower).
To install, run the executable file (see below) and follow the instructions. Any previous installation MUST be uninstalled first.
The program can be completely uninstalled using Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs.
Double-click on the installer you downloaded and it will take you through the set-up process
Currently, there are two websites where appropriate images can be obtained.
http://terralook.cr.usgs.gov explains how to create new collections. These collections allow the user to select scenes from the massive USGS EROS data archive.
http://asterweb.jpl.nasa.gov/terralook provides an archive of many existing collections. These are generally divided up into countries, with full country coverage.
The Help menu item in the program contains a QuickStart Section.
TerraLook provides access to satellite images for users that lack prior experience with remote sensing or Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. It does this by combining collections of images on user-defined themes with a set of simple visualization and analysis tools, allowing the user to explore the data and employ it for useful purposes. The images include recent high-resolution ones plus those from several historical periods going back to the early '70s to support change analysis. Simplicity is an overarching principle. TerraLook was designed to overcome the obstacles that limit access to data by user communities that lack sophisticated tools and skills.
TerraLook is of use to a wide variety of disciplines including conservation, development planning, education, urban studies, disaster planning and response, and others. It is of particular use in developing countries that may have less capacity to purchase or work with remote sensing data.
Need. Remote sensing is underutilized in many disciplines, particularly in developing countries. Providing a simple collection of satellite images, accessible by clicking on a map, and manipulated with simple tools friendly to non-experts, will help make the benefits of remote sensing available to a much wider audience.
Training. TerraLook is particularly useful for training because of its accessibility and simplicity. Because each collection can cover areas of interest to all participants, each trainee can find the particular area where they work. This sparks interest, and may be the first time for many of them to see and explore such an image. And they can then take the disk with them so they have it available in their office, providing an easy path to begin using remote sensing data in their routine activities.
Broader Applications. Such a disk also provides a starting point for further work in the area of developing simple, intuitive techniques and tools that can make remote sensing more accessible. These techniques and tools would be of use to all user communities lacking easy access to the technology and data.
This release of the TerraLook Viewer/Toolkit supports:
Note that work on Version 2.0 is underway and will provide a greatly improved look and feel, a result of an updated GUI library.
Additional information about the TerraLook project can be found at the following websites:
TerraLook was previously known as the Protected Area Archive, or PAA. That name reflects its origins, which lie in conservation, and the name was changed to TerraLook to better represent the broad range of user disciplines that it supports. The concept evolved out of discussions that Gary Geller had with Protected Area managers in southeast Asia, while he was on leave of absence from his job at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in early 2002. Those discussions made the obstacles to use of satellite image data by these managers very apparent. The concept eventually led to a prototype being developed at at JPL with support from the US ASTER Science Team. That prototype was demonstrated widely to obtain feedback, with the IUCN World Parks Congress (Durban, South Africa, 2003) being a major source of advice from a large number of park managers and conservation professionals. That led to “PAA Version 1.0”, which was released a year later at the IUCN World Conservation Congress (Bangkok, 2004), where additional feedback was obtained.
During this time the image collections were being generated on an informal basis at JPL. The USGS National Center for Earth Resources Observation Science (EROS) was then approached to discuss the possibility of their becoming the formal, operational host of the system. Funding was obtained from NASA and USGS to do this and work began on development of the formal, fully automated system, which became operational in March 2007.
At the same time it was recognized that a more advanced version of the TerraLook software (then called the Viewer/Toolkit) was needed, and that it must be Open Source. Sujoy Chaudhuri of the conservation NGO Ecollage expressed an interest in working on the development of this new software, and funding was found from the IABIN Connectivity Project (sponsored by the World Bank Development Grant Facility) to do a proof-of-concept pilot to take the existing open source program called OpenEV and make it easy to use and compatible with TerraLook image collections. IABIN then funded the first official version of the open source TerraLook software (Version 1.0).
In 2007 TerraLook was one of three finalists for the St Andrews Prize for the Environment, leading to international recognition and a prize of US$10,000. In 2008 discussions are underway with potential sponsors to support Version 2.0, a major upgrade that will replace the archaic Graphic User Interface (GUI) software library with a much more modern one called gtk2. This will result in a complete makeover--and a huge improvement--in the look, feel, and friendliness of the software.
Funding was provided by the IABIN Connectivity Project, which is sponsored by the World Bank Development Grant Facility. Version 1.1 was supported using prize money from the 2007 St. Andrews Prize for the Environment, for which TerraLook was one of three finalists. Alvaro Espinel and Ana Maria Pacheco of the Organization of American States translated the Spanish version of the Help documentations. Teresa Roderiguez translated the GUI to Spanish. Hélène Draux kindly translated the GUI to French. Alvaro Espinel was particularly generous with encouragement and advice on tool development. TerraLook is built on the FWTools build of the OpenEV Source package.
Comments are welcomed and encouraged. General comments on the TerraLook project or the Viewer/Toolkit can be sent to:
Technical questions and comments on the viewer/toolkit can be sent to:
TerraLook, like OpenEV, is issued under the GNU Lesser General Public License. The full text of the license can be found here or via the Help menu. This release includes the following additional open source libraries:
Some users have reported that TerraLook is un-operable on their systems. This problem is often characterized by the error message: Python.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience. This release appears to have fixed that problem: if the error does occur, please report back to us. Updating the system's graphics card drivers from the manufacturers (not MS Windows) websites may help.
In case the error reads:The ordinal 2821 could not be located in the dynamic link library LIBEAY32.dll. You will need to copy the file called LIBEAY32.DLL from the C:\TerraLook1.1\BIN folder to your C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 folder overwriting the older file.
OpenEV is designed for high-performance systems: if performance is slow, avoid using the continuous zoom feature ([ctrl]+mouse button left- or right click) - use the keyboard modifiers: PageUp to zoom in, PageDown to zoom out and Home to fit all the layers onto the viewscreen.
The maximum number of images that can be displayed simultaneously is limited, and will will depend on amount of memory available on the users's machine. Displaying more images than the machine can handle will cause the program to slow annoyingly, or hang completely.
Very large polygon shape files (>100MB) may take a very long time to load and appear to hang the application.
Although vector file attributes (such as color, line width, etc) can be changed, these changes are not properly saved unless you save your work as a project (use File -> Save Project As…).
You should uninstall older versions of TerraLook before installing new ones.
Several functions (eg. multi-band datasets, 3D Views) have not been friendlified yet. Users are encouraged to report back on any function(s) they feel need further simplification.
Menu items are sticky and will appear over other applications if not switched off first.
Cascade Views does not work as it should.
During startup a black screen--the CMD window--will flash twice. This is normal and can be ignored
Searchable Help not yet available.
The Brightness, Contrast, Gamma adjustment tool is buggy - some users have reported errors on saving files to different locations. You should have no problem if you are overwriting the original file with your changes. In case you face any problem with the tool, please report back to us.
Occasionally an image will be displayed incorrectly, or seem to disappear (may appear all white). If this happens click the REFRESH button and it will be redrawn.
Help documentation has not yet been translated into French, though the menus have.