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GsE 189 Remote Sensing: Theory and Applications

Familiarization with ENVI 5.X

Laboratory Exercise No. 1
DEADLINE: August 18, 2017 (11:55pm)

Objective: To be familiar with ENVIs basic tools and functions.

Materials: ENVI 5.X Software (with the included datasets)


Launching the Software

ENVI is the ideal software for processing and analyzing geospatial imagery. ENVIs complete image-
processing package includes advanced, yet easy-to-use, spectral tools, geometric correction, terrain
analysis, radar analysis, raster and vector GIS capabilities, and extensive support for images from a wide
variety of sources (Exelis Visual Information Solutions, Inc., 2016).

1. Launch ENVI 5.X by selecting Start All Apps ENVI 5.X ENVI (32/64 bit).
2. Once ENVI loads, you will see the single window interface. This is the primary control panel for
working in ENVI, allowing you to open files, view images and vectors, and applying processing
Menu Bar

Tool Bar

Layer Manager

Main Display Window


Status Bar
Process Manager

Figure 1. ENVI Interface

3. Explore the options available in the ENVI toolbox on the right side of the interface. There are
literally hundreds of different tools available from this menu. Expand the categories by clicking on
the plus symbol for them. Try to get an overview of what tools are available in each category.
Setting Preferences

Much of the ENVI Interface and system-wide defaults are configurable. You can customize the ENVI
configuration and save the changes.

Figure 2. Preferences Window

4. From the ENVI menu bar, select File -> Preferences dialog appears.
5. On the left side of the dialog, select Data Manager.
6. Examine the options for the Data Manager and ensure the following settings are selected:
Auto Display Files On Open = Yes
Clear View when Loading New Image = No
Close Data Manager after Loading New Data = No
7. Select Directories from the left side of the dialog. To make navigating to data files easier, adjust
the default input and output directories to point to the data for this laboratory exercise.
Click on the Default Input Directory field. Click on the pull-down menu and navigate to
C:\Program Files\Exelis\ENVI5X\classic\data and click OK to make this the input directory
Click on the Default Output Directory field. Click on the pull-down menu and navigate to
your desired output directory. Click OK.
8. Click OK to close the Preferences dialog.

Opening and Displaying Images

9. From the ENVI main menu bar, select File -> Open.
10. Select the file can_tmr.img and click Open.
11. The image will be loaded into your display. Activate the Overview in the Layer Manager by
selecting the checkbox.

Figure 3. Image Display and Overview.

12. Adjust the zoom level of the image display by selecting from the pre-defined values in the Zoom
box or by typing in your preferred zoom value. Zoom in 400% then click and drag
the red bounding box in the Overview display to explore the area.
Question #1. What is the difference between the yellow area and the red bounding box in the
Overview display?
13. Find the Zoom to Full Extent ( ) icon on the ENVI toolbar and click it. ENVI will snap to a full view
of the displayed image. Note how the Overview window is now completely yellow because you
are viewing the entire scene at once. Toggle the Overview window Off.

Data Manager

The Data Manager is the interface from which you can control all of the data you have loaded in ENVI. You
can use the Data Manager to display your data and to view information about the file (metadata) such as
sensor type, wavelength range and total file size. You can load any band combinations that your data will
support, or you can choose to load a grayscale representation of your data.

14. Open your Data Manager by selecting the Data Manager ( ) icon on the toolbar.
Figure 4. Data Manager Toolbar

15. When you click on band names in the Data Manager, color assignments automatically cycle
through red (R), green (G) and blue (B), in that particular order. Your current display is in True
Color where in Band 3 is in red, Band 2 is in green and Band 1 is in blue.
16. Display the following band combinations (RGB):
4, 3, 2
7, 5, 4
5, 2, 1
7, 4, 3
Question #2. What are the center wavelengths of each available band? Describe what happens to
each of the image combinations.

Working with Layers and Multiple Views

You can load multiple layers into ENVI at one time and manage those layers using the Layer Manager. By
default, all layers in the Layer Manager are displayed in the Image window. You can control the order of
layers in the image by dragging and dropping layers in the Layer Manager list or by using menu options.

17. Click and drag the true color composite (RGB 321) file to the top of the Layer Manager just below
Overview. It should be visible as the top layer.
Figure 5. Layer Manager

18. Uncheck the box for the top layer to deselect it. This hides the image from view. Click the check
box again to display that layer again.
19. Double-click the can_tmr.img in the Layer Manager. The Metadata Viewer dialog will be
displayed. You should spend time taking a look at what associated metadata is available with the
image. Close the Metadata Viewer when youre done.
Question #3. Where is the location of the image? What is the sensor type? What are the file size
and file type?
20. Right-click on one of the file names in the Layer Manager, and note the various options, including
Rename item, Order, and Send to ArcMap (you will not see Send to ArcMap if you are running in
64-bit mode).
21. From the ENVI menu select Views -> Create New View. The display is divided into two with one
of the Views being empty. The new View is also listed in the Layer Manager.
22. Drag and drop the 4, 3, 2 band combination into the newly created view and you should see the
visualization load into the new view window.
23. Select Views -> Link Views and the Link Views window will be displayed. This window will allow
you to link your view windows together using either a geographic-based link, or a pixel-based link.
Click Link All and the two views will now be linked according to the exact geographic location. As
you can see, by default the first view will be the anchor to which the other view will be linked.
Explore how to change the anchor view.
Figure 6 Linking Views

24. Click OK and your two views will now be linked together. Pan throughout the image by holding
down the middle mouse button and moving your cursor throughout the scene. You can quickly
zoom in and out of the scene using the scroll wheel. Highlight the first view by clicking inside the
Display Window, this will cause the first view to become the active view. The active view is
indicated by the cyan box surrounding the view window.
25. To remove links, open again the Link Views window, select the Pixel link and click Remove.

Working with ENVIs Buttons and Sliders

26. Detach the Layer Manager panel by clicking the Detach ( ) button to the right of the Layer
Manager category bar. Note that the Toolbox also has a detach button.
27. Reattach the Layer Manager panel by clicking the on the top right of the Layer Manager or
by selecting the Attach icon.
28. Click the Cursor Value ( ) button and the Cursor Value dialog will display the data for all active
29. Move your cursor around the display.
Question #4. What information is being displayed in the Cursor Value window?
30. Explore other buttons in the toolbar such as Pan, Fly, Rotate, Zoom, Crosshairs, and others.
Question #5. What do the Fly and Rotate buttons do?
31. The next few buttons will help with viewing spectra and creating regions of interest (ROIs)

. You will explore these tools on the subsequent exercises.

32. The Go To button is used to center on a specific location. If the Crosshairs
are turned on, they will be placed on the location you specify. If you type in x, y locations and both
values are integers or are outside the range used for Lat/Long, ENVI assumes they are pixel
coordinates. If x and y values are greater than 30,000, append a p to one of the values to indicate
it is a pixel coordinate, not a map coordinate. If the image is a subset (i.e. cropped area), offsets
are taken in to account. Data coordinates are specified by appending an asterisk (*) after one of
the coordinates.
33. Turn on the Crosshair button and Go To the pixel coordinates (213, 242). Zoom in to better view
the location.
Question #6. Take a screen capture of the location. What type of land cover is it (vegetation, built-
up, bare soil, water)?
34. The next row of tools in the ENVI menu includes various sliders for Brightness, Contrast and

Experiment with these. They can be manipulated in the following ways:

a. Click on the slider bar to the right or left of the indicator, or click the slider, then use the
<Page Up> or <Page Down> keys to move the slider up or down incrementally by ten
b. Click on the icons at each end of the slider bar, or click the slider then use the arrow keys
on the keyboard to move the slider incrementally by one unit.
c. Click the slider then use the <Home> key on the keyboard to move the slider to 100 and
the <End> key to move the slider to 0.
35. The final slider, Transparency is extremely useful for examining differences found with varying
band combinations.
Question #7. Slowly increase the transparency slide bar to the right. What happened to your
36. Click the Reset button on each slider to return them to their default values.

Contrast Stretching and Other Tools

37. To improve the image display, experiment with different contrast stretches by selecting options
from the dropdown list. By default ENVI displays images with a 2% Linear Contrast stretch.
Sometimes, when you load an image, what you will see is a dark display, if not completely black.
This happens due to the relatively small range of pixel values in the image.
38. Select an item from the list (for example: Optimized Linear).
Question #8. Try applying several of the different available stretches and briefly describe what
happens in the display.

39. Access the Custom Stretch by either choosing it from the pull-down list or clicking on the
icon. The pull-down menu of this tool is set to Linear to start. Type in a value of 0.05 in the Linear
(Percent Value) window and hit the ENTER key. The display will update. Try values 0.5 and 1.
Question #9. Describe the differences in the display.
Figure 7 Custom Stretch Window

40. Select Gaussian from the Custom Stretch pull-down menu. For Gaussian (Standard Deviation)
type in a value of 0.5. Then try 0.5 and 1.
Question #10. Describe the differences in the display.
41. Click the Reset Dialog button to back to the default.
42. Click on the Red button to view the histogram for the band displayed as red. You will see Black-
Point and White-Point values showing what DN values are set as upper and lower limits of the
current stretch. If you are in Linear Stretch mode, typing in a Linear (Percent Value) will cause
the Black-Point and White-Point bars to shift. You can also move the Black-Point and White-Point
bars manually. This will automatically update the contrast stretch. If you move the bars to the end
points, the Black-Point and White-Point windows will show the minimum and maximum values
for the data set.
43. Experiment with other bands that are displayed by clicking on the Green button and then the Blue
button. When you are finished experimenting, click on the Reset Dialog button to go back to the
default. Close the Custom Stretch tool.


44. Above the display are the Portal, Blend, Flicker and Swipe icons . Click the Portal
button on the toolbar. ENVI creates a portal to display the lower layer and it is listed in the Layer
Manager with the Portal icon.
45. If you have more than two layers open and you want to see one of the lower layers in a Portal,
right-click on that layer in the Layer Manager and choose Display in Portal.
46. Click and drag inside the Portal to move it around the Image Window.
47. Click and drag on a corner or side of the portal to resize it.
48. Middle-click in the display to access the Pan tool.
Question #11. As you pan around the image, what happens to the portal?
49. You can attach (or pin) the Portal to the image so that the Portal moves with the main image.
Place your cursor inside of the Portal near the top to display the Portal toolbar.
50. Click the Pin button. The button changes to Unpin. Middle-click and Pan around again.
Question #12. What happens now to the portal after pinning?
51. Place your cursor at the top inside of the Portal to display the Portal toolbar. Click the Unpin
button on the Portal toolbar.

Blend, Flicker and Swipe

Blend, Flicker and Swipe will help you compare two different layers. You can use these tools for comparing
entire images or you can use them inside of a Portal. These tools are enabled only when you have two or
more layers open in Layer Manager and when you display at least one layer in display.

52. Click on the green arrowhead at the top of the Portal. This starts Flicker. You can change the speed
by clicking on the slower or faster buttons.
53. Click the Pause button on the Portal toolbar to stop Flicker.
54. Right-click inside the Portal and select Blend.
Question #13. Describe what happened.
55. Right-click inside the Portal and select Swipe.
Question #14. Describe what happened.
56. Close the Portal by either clicking on the x button at the top right of the Portal, right-clicking on
the Portal layer in the Layer Manager and choosing Remove, or right-clicking in the Portal itself
and choosing close Portal.

Creating an Annotated Image

57. Create an annotated image by exploring the options in the Annotation tool in the Menu bar

. Interpret the features that you can see in the image and then add symbols, texts,
polygons and other necessary annotations. Be sure that the symbols that you will use can be easily
identified or associated to the features in the image. Also, do not forget to put a north arrow and
image title indicating the RGB combinations used in the image.
Question #15. Paste a screen capture of the properly annotated image in your report.

Close Files

58. Open the Data Manager and click on Close File button or Close All Files button. You can close files
by right-clicking on a file in Data Manager and selecting either Close File or Close All Files.
59. Close the Data Manager.

For Submission: Complete answers to all questions (itemized). Submit in PDF format.

Reference: Introduction to ENVI Analytics 2016 Exelis Visual Information Solutions, Inc., a subsidiary of
Harris Corporation.

Prepared by: AMT & AMCP Aug. 2016