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Proceedings of the Symposium on Progress in Data Processing and Analysis

Atef A. Elassal
Nautical Charting Division
Charting and Geodetic Services
National Ocean Service, NOAA
Rockville, MD-USA 20852
The motivations for exploring the possibility of an open system for
photogrammetric processing are both numerous and strong. A
photogramme trie processing environment that can survive the
unavoidable and continual change in instrumentation design and
capabilities would be a very welcomed development indeed. The
economic and administrative advantages of such a system are
An effort to develop an open photogrammetric system was started at
the Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) in 1985. The objective of this development was
to significantly reduce the strong interdependency between hardware
and software. The result of this effort has been the creation of the
Integrated Digital Photogrammetric Facility (IDPF) which has been in
production operation for more than 1 year.
KEY WORDS: Open System Architecture, Hardware Independent, IDPF,
Integrated, Interface, Photogrammetric, Stereoviewer,
The need for an integrated approach to photogrammetric processing was
recognized by the Nautical Charting Division (NCD) in 1985. This
need was driven by three motivating factors. First and foremost was
the emerging need to interchange photogrammetric data within NOAA and
with other federal agencies and organizations that are implementing
digital cartographic systems. Second, IDPF was needed to replace an
aging NOAA photogrammetric infrastructure (based on obsolete analog
technology) with a flexible, integrated and automated photogrammetric
environment. This environment would accept any format photography,
and handle diverse jobs including airport mapping, photobathymetry,
topographic mapping, and close-range photogrammetry. In compilation,
the environment would utilize an accurate stereomodel re-creation
capability and superimposition. It would also achieve a high level
of efficiency coupled with facilities for strict quality control and
audit trails. Third, a data source to supply the Automated Nautical
Charting System II (ANCS II) with digital photogrammetric data was
required. The ANCS II, which is being develpped by NCD for
automating chart compilation and production operations, will include
NCD's primary nautical information data base. IDPF was developed by
the Photogrammetric Technology Programs of the Nautical Charting
Research and Development Laboratory (NCRDL) in response to these
needs. It was decided, at an early stage of the development, to
achieve maximum hardware independence. Therefore, open system
principles were the guiding principles throughout IDPF's development
cycle. IDPF will be used in this paper to illustrate and describe
the applicability of these principles to photogrammetric systems.