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ERDAS Supports Preservation of Lewis and Clark Trail.

ATLANTA, Aug. 30 /PRNewswire/ --

Wildfires now raging in Montana are the latest threat to the historic trail followed by Lewis and Clark in their famous expedition across the American Northwest nearly 200 years ago. To assist in preserving the trail and educating the public on its value to American heritage, ERDAS Inc. has donated its geographic imaging software to the National Lewis and Clark Education Center in Missoula, Montana.

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The donation of ERDAS IMAGINE software includes a copy of IMAGINE Professional and IMAGINE VirtualGIS. The ERDAS IMAGINE package will be used at the center for many educational purposes including analysis of satellite imagery to determine how urban development and natural phenomenon, such as the fires, are impacting efforts to preserve and restore sections of the 2,500-mile-long trail.

"We want people to get a sense of change that is occurring along the route," said Alex Philp, Director of the Education Center. "Satellite imagery is a very powerful way to get a sense of that change."

Imagery processed with ERDAS IMAGINE assumes a major role in programs offered at the center to teach K-12 educators how remote sensing, GIS and other mapping technologies can be applied as both instructional tools in the classroom and preservation tools in the field. All of the images and maps created at the center are being displayed on its Web site at .

"ERDAS is pleased to support the Lewis and Clark Education Center in this ingenious program which calls upon advanced mapping and space technologies to educate people about the geography and history of this most famous expedition," said ERDAS President Lawrie E. Jordan, III.

The center also plans to use IMAGINE VirtualGIS to create computerized three-dimensional (3D) visualizations and "fly-throughs" of 20 Lewis and Clark camp sites along the trail, which stretches from Missouri to Oregon on both water and land. These fly-throughs will allow teachers and students to travel through the 3D landscape surrounding land portions of the trail without leaving the computer screen.

The National Lewis and Clark Education Center is an extension of NASA's EOS Education Project, which was funded by Congress to work with primary and secondary level teachers to help them understand how they can use remotely sensed imagery from NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) to bring life to geography, history, science and other courses. The Lewis and Clark expedition was chosen as the theme to assist in the educational efforts. The EOS Education Project's main Web site can be found at: .

The Education Center serves as a repository for geospatial and multimedia information relating to the famous expedition proposed by Thomas Jefferson in 1803. In addition to its educational benefits, some of the satellite images and maps created for the project using ERDAS IMAGINE will also be utilized by the state of Montana for logistics purposes as it prepares to host an additional 9 million visitors each summer as the Lewis and Clark bicentennial approaches.

The center expects to soon receive new high-resolution satellite imagery acquired by the U.S. IKONOS satellite and donated by its private sector operator, Space Imaging of Thornton, Colo. Experts will evaluate the images to determine if August wildfires have damaged any sections of the trail that might necessitate restoration in preparation for the bicentennial events.

ERDAS pioneered the first PC-based geographic image processing system and for over 21 years has set the standard for multi-functional geographic imaging systems. Today, more than 30,000 installations of ERDAS software are helping organizations around the world to visualize, manipulate, analyze, measure, and integrate any type of geographic imagery and geospatial information into 2D and 3D environments.

ERDAS, ERDAS IMAGINE, and IMAGINE Professional are registered trademarks, and IMAGINE VirtualGIS is a trademark of ERDAS, Inc. All other trademarks and brand names are the properties of their respective owners.

Contact: ERDAS Phone: 404-248-9000 or 877-GO ERDAS (463-7327)

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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 30, 2000
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