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Ministry of Energy Mines and Responsible for Core Review
Image Analysis Toolbox
The MapPlace - IAT on Exploration Assistant MapPlace Home

Details:  Image Analysis Toolbox (IAT):  The IAT was originally delivered by Cal Data Ltd. as a BC and Yukon Chamber of Mines’ Rocks to Riches project January 2004 and January 2005.  The IAT was enhanced and ASTER images added through funding from Geoscience BC  (ASTER Imagery Project) in June 2005.  The IAT is a framework to add, process and display a variety of multi and hyperspectral imagery. The IAT includes Enhanced Satellite Imagery delivered by McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd.

A description of these projects and use of the IAT are available in Fieldwork 2003, p. 209-215: Kilby, W.E., Kliparchuk, K. and McIntosh, A.: Image Analysis Toolbox and Enhanced Satellite Imagery Integrated into The MapPlace (PDF document, 5.7 Mb).  The site hosts 68 Landsat 7, 239 ASTER images, and 10 flight lines of SpecTIR hyperspectral data.  Enhancements to the IAT are described below.

July 1 2017:  The Exploration Assistant tools are also available in the Task List searches on MapPlace 2; more will be added in the future including the operational components of the IAT. 


GeoFile 2006-8 IAT Tutorial Manual, includes Video Tutorials


Geoscience BC ASTER Workshop Notes held on January 17, 2007


ASTER Workshop Excel file contains modified laboratory spectra from the ASTER Spectral Library


ASTER Images Available for Download and Index Map


Orthophoto Details




Image Analysis Links and References...


Questions and Answers...


April 1, 2016: All Earth imagery from a Japanese remote sensing instrument operating aboard NASA’s Terra spacecraft since late 1999 is now available at no cost. There is unlimited access to the complete 16-plus-year database for Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument. ASTER’s database currently consists of more than 2.95 million individual scenes.  For more information: To access the data, visit:


June 2015: The Analyze Image function in the IAT has been discontinued in the Exploration Assistant.  The ASTER and other images are still available for viewing in MapPlace and for download. Materials on this page will remain available for reference.


January 28, 2008: Added new tools and SpecTIR Hyperspectral imagery for analysis and download to the Image Analysis Toolbox (IAT). The hyperspectral data was provided by SpecTIR LLC and funded by a grant from Geoscience BC (Project 2006-032). The Hyperspectral Imagery Demonstration Project includes hyperspectral imagery over six sites in south central BC. The sites were selected to include a variety of typical BC conditions and deposit types. These sites (flight lines S1-10) include two producing mines (Gibraltar S2-4 and Mount Polley S5-7), a past producer (Blackdome S9), several active exploration projects (Limonite S10 and Prosperity S1) and a vegetated site (Lang Lake S8) with interesting geological features. The imagery samples the electromagnetic spectrum between 0.4 and 2.45 micrometres with 178 bands of approximately 10 nanometres width and a ground sample spacing of approximately 2.5 metres. The existing IAT tools are fully functional for hyperspectral data. The SpecTIR Hyperspectral imagery is available for download as hyperspectral data cubes in either reflectance or radiance values, with orthorectification lookup tables.


Two new capabilities were added to the IAT to enhance its analysis capabilities. These new capabilities can be used with the Landsat, ASTER, and SpecTIR datasets. The ability to view the spectrum from a specific image pixel or a sample from the USGS Digital Spectral Library has been added to the Spectral Angle Mapper (SAM) tool. The detailed spectra contained within this library have been resampled to correspond to Landsat, ASTER and SpecTIR bandwidths. The John Hopkins University (JHU) Aster Spectral Library is also available in the SAM tool for ASTER images.


The project and use of the new tools and imagery are described in Summary of Activities 2007, Report 2008-1 and released as Geoscience BC Report 2008-2: Hyperspectral Imagery Demonstration Project. Cal Data Ltd. performed the project with a grant from Geoscience BC.


November 23, 2007: Added KML File to ASTER Download pages.

May 2, 2007: Added Question and Answer section.

February 16, 2007: Added Geoscience BC ASTER Workshop Notes, including a new Google Earth Video Tutorial on the Nelson area. Published anaglyph downloads and Google Earth files for ASTER images (200-299).

January 29, 2007: Added 100 new ASTER images (200-299) for a total of 239 images.  See Geological Fieldwork 2006, pages 315-318 for details: Kilby, W.E. and Kilby, C.E.:  ASTER Multispectral Satellite Imagery and Product Coverage, BC – Phase 2 (PDF document, 338 Kb).

January 17, 2007: Added ASTER Workshop Excel file (200K), which contains modified laboratory spectra of rocks and minerals from the ASTER Spectral Library. The spectra have been sampled with the ASTER response curves using ENVI to generate the expected Aster spectra. The individual workbook sheets hold data from the USGS and John Hopkins libraries in same subsets as contained in the data release.  This file was used in the Geoscience BC ASTER Workshop.  See also Exploring the MapPlace - Workshop Notes.


July 25, 2006: Added Video Tutorials to GeoFile 2006-8 IAT Tutorial Manual and Exploring the MapPlace - Workshop Notes.

June 5, 2006: Added GeoFile 2006-8: Examining ASTER Imagery with the MapPlace Image Analysis Toolbox - A Tutorial Manual, by W.E. Kilby and C.E. Kilby, Cal Data Ltd.  Geoscience BC Report 2006-3 Contribution #GBC 015.

March 29, 2006: Added a new interactive masking feature to ASTER image tools (ASTER MASKER).

February 14, 2006: ASTER Download layer, with labels, and toggle button added to IAT.  Added a table of ASTER Images Available for Download; see Index Map.

February 8, 2006: Added Alteration-Mineral Images to the ASTER Image Download page in the Image Analysis Tool. Four alteration-mineral images are available in PNG format with PGW world files. These images were produced using standard combinations of the ASTER bands. The four images can be used to map the relative abundance of siliceous rocks, iron oxides, sericite and illite, and alunite and/or kaolinite. See the Fieldwork 2005 article for processing information on these images. The images are in UTM projection. As the colour scaling is unique to each image, the colours should not be compared between images.

January 23, 2006:  In Phase 3, the IAT was enhanced with the addition of 100 new ASTER images. A new "Rocks Only" tool for identifying Iron-oxides, Silica, Sericite-Illite, and Alunite-Kaolinite was added. The imagery is also available with accompanying 3D anaglyph maps, Digital Elevation Models, stereo image pairs, and virtual worlds (VRML) user controlled fly-throughs. See Fieldwork 2005, p. 287-294 for details. Phase 3 was available through funding from a Geoscience BC project - ASTER Imagery.


January 24, 2005: In Phase 2, the IAT was completed with the addition of more analysis tools, imagery and imagery types. Near-complete coverage of the province with Landsat 7 (ETM+) imagery and 40 ASTER images are now available. Two new tools, the Tasseled Cap Transformation and the Spectral Angle Mapper (SAM) were added. Program enhancements were also made to the existing IAT programs to increase their efficiency and capability. See Fieldwork 2004, p. 231-235 for details.


July 15, 2004: Added 48 new Landsat images (L21 – L68), covering most of BC. These images are available for processing using the IAT. They are not yet available as enhanced downloads.

View Exploration Assistant and select Image Analysis Toolbox (IAT)

Image Analysis Links and References:


ASTER Image Acquisition: Go to the GloVis (Global Visulizer) tool and all the ASTER, Landsat etc are there to order and browse. You can put your own Shape file in for your area of interest to help locate things. Then just select the images you want, put in your credit card, and they will usually have them ready for FTP download in a day or so. Make sure you order the L1B version of ASTER and not L1A. ASTER should cost $80 US per image.


ASTER Data Opener:

bullet ASTER Spectral Library NASA. Search Page; Lat/Long Adjustment Tool; MODIS Atmosphere
bullet PCI Geomatics provides a free viewer (Geomatica® FreeView) for opening downloaded imagery files including ASTER .hdr files.
bullet Global Land Cover Facility: The GLCF develops and distributes remotely sensed satellite data and products concerned with land cover from the local to global scales.
bullet Viewers for Virtual Reality (VRML) files: GL Viewweb3D Consortium.

Google (2005): Google Earth, Global Internet viewer of imagery and vector information;


ImSpec LLC (2006): ACORN5, Atmospheric correction software;


ITT (2006): ENVI software, IDL Software Image analysis software package


SulSoft (2005): AsterDTM, ASTER orthorectification software. Ver 2.2;

Kalinowski, A. and Oliver, S. (2004): ASTER Mineral Index Processing Manual, Remote Sensing
, Geoscience Australia, October 2004

Kilby, W.E., Kliparchuk, K., and McIntosh, A. (2004): Image Analysis Toolbox and Enhanced Satellite
    Imagery Integrated into the MapPlace
; British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines, Geological
    Fieldwork 2003, Paper 2004-1, p.209-215

Kilby, W.E. (2005): Image Analysis Toolbox – Phase 2; British Columbia Ministry of Energy
    and Mines,
Geological Fieldwork 2004, Paper 2005-1, p.231-235

Kilby, W.E. and Kilby, C.E. (2006): ASTER Imagery for BC – An Online Exploration Resource; British
    Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Geological Fieldwork 2005, Paper 2006
   -1, p.287-294

Kilby, W.E. and Kilby, C.E. (2006): Examining ASTER Imagery with the MapPlace Image Analysis
    Toolbox - A Tutorial Manual
; British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources,
    GeoFile 2006-8 / Geoscience BC Report 2006-3, 41 p.

Lillesand, T.M. and Kieffer, R.W. (2000): Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation; 4th ed., Wiley,
    New York, 724 pages.

Questions and Answers:

  1. I would like to use the aster alteration images in my software but it doesn't accept PNG files. When I convert to TIFF, how do I keep the geographic information.

Once you have converted the PNG files to tiff then rename the associated *.pgw file to *.tfw. That should pass the pixel size and image position to your software. You will have to tell it which UTM zone the image is in (11 to 7). All these images are in UTM NAD83 projection.

  1. What do the the colour scales represent.

The colour schemes are not fixed on the images and were selected only to show an increasing favourability. No effort was made to standardize between images due to the differences in acquisition times and environmental conditions. These images are a very cursory pass at mapping the mineral character of the image.

The names are associated with the particular band combination that had shown good results for other workers. So for instance the Fe-oxide image based on Band2/Band1 is really just showing that band combination which in many cases has correlated well with iron bearing minerals. But in many areas of BC it also picks up cellulose very well so dry grass shows high.