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PROJECT TITLE: LEOWorks - Image processing/GIS software for educational purposes

Coordinator: Advanced Studies and Research Center



Project Director:


The application triggered by this project is mainly sought to demonstrate and teach Earth Observation techniques for the ESA Eduspace programme.

From its starting point to its present status, the application has increased its processing algorithms, therefore being now able to perform more elaborate operations, in the likes of image classification, geometric corrections, and GIS tools.

Project objectives:

The project seeks to upgrade LEOWorks from the currently used version, LEOWorks 3, to a 4th version, which will make it more flexible and easier to use in wide public areas, such as education – in institutions like schools and universities. The new application will be open source and it will be used for reading, pre-processing, analyzing, and visualizing SAR and optical data.

ASRC’s task within the project is to develop the software and the tutorials required by the application.


LEOWorks began as a simple didactical image processing software, including only the most basic functions for viewing and processing imagery. The software has expanded in line with increasing availability of satellite imagery and algorithms for processing.

First versions of LEOWorks were based on IDL, which limits the extent of future development. It was hence decided that version 4 shall be open source and based on Java. The main reason to rebuild LEOWorks from version 3 was to make it platform independent, avoiding recurrent high licence fees. In addition much higher flexibility and a more efficient use of the limited computing resources, typically occurring in schools (and universities), will become possible. Furthermore this rebuilding allows significant enhancement to the software, by exploiting existing material primarily from BEAM/NEST.


Project webpage: LEOWorks