It was never easier to extract, analyze and visualize DEMs from high resolution stereo and tri-stereo imagery, and combine them with other data sources, like Geotiff, MrSID, JPG2000 and HGT(SRTM) files. OrthoToolStereo has been developed in the powerful IDL software, a platform specially suited for processing and visualizing huge amounts of data. Key characteristics of the OrthoToolStereo software include a fast, one-click DEM Extraction Panel and a suite of advanced 2D and 3D visualizations in an intuitive and easy to use interface.

  The main purpose of the OrthoToolStereo software is to extract and filter digital surface models from optical stereo pairs, but there are many additional tools which can be used with other file formats like GeoTIFF, JP2, MrSID and SRTM3 .hgt, all presented within a self-contained, intuitive user interface for fast 2D, 3D and Hillshade-type visualizations - see below some of its key features:


  • DEM Extraction
  • The OrthoToolStereo Processing Panel provides one-click DEM extraction from high resolution images like IKONOS, Geoeye, Worldview, Pleiades, SPOT5/6/7, without the need for defining tie points, with the option of one-go processing of tri-stereo imagery when available. The processing panel allows for easy selection of the available imagery with automatic identification of stereo pairs and triplets.


  • 3D Visualization Panel
  • The 3D Panel in OrthoToolStereo provides an easy way to extend the visualization of your DEM data into three dimensions, allowing you to overlay a gray scale, a Hillshade image or a color-composite image over a digital elevation model. Because OrthoToolStereo calculates the visualization for the currently selected spatial extent “on-the-fly”, there is no need to previously select an image subset or a DEM subset, and you can browse very large data sets in 3D. Create animations that simulate a flight over the DEM area (+ texture), and save it to popular video formats, like MJPEG2000, Avi, Animated Gif, Mpeg4.


  • Hillshade Visualization
  • Provides an easy to use and intuitive module for calculating shade relief visualizations from your digital elevation input data. A shaded relief image is calculated by simulating the incidence of sunlight on the digital terrain model, entering the desired sun azimuth and elevation. Choose your preferred shading method for the representations of topographic features amongst Hillshade, Aspect HS, Slope HS, Aspect+Slope HS, Aspect, Slope or DEM, and interactively adjust sun azimuth and elevation for immediate display either in 2D or even in 3D.

  • SRTM Browser
  • The SRTM Browser is a tool which allows you to quickly search and select SRTM data from local directories or FTP locations. Files selected in the SRTM Browser display window can either be (down)loaded individually or as an image mosaic. Watch a demonstration video about SRTM Browser.

  • Drag&Drop RGB visualization
  • Easily switch band compositions or display new files by dragging&dropping the file name or band name into the main display window. There are 6 bands combination to choose from: R/G/B or 1, 2, 3; R/B/G or 1, 3, 2; G/R/B or 2, 1, 3; B/R/G or 3, 1, 2; B/G/R or 3, 2, 1; G/B/R or 2, 3, 1.

  • Grid Lines
  • If you like to see your data displayed with grid lines, you will certainly appreciate the unique way OrthoToolStereo adds grid lines to your images. Other than in the usual static display, OrthoToolStereo adds grids, crosses and tick marks dynamically to the main display, independent of the spatial subset or how you navigate your image.

  • Bookmarks
  • Bookmarks represent an easy and straight forward way of saving complex visualizations for future use. A “bookmark” stores all necessary data and all visualization parameters (spatial subset, zoom, grid yes/no, hillshading parameter set, 3D visualization parameter set etc.) necessary to recreate the current visualization. The Bookmark Viewer gives you easy access to the visualizations you saved, in a fast and efficient way.

  • Centralized preferences
  • The preference window in OrthoToolStereo allows you to change settings for Grid lines, Text box, Displays and Aster Processing. Changes to preferences for visualizations in course will update the display immediately.


  • Localization
  • Choose your favorite language (currently available: English, Spanish, Portuguese and German) for the OrthoToolStereo menus and dialogs from the preferences settings, without the need to restart the application.