ISIS Training 2016


The hands-on ISIS Workshop was an introductory level workshop with focus on the end-to-end work flow of cartographic processing of planetary image data held in NASA's PDS archives.
Instructors presented lessons where participants will interactively exercised through the fundamentals of ISIS.


Training was held 2 days, Thursday through Friday, July 28-29, 2016 in Flagstaff, AZ.


This first lesson demonstrates an end-to-end processing of a Cassini-WA image (Enceladus-hemisphere view). We ingest the raw PDS image into ISIS, attach SPICE labels, examine the ISIS cube labels, apply radiometric calibration, and project the cube. We examine the cube visually throughout the process by using the interactive qview application.


In this lesson, we relate two data (image) sets, comprised of Themis-IR (color) and Dawn-FC images, that overlap the same region of Mars. We initialize footprints for these ingested images and view the footprints with the interactive qmos application.


In this lesson, we create a stereo anaglyph using MRO-CTX images of the Kasei Valles region on Mars. An extra set of instructions is provided at the end of the lesson that demonstrate the shade application.


Using the previous lesson's CTX anaglyph as a map template, we project a color Themis-IR image to relate it and CTX anaglyph on the Kasei Valles region on Mars.


In this lesson, we create a Red 0-9 ccd mosaic of MRO-HiRISE images of the Kasei Valles region on Mars. This lesson introduces the equalizer application for tone matching a set of images and introduces the automos application for creating a mosaic from a list of input images.


In this lesson, we process Messenger MDIS-WAC color-set images to create a color mosaic of the Raditladi Basin on Mercury. This lesson introduces the coreg application, which is used to register images of two of the color filters to images of the third color filter. This ensures that the features in the images will all line-up properly when mosaicking. After registration, we then mosaic the images together.

Experience Requirements

  • Basic knowledge and comfortability with Unix commands! (See this pdf or this webpage for basic Unix help.)
  • If no prior ISIS experience, please review online ISIS workshops.
  • Intermediate ISIS experienced participants are welcome; please attend with an open mind to learn new tips, arrive with questions and allow yourself to explore with the prepared interactive lessons.


  • Participants were required to bring their own laptop computers. See Laptop Requirements.
  • The ISIS workshop was conducted using VirtualBox with a slimmed-down version of ISIS (ISIS3.4.12). It is highly-recommended to install VirtualBox before arriving at the workshop.
    • There is NO preference for one OS versus another, any host OS that is supported by VirtualBox can be used. See the supported host OSes here.
    • We strongly encourage participants to use the VM for the workshop and avoid using your own ISIS installation!
    • (The VM eliminates issues with any particular OS and simplifies support during the workshop. For example, some GUI-based ISIS applications do not perform as they should on Mac OSX 10.10 and 10.11.)
  • On the first morning (8-10am) of July 28, the ISIS VM was supplied and installed on-site from a provided USB drive (participants took the USB home).


Here are some useful resources for setting up and customizing your ISIS VM:


Please see read the installation guides under Resources on this page before downloading.

The workshop VM and lesson materials are downloadable through the following Astropedia links:

Note that these are compressed files, you will need to extract them.

  • Windows - You will need to download a tool, such as 7-Zip, to extract the file.
  • OSX - Double-click the downloaded file to automatically extract it.
  • Linux - Open a terminal, then navigate to the directory that contains the downloaded file (e.g. ~/Downloads). Then, run the following command (replace file.tar.gz with the name of your downloaded file):
tar xzf file.tar.gz