Case Study: NASA and Micrografx Picture Publisher


Case Study: NASA and Micrografx Picture Publisher

By using Micrografx Picture Publisher as a key component in its digital imagery distribution system, NASA has created a fast, high-quality, and cost effective system

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is organised with its headquarters in Washington DC and 10 additional field installations located throughout the country. NASA also partners with a wide variety of contractors, members of the science and academic community, Federal, State and local agencies, and other space agencies from around the globe. Its complex organisational structure and the nature of NASA's work required the agency to develop an effective distribution system to communicate to different partners, suppliers, and customers throughout the world. Much of the information was transmitted in the form of photographs. For example, NASA creates a photographic documentation inventory before each mission. Manufacturers also use photographs to monitor the correct installation and operation of their payloads within the Space Shuttle.

How does NASA distribute all these pictures? Up to a few years ago, the agency used freight carriers to ship conventional photographic prints. Today, state-of-the-art technology like high-resolution digital cameras, image editing software like Picture Publisher, and the Internet allow for faster-than-ever delivery at a fraction of the cost of the former system.

The objective

NASA needed to digitise and colour-correct all its images quickly, effectively and with the best quality possible before distributing them to suppliers, partners, and customers.

The solution

Today, the DIL uses Picture Publisher from Micrografx to make all these pictures presentable and useful. It also uses Picture Publisher to acquire and manipulate many traditional film-based photographs. The DIL selected Picture Publisher most notably for its ease of use and powerful photo editing capabilities. Among Picture Publisher's many tools, the DIL commonly uses the tone balancing tool to adjust subtle tonal deficiencies in imagery from various digital acquisition systems, the cloning tool for typical post-scan clean-up of dust spots from high-resolution film scans, and the color mapping tool to reduce minor colour-specific artifacts from various digital photographic systems.


By using Micrografx Picture Publisher as a key component in its digital imagery distribution system, NASA has created a fast, high-quality, and cost effective system that is used to share digital images with suppliers, partners, and customers. Picture Publisher is at the core of this system because of its:

Powerful colour-correction features, provided through a variety of graphical, preview-enhanced dialogue boxes

User-friendly, Microsoft Windows compatible user interface

Ability to integrate third-party plug-ins for customised functionality

Today's use of digital photography, combined with the growth of Internet access, has expanded the applications of NASA photography into many civic sectors. Now, a worldwide audience of students and teachers, newspapers and magazine publishers, and the public in general can view high-quality Space Shuttle-related imagery in digital form.

( 1998 Micrografx, Inc.

Compiled by Arlene Martin

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This was first published in April 1999


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