Part of our role as a Platinum Partner of Hexagon Geospatial is to promote the use of the world-leading Hexagon Geospatial suite of software to the future generation of geospatial experts and image analysts. We do this by collaborating with CHEST, an organisation that has been facilitating relationships between software suppliers and academic institutions since 1988.

The first CHEST agreement, originally set up in 1988, was designed to supply engineering software to 98 universities. CHEST now manages over 80 agreements supplying software and online resources to over 700 universities, colleges, research organisations and charities. Their role is hugely beneficial to the suppliers, for whom they act as a sole point of contact to a very wide range of education, research and charity users, and for the recipient organisations who benefit from multi-purchase cost savings and the favourable licence terms.

For many institutions ERDAS is a well-known name, having been well established in the UK academic sector for over forty years. Most universities have always accessed ERDAS via CHEST, as the initial ERDAS CHEST Agreement started in 1992. Since then, the software has been used extensively both as a teaching aid for university students and by researchers across the UK for a plethora of fascinating research projects, such as Remote Sensing of London’s Urban Heat Island and Monitoring African Elephants for Conservation.

From its initiation, the ERDAS CHEST Agreement has continuingly evolved, firstly in 1999 to include ERDAS extension modules, to where we are today with five software bundles incorporating elements of the Hexagon Geospatial Power Portfolio and M.App Portfolio product lines. CHEST now offers Hexagon Geospatial site-wide licenses to over 50 universities and research organisations across the UK.



The agreement is due for renewal this year and this gives us the opportunity to work with Hexagon Geospatial and the CHEST team to reflect on the current offering and to adapt the bundles to meet not only the changing requirements of the academic community but, also, how they can be supported by introducing the new technologies that have emerged since the last renewal.

This year we will be making considerable adjustments to three of our bundles, each of these changes increasing the number of products included to give students and researchers a greater reach across all areas of the Hexagon Portfolios. One of these enhancements will be to the existing Smart M.App bundle, which will be extended to not only include Classroom Smart M.App, but also Classroom M.App Enterprise.

M.App Enterprise is the must-see technology from Hexagon for all geospatial users, revolutionising the way we can envision, experience and communicate geographic information. The intuitive dashboards enable users across any organisation to visualise geographic data and analytics, whilst the functionality allows geospatial experts to leverage the Spatial Modeller capability to build workflows using over 400 raster and vector operators from both ERDAS IMAGINE and GeoMedia. This now also encompasses 5D technology previously only available in the Hexagon LUCIAD Portfolio.

The key features M.App Enterprise include:

  • The ability to build thin-client, web-based and mobile applications with a full set of integral GIS functionality
  • Configuration of workflows all easily managed and interoperable with other systems
  • A powerful geoprocessing engine offering hundreds of operators and analytical routines, including machine learning algorithms
  • Connection to any spatial data source through direct connections to commonly used databases and the integration of LuciadFusion technology allowing connection to more than 200 data sources
  • Easily administered user management tools to integrate with existing systems

M.App Enterprise platform allows all users to monitor real-world changes, evaluate the impact and act on the results. We are looking forward to seeing the already fascinating range of research projects develop further as more institutions embrace Hexagon Geospatial technology, particularly M.App Enterprise.

Organisations currently registered under the Hexagon CHEST Agreement have the option of a free trial of M.App Enterprise. For further information please contact us at If you are not already registered, please contact us to find out the options that are available for your organisation.


About the Author: Fiona Cocks

Fiona is the Operations Director at Geospatial Insight and has worked within the geospatial industry for over 25 years, leading multi-departmental teams focused on delivery and performance. Her background includes delivering geospatial-specific training, managing educational events and implementing a high-level of customer care. In the last 6 years, Fiona’s experience has led her to become part of the support services team for Hexagon Geospatial Users within the UK, where she specialises in account management; building and maintaining long-lasting customer relationships.

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