Installation Notes

Programs and Plugins:

AirPhotoSE uses a large number of public domain executable programmes.  There are two sets of these, one for 32 bit and one for 64 bit versions of the Windows operating system.  When the programme starts, the current operating system is detected and recorded for further use.  Both sets of external executables are copied by the installation programme to subdirectories of the programme directory, so that there is no need for distributing two versions of AirPhotoSE.

In addition when it starts, the programme checks to see if optional programmes like the Microsoft Image Compositing Editor either in the 64 bit or the 32 bit version and Google Earth are present, and if so, where they are located so that they can be run by AirPhotoSE when required.  Installing Microsoft ICE before using it in AirPhotoSE will also install additional packages as required or give instructions on where to get them on the Internet.  The programme also checks for the presence of an Internet connection, so that Google Earth and  GeoPortal sites can be loaded when required.  In addition, if an Internet connection is available, the programme checks itself at 180 day intervals if you haven't updated to the latest version of AirPhotoSE and asks you to do so. You can also update more frequently by clicking on the Help menu sub-item for an update check, so that you won't see a reminder until the 180 day interval has expired.

CloudCompare, which is used for making orthophotos, digital terrain models also has 32 and 64 bit versions. Both are installed by the AirSE installation programme.  It requires the  Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package (x86) if your operating system is a 32 bit version of Windows, or the Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package (x64) if your operating system is a 64 bit version.  Installing other programmes may have already installed one or the other of these, but if an error message reporting a missing file is shown when CloudCompare starts, then open:

for the 32 bit version


for the 64 bit version and install the one which is appropriate for your system.

You also need one or both of the following Visual C++ redistributable packages:

32 bit systems

Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package (x86)

Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package (x86):

64 bit systems

Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package (x64):

If you get error messages from one of the many spawned programmes concerning missing dynamic link libraries, consult:

If you have a very large number of images or if you have very large images, using a machine with 64 bit version of Windows is recommended to avoid "out of memory" errors coming from the operating system with some of the external programmes used, especially those which depend on the OpenGL library.  

You may find it helpful to install several version of Windows, preferably in separate disk partitions and if possible on separate disks.  You can install a single copy of AirPhotoSE and start it with different operating system versions if you place it in a separate disk partition or in it's own directory which the installation programme will make for you on a the operating system disk if you modify the default directory text so that it is separated from other installed programmes.

Microsoft Image Compositing Editor:

If you have not installed Microsoft's Image Compositing Editor (ICE) download the latest version from:

Microsoft Research

before attempting to process a large set of images. 

Install ICE.  Preferably use the default directory offered by the installation programme. In some rare cases, if you install it anywhere else, AirSE may not be able to find it.  If that happens, uninstall ICE using the Control Panel and re-install it using the default directory (usually C:\Program Files\Microsoft Research\Image Composite Editor\).

Before you use ICE for the first time with AirPhotoSE and CloudCompare, run ICE from the Start Menu, then click on the Tools button on the upper bar and choose Options from the drop-down menu.  

Set the memory consumption limit to the value given by "at most". Set the temporary file locations to a place on the hard disks where you have a lot of free storage.  Use more than one such place if you have multiple disk partitions and/or multiple disks.


On 32 bit versions of Windows, ICE and Cloud Compare can not process a large number of high resolution images without running out of resource memory.  When this happens, an uninformative "out of memory" error message from the operating system is shown.  The best solution for this problem is to install a 64 bit version of Windows. These have a very much larger amount of resource memory available. Full or "system builder"  installation DVD's for versions of Windows for Vista or later have an option which permits reducing the space in use on the boot drive to allow the parallel installation of 32 and 64 bit Windows. Free partition managers available from the Internet can also be used.  If this is not possible, then reducing the resolution of the images at the cost of image quality will help somewhat.

Google Earth:

AirPhotoSE spawns the installed version of the Google Earth plugin for all functions.  Before using this feature, please go to the Google Earth web site and download and install the latest version of the Google Earth plugin, or you will see a message screen requesting you to do so if you click on the Google Earth symbol or menu entry if AirPhotoSE can't find a recent version on your machine.  If you install Google Earth, a separate programme, the Google installer will install the plugin too.

Machine Setup:

AirPhotoSE requires a lot of machine resources.  It should not be run while other programmes are active.  Many programmes are opened automatically when the machine starts although they may not be in use after that.  

Click on the Start Menu, then go to the search box:


and enter 

In the window:

choose the Startup tab

and you will see a list of all programmes which are automatically started at boot time.

Uncheck those which are only used occasionally.  If this disables an important programme, you can reverse the operation by re-checking it's box.  If you don't know what a listed programme does, enter it's name in Google and you can usually find many explanations of it's purpose and origin.

Warning: Do not change any item on the boot or services page.  Doing so may make  your machine unusable!  


It may require a large amount of continuous unfragmented disk space to store images. If you have Vista or Windows 7, turn on scheduled defragmentation in the Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Disk Management section of Computer Management for each drive and partition on your machine, and schedule it to run once a day. If you have Windows XP, you can do this manually, or you can use one of the defragmentation programmes available from the Internet.  

Right click on a partition in the disk management window: