AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Overwatch, a strategic business of Textron Systems Advanced Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, announced today the release of version 5.1 of its LIDAR Analyst® software. The premier software for managing LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data now delivers mission-critical high-resolution 3D exploitation. LIDAR Analyst's new 3D Viewer enables visualization, analysis and dissemination of 3D data. It efficiently loads and displays LIDAR data sets in excess of a billion points, allowing analysts to keep up with the rapid growth and use of LIDAR. The 3D Viewer is tightly integrated into LIDAR Analyst and handles all of the standard data formats used by geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) analysts. "We've taken our leading LIDAR data extraction product and added powerful 3D visualization capabilities that make the software an even more valuable resource for a wide range of military, commercial and government applications," explains Overwatch Vice President of Geospatial Solutions Skip Maselli. "For instance, mission planners will benefit from LIDAR Analyst 5.1's ability to do a variety of high-resolution 3D analytics from vertical obstruction tasks to complex automated feature extraction that aid in decision making and terrain and urban product development." LIDAR Analyst users are now able to perform real-time data analysis, including radial line-of-sight, buffer zone analysis, landing zones and 3D mensuration. To facilitate dissemination of the data and analysis, the 3D Viewer includes tools to export a fully interactive scene to a 3D PDF document or information to display in Google Earth®. In addition, LIDAR Analyst 5.1 includes an option for distributed processing that breaks data into manageable pieces to distribute across a cluster of workstations. This enhancement can reduce overall processing time by orders of magnitude, dramatically increasing analysts' efficiency. Introduced in 2005 as an Esri ArcGIS® extension, LIDAR Analyst's reliably transforms raw LIDAR data into useful 3D models. By attributing nearly 100 percent of building and tree features, LIDAR Analyst enables GEOINT analysts to capture and exploit 3D data sets within centimeters of sensor accuracy. It is used by hundreds of organizations, ranging from federal agencies and state/local governments to universities and GIS providers needing automated extraction of high-quality ground, forest and building features from airborne LIDAR data.