Flip the OTB sandwich

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  • Author: Victor Poughon
  • Additional Contributors (if different than authors): Manuel Grizonnet, Rashad Kanavath
  • Submitted on 28.09.2016


Update OTB's communication strategy by putting Monteverdi and OTB applications first. Write new descriptions and summaries reflecting this change.


So looking at our website today, it still looks like OTB is mainly a C++ library, with some barely relevant things sprinkled on top. After all, it's only a gpu renderer with sensor geometry texture mapping, 80+ applications with built-in multi-threading and cluster processing... not important right? Additionally, half of its description talks about its history: the ORFEO program, and who initiated the project and its funding. Surely we can do a better presentation?

I would say that with respect to its marketing and relevance as remote sensing software, Monteverdi and the OTB applications are the most important elements. The fact that it started as a C++ library 10 years ago funded by CNES is implementation detail.

So my idea is to take the OTB sandwich and flip it around whenever we are explaining "what is OTB?". OTB is first of all Monteverdi for visualisation of satellite images, then applications for processing, then bash and python for scripting, and then maybe C++ for advanced use cases.

Of course this does not change the reality of the technical stack or goals in any way. It's only a communication issue.

Implementation details

New descriptions

1. Change the slogan (right below the logo on the website)


Orfeo ToolBox is not a black box


Open-source remote sensing

2. Make a new "short description".


Orfeo TooLBox (OTB) is an open-source C++ library for remote sensing images
processing, distributed under the CeCILL-v2 licence.


Orfeo ToolBox is an open-source project for state-of-the-art remote sensing. It
ships with a fast image viewer, applications callable from Bash, Python
or QGIS, and a powerful C++ API.

3. Make a new "long description":


Orfeo ToolBox (OTB) is an open-source C++ library for remote sensing images
processing, distributed under the CeCILL-v2 license.  It has been initiated and
funded by CNES (French space agency) in the frame of a program named ORFEO to
prepare, accompany and promote the use and the exploitation of the images
derived from Pléiades satellites (PHR). Orfeo ToolBox aims at enabling large
images state-of-the-art processing even on limited resources laptops, and is
shipped with a set of extensible ready-to-use tools for classical remote sensing
tasks, as well as a fully integrated, end-users oriented software called


Orfeo ToolBox (OTB) is an open-source project for state-of-the-art remote
sensing. Built on the shoulders of the open-source geospatial community, it can
process high resolution optical, multispectral and radar images at the terabyte
scale. A wide variety of applications are available: from ortho-rectification
or pansharpening, all the way to classification, SAR processing, and much more!

All of OTB's algorithms are accessible from Monteverdi, QGIS, Python, the
command line or C++. Monteverdi is an easy to use visualization tool with an
emphasis on hardware accelerated rendering for high resolution imagery (optical
and SAR).  With it, end-users can visualize huge raw imagery products and
access all of the applications in the toolbox. From resource limited laptops
to high performance MPI clusters, OTB is available on Windows, Linux and Mac.
It is community driven, extensible and heavily documented.  Orfeo ToolBox is
not a black box!

Classes and files

  • Update website main page. Done.
  • Update README.md. Done.
  • Update cookbook intro. Done.