ERDAS IMAGINE is aimed primarily at geospatial raster data processing and allows the user to prepare, display and enhance digital images for mapping use in geographic information system (GIS) or in computer-aided design (CAD) software. It is a toolbox allowing the user to perform numerous operations on an image and generate an answer to specific geographical questions.
By manipulating imagery data values and positions, it is possible to see features that would not normally be visible and to locate geo-positions of features that would otherwise be graphical. The level of brightness, or reflectance of light from the surfaces in the image can be helpful with vegetation analysis, prospecting for minerals etc. Other usage examples include linear feature extraction, generation of processing work flows ("spatial models" in ERDAS IMAGINE), import/export of data for a wide variety of formats, orthorectification, mosaicking of imagery, stereo and automatic feature extraction of map data from imagery.