Pixelate a confidential region

Available with Image Analyst license.

If there is an area in your multispectral or panchromatic imagery that is confidential and needs to be obscured, Pixel Editor can be used to achieve this. There are several operations that can obscure confidential areas: Blur Blur, Pixelate Pixelate, Redact Redact, and Set NoData Set NoData. In this workflow, we will use the Pixelate option to obscure a confidential area from showing the full pixel resolution of the source data.

The workflow will follow these four steps:

  1. Start a Pixel Editor session.
  2. Create the region you want to edit.
  3. Pixelate the region.
  4. Save your edits.

Start a Pixel Editor session

Pixel Editor can only edit one layer at a time per map view. The contextual layer used to start the Pixel Editor session is the only layer that can be edited in that map view. To edit another layer in the map, you must first close Pixel Editor, select the other layer in the Contents pane, and reopen Pixel Editor to operate on that layer.

  1. In the Contents pane, select the multispectral raster dataset layer to edit.

    Pixel Editor can only edit raster dataset sources.

  2. Click the Imagery tab.
  3. Click the Pixel Editor button Start Pixel Editor.

You can now edit your multispectral raster dataset using Pixel Editor.

Create the region you want to edit

Edits using Pixel Editor are performed on the specified region. The Region drop-down menu allows you to choose the tool you want to use to specify your region. The Region Mode allows you to create a region, or modify an existing region. In this workflow example, we will specify a region to pixelate, but we will not obscure the road that intersects the region.

  1. Zoom in to the area where you want to pixelate your data.
  2. In the Pixel Editor tab, click the drop-down arrow below Region Mode, and choose New Define New Region.
  3. Click the drop-down arrow below Region, and choose Polygon Sketch Polygon.
  4. Draw a polygon around the area of interest; double-click to close the polygon.

    New polygon region

  5. Turn the Retain Regions Retain Regions toggle button on. This will ensure that there is more than one region being drawn on the map.
  6. Use the Region polygon tool to delineate the area where the street goes through the region you want to pixelate. This is the area we want to exclude from the pixelate operation.

    Road region

Pixelate the region

Now that we have created our region and the area we want to exclude, we can pixelate our confidential area.

  1. Click the Operations drop-down menu, and choose Pixelate Pixelate from the gallery.

    This will open the Pixel Editor Operations pane.

  2. Click the Select tool Select Region from the Region group.
  3. Select the first region that you created, since that is the region we want to pixelate.
  4. In the Pixel Editor Operations pane, choose Pixelate, then set the Factor you want to use; higher values will create a coarser pixelated effect. Use the default value of 8.
  5. Check the Exclude Region Intersections check box. This will exclude the road that intersects our selected region from being pixelated.

    Result from Pixelate

    The region has been pixelated, with the road excluded from the operation.

Save your edits

To commit your edits back to the data source, you must save them.

  1. In the Save group, click the Save button Save.

    To save your edits without affecting the source data, save to a new file. In the Save group, click the Save As button Save As, and specify a location and file name for the new file.

  2. Click Close Pixel Editor Close in the Close group when you finish editing the raster dataset.

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