Because of the recent and ongoing advances in computer technology, interactive seismic imaging will become an increasingly powerful and affordable tool. It is only within the last two years that machines with all the capabilities necessary to perform interactive seismic imaging have been commercially available. In another ten years, machines with all the necessary capabilities will be no larger than a workstation and will be affordable even within the budget of the smallest departments. Because of the availability of these machines, interactive imaging will certainly replace the traditional methods. It is our hope that the success of the ISIS project will continue the trend toward true interactive imaging, and provide a model for systems of the future.
We have introduced several concepts that we believe will be important to any future systems: movies, interactive focusing, and image deconstruction. These tools provide the means for the analyst to interactively image seismic data. We also introduce the idea of geologist-as-analyst to extend the range of the imaging machine into the interpretation of the image, and to allow the geologist a better understanding of the image itself.
The design of ISIS concentrated on providing the building blocks of an interactive imaging system, and on the implementation of a prototype system. The imaging task is divided into four main parts: trace manager, display manager, computational engine, and user interface. Each part is implemented in a way that makes it scalable on multiprocessor systems, but conceals the implementation details from the applications programmer. Interfaces to the different parts are designed for simplicity and portability.