Abstract The Center for the Study of Earth from Space (CSES) at the University of Colorado, Boulder, has developed a prototype interactive software system called the Spectral Image Processing System (SIPS) using IDL (the Interactive Data Language) on UNIX-based workstations. SIPS is designed to take advantage of the combination of high spectral resolution and spatial data presentation unique to imaging spectrometers. It streamlines analysis of these data by allowing scientists to rapidly interact with entire datasets. SIPS provides visualization tools for rapid exploratory analysis and numerical tools for quantitative modeling. The user interface is X-Windows-based, user friendly, and provides “point and click” operation. SIPS is being used for multidisciplinary research concentrating on use of physically based analysis methods to enhance scientific results from imaging spectrometer data. The objective of this continuing effort is to develop operational techniques for quantitative analysis of imaging spectrometer data and to make them available to the scientific community prior to the launch of imaging spectrometer satellite systems such as the Earth Observing System (EOS) High Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (HIRIS).