GeoCloud Computing

brautigan

“All of us have a place in history. Mine is clouds.” -Richard Brautigan

Brautigan was probably the first geospatial Software as a Service (SaaS) evangelist. We need someone alive today who can assume his role. The next big wave is cloud computing. We in the geocommunity are lagging even though it may very well offer more to our industry than any other.

Here is a laundry list of what I’ve seen in my explorations:

Google
Has MapReduce, BigTable and Sawzall. I don’t see any indication they will try to use their searchengines to perform geoprocessing.

Yahoo
Uses Hadoop, an open source implementation of MapReduce, coupled with ZooKeeper for coordination. Not sure how PIG fits into this, but looks like it might do what DryadLinq does.

Microsoft
Is extending Dryad to leverage Linq, in something called DryadLinq looks interesting. Note that Dryad uses SqlServer Data Services (SSDS) on the back end. See the Mix08 presentation. While this looks interesting, it might be a long time. Not sure how Windows Server 2008 HPC fits into this, but worth watching. Ozzie did mention MapReduce in his Mix08 keynote.

Amazon
First kid on the block with AWS, offering S3, EC2 and SimpleDB. See this post showing how Hadoop can be run on EC2 S3.

GISolve
This is the only site I found for spatial parallel processing. Don’t see much recent activity.

HyperTable
This is an open source version of BigTable.

Sun
Sun Redshift is a major grid computing effort. Sun also bought MySql and seem committed, though maybe they don’t see spatial as special.

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4 comments so far

  1. Sean Gillies on

    IBM and CouchDB. Its view engine could theoretically be used to do simple geo-processing.

  2. priour on

    Mosso looks interesting to me. You need to give it precompiled libraries since you can’t do builds via shell access. Would be more impressive if/when they support MS SQL 2008 or PostGIS.

  3. Kirk Kuykendall on

    @Sean – Thanks for the info. After searching a bit I see IBM also has something called “blue cloud”.

    http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/11/15/ibms-blue-cloud-is-web-computng-by-another-name/

    I guess CouchDB will run in with Blue Cloud?

    @priour – Wow, they are certainly priced right. I wonder what sorts of parallel software they will support. Thanks, Kirk

  4. [...] computing resources have some geospatial aspect to them.  As noted on the ENTCHEV GIS Blog, The Memory Leak blog has a laundry list of GeoCloud [...]


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