GPU Labeling is a Necessity, not a Luxury

The new ESRI Streets and Data 2007 Update now includes Streetmap Pro. It’s free, but you need to request it.

I’m trying to use StreetMap Pro data with a tracking application. The labeling is a bottleneck, to see what I’m talking about do this:

Open up the StreetmapPro.mxd that ships with ESRI Streets and Data 2007 Update. Then open up the task manager on CPU history. Pan around the map at 1:500K in an area with lots of labels. Try it with labels turned off, then with labels turned on. Notice how much extra cpu is burned when the labels are turned on.

There must be ways ESRI could speed this up. It should be possible to leverage the GPU to do this. Figuring out how to place labels so they don’t overlap is tricky, but seems parallelizable.

I wonder if Google Earth will be using Peakstream to do this. This webinar looks exciting, until you realize that shortly after it was released, Google bought Peakstream and locked them in a closet. Now thats evil.


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