Archive for October, 2008|Monthly archive page

Windows Azure: Use it for Tiling ?

Cloudenterprise has posted a helpful table comparing Azure with AWS, Google and VMWare.

Clint Brown mentioned in his presentation that it takes ESRI 4 hours to generate tiles for the US portion of their World Street Map layer served out by ArcGIS Online. It would be great if ESRI could put tiling services and caches into Azure, so we could generate tiles more quickly, via the wonders of parallel processing.


AWS and GoGrid: Sql Server 2008 before 2009?

Amazon Web services has announced availability of Sql Server 2008 AMI’s for EC2. Randy George at GIS in XML has a good comparison of GoGrid and AWS.

I emailed GoGrid asking about Sql Server 2008 support. A sales rep promptly replied, saying they intend to roll out Sql Server 2008 in mid December. No word yet on if/when AWS will do the same.

The sales rep also said I could sign up for a free $100 credit for a no-obligation promo they’re running this month. Sign up here, entering GGCD for promo code at the bottom. I hope they run a similar promo in December.

Another brutal day on Wall Street. As I write this Dow is down about 200, but VMWare is up 10%.

Poverty, Efficiency and the Environment

Is a well-fed Maytag Man bad for the Environment?

I haven’t posted in a while, but since today is Blog Action Day, here are some thoughts about poverty.

Here in San Antonio every six months the Solid Waste department schedules curb side pickups of large items. Many large household appliances are hauled off by individuals with pickups before the city truck arrives. Based on trucks I see headed south on I35, I suspect many of these appliances end up being sent to Mexico for repair.

Repair Vs Replace
The challenge is ending poverty without damaging the environment. As poverty decreases, wages rise. The rise in wages makes it more cost effective to replace instead of repair. In a developed country, when something breaks, it is cheaper to toss the broken component and replace it rather than pay someone to fix it. For example, as Mexico develops, rising wages will make repair even less cost effective. As manufacturing efficiency grows, the cost to replace drops, making the gap between replace and repair even larger.

The three R’s of environmentalism are Reduce, Re-use and Recycle. The fourth R (Repair) seems to be overlooked. (The fifth might be Rambling).

So what’s this got to do with GIS? Maybe the total poverty can be reduced by making it less spatially isolated. If we weren’t so close to Mexico, the appliances would end up in the land fill. I know this is heresy, but perhaps elimination of the minimum wage would be good for the environment? If a minimum wage is good, why not raise it to the point where we are all millionaires? At some point gov’t imposed wages actually reduce employment and increase poverty.