Archive for the ‘Amazon EC2’ Category

PUG Conference

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Here’s a summary of my thoughts after attending Monday and (half of) Tuesday at the ESRI Petroleum User Group (PUG) conference.

The Interp/GIS Gap
In the Operation Database panel, Bill Burroughs described the gap between geologic Interpretation and GIS as being one of the big challenges for developers of software tools. I think a tool like SketchUp – but for Geologists – would go a long way towards this goal. Instead of extruding floorplans to make buildings, you would extrude between horizons to create formations. Here’s an interesting writeup about using SketchUp for Geology. Specialized tools to support, for example, palinspastic reconstruction would be useful IMO.
Instead of putting geology into Googles’ 3D Warehouse, I think an academic institution should host it, like UT’s Plates Project. (I just don’t trust an organization that locates its HQ atop the San Andreas fault.)

Note that SketchUp uses OpenGL. While Silverlight is gaining traction among PUG attendees, it is unfortunate that Microsoft has no plans for support OpenGL within Silverlight. Heck, they don’t even plan to support DirectX from what I can tell.

So You Wanna Be a RocknRoll Star…
Keith Fraley of Shell offered this advice for those seeking GIS rock star status: provide data through web services instead of CDs. The vendors I spoke with want to do that, but are having trouble figuring out a licensing mechanism.

ArcGIS Explorer
ESRI continues to improve on ArcGIS Explorer. The give-away-the-shaver-charge-for-the-razor strategy is paying off. As ArcGIS Explorer spreads, ArcGIS server becomes more attractive. If you have a tool that you’d like to deploy to the web, you can wrap it up as a custom Geoprocessing Tool, then publish it using ArcGIS Server. It can then be consumed by an ArcGIS Explorer add-in. My only disappointment is that OpenGL hooks were deprecated in recent builds.

ESRI Amazon
Speaking of licensing, ESRI is working on a pay-as-you-go pricing for running ArcGIS in the cloud (Amazon EC2). I really think we need to encourage ESRI to use a license model that allows developers to take an ArcGIS AMI, load extensions on it, register it with DevPay, and split the revenue with ESRI.

The List
I didn’t stick around for the reading of “The List”. I wish I had, it’s kinda like the Festivus airing of grievances. I would like to see this added to the list: ESRI needs to add support to the REST API so that Polyline measures can be returned. I hope someone publishes this list.

Amazon Public Datasets: Where’s the Geography?


Last month Amazon rolled out Public Datasets. They do have map data – but it’s for mapping the Human Genome. I hope to see some spatial data there soon.

If you have a public domain or non-proprietary data set that you think is useful and interesting to the AWS community, please submit a request below and the AWS team will review your submission and get back to you. Typically the data sets in the repository are between 1 GB to 1 TB in size (based on the Amazon EBS volume limit), but we can work with you to host larger data sets as well. You must have the right to make the data freely available.

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%.