Archive for the ‘GeoCloud’ Category

Kundra, the Cloud and National GIS

It doesn’t sound like Vivek Kundra, the new federal CIO, is the kinda guy we’d expect to support something like the National GIS.

Kundra also wants to use technology such as cloud computing to attack the government’s culture of big contract boondoggles and its hiring of contractors who end up “on the payroll indefinitely.”

If we are going to sell Kundra on the National GIS, we should emphasize innovation instead of job protection, perhaps by focusing on Cloud based GIS. As I’ve said before, ESRI should enhance the “Author, Serve, Use” paradigm to allow the authoring of geoprocessing tools to be performed outside the firewall.


Arc2Earth Cloud Layers

Brian Flood has an update on his Arc2Earth Cloud Services:

You can add “cloud layers” directly to your local map and then use the native editing tools in ArcMap to make changes. Every resource in your cloud instance is controlled by login and ACL lists so you can create groups users who all work remotely on the live data. There are also bulk upload/download tools so you can get a fresh copy of any layer anytime you need to perform heavy lifting GIS analysis.

This sounds really interesting. It seems like with this sort of infrastructure in place, a confederacy of arcgis machines could be harnessed where each machine works on part of a very large geoprocessing job, similar to Seti@home. I’m not sure if ESRI lawyers would allow it, but what if people rented out their machines during idle times?

Right now for example, I’ve got a geoprocessing job that takes about 30 hours to complete. It would be helpful to have a way to push the job onto the cloud where it would be split up into parts to be solved by different machines. As each part is processed, a master process would append each part together and notify me upon completion. It sounds like Brian’s quad-trees full of r-trees would efficiently support this sort of divide and conquer strategy. Each machine in the confederacy that performed work would then send me a bill for their services. Of course once geoprocessing itself moves to the cloud, this won’t be needed.

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%.