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Geo Spatial: Cloud computing

Use case Cloud computing

This study is focused on use of Cloud computing paradigm to Geo Spatial data management. M S Prasad 12/22/2010

Cloud Computing : Geo Spatial Data Management

M S Prasad .( Key words : GIS, Geo Spatial data Management, cloud Use Cases Cloud computing a paradigm shift in computing and for Service oriented architecture and solution. Geographical Information system which processes Geo spatial data for its inference , has a large potential to use Cloud computing technology. This study report highlights use of Cloud computing technology for Geospatial data management and associated functions. Geospatial Data Geographical data are mainly observational , and multidimensional ( high dimension as good as hundreds of variables ) and complex huge data. This has become more predominant in last decade due to enhanced technique of data collection and resolution. Calls for data Mining and Knowledge discovery . Geo spatial data needs to be converted into Information and knowledge needs to be extracted which can be meaningful and leads to prediction . This process is compute intensive and data is storage intensive. With the increasing spatial, spectral and temporal resolution of satellite and aerial imagery, collaborating internet GIS users ,there is an accompanying increase in storage requirements and processing capacity to effectively manage that data. The cloud provides solutions for spatial data storage, manipulation, and retrieval that remove the capital expense of hardware purchases as well as the burden of maintenance. Cloud Computing and GIS with its spatial data adds a new computing paradigm which is scalable , can cater for compute intensive work and sift through multivariate Geo spatial data which is much more complex than the Big data analysis. The cloud computing advantage on demand resource provision , pooled in storage , and provision of wide variety of applications , can help the new research area of Geo spatial data mining and Interpretations. For E governance purposes the distributed cloud architecture , would help in maintaining the land Parcel data locally with a back up at the central place . The entire land parcel data can be cost effectively managed accessed from anywhere using Web interface. .

The Geo spatial cloud System approach Offers lower initial investment, on going Maintenance , software licenses expenditure and resources. Geo Spatial Data

GIS : geographic Information System A GIS system is that captures, stores,analyzes, manages and presents data linked to a location.
( Wikipedia )

Due to cost & complexity of having Geo spatial data ( GIS data ) by enterprise , the decision making based on GIS is seldom carried out . For example a provision distribution company most of time does not have its own GIS data to do route analysis. But after Google &Bing , some of these enterprises are at least using it for geocoding of spatial or map data. More and more Geo spatial data service providers embrace cloud technology , it would become easier for many enterprise to base some of their decision on Geographic facts . Geo spatial Cloud Architecture The geo spatial cloud architecture is not very different from any other architecture except in terms of data base and its operation. A simplified view of the architecture is shown below. The user interface could SOAP / XML based web access. The data security component depends on the type of data held .

User Interface

Virtual abstraction/Processing clusters


Hardware Simplified View : Geo Spatial cloud


A detail geospatial cloud would contain the data inputs in various formats including Point data and a modeling component , spatial data base and a storage management. The visualization application could be at the end user location where the processed from cloud is used to visualizeit . Geo spatial cloud for Enterprise ( community clouds) A major use of this cost effective technology would be to have a Spatial cloud set up by a community of same users such as Infrastructure Developers , Terrain analysts. This type of cloud where data is not very sensitive could be built around service providers such as Amazon or can be built by the consortium. A representative architecture is shown below. All the nodes are physical machines supporting number of Virtual machines . some of the nodes would be used for computations where as some of the nodes would be used for cluster management , resource management other network related functions.


Cache, Proxy server

Router& switches

Load Balancer

Storage controller Map storage

Cluster controller

Backup manager

Cluster controller

Geospatial Data base

Resource &config Manager




Applications ( Modeling , Data base etc) Nodes : Physical hardware on which Virtual application abstraction runs( Representative architecture). The same architecture scaled up with a dedicated spatial data base management which can handle large data sets and storage could be used as Geo spatial cloud Data storage system and research and data dissemination.

E Governance : Geo spatial data Cloud The Geographic data and its spatial attributes plays important role in E governance as well in Disaster management.The land parcel its owner ship as wellas type i.e. farm land or barren land information isan important information for crop production forecasting and land revenue collections. The cloud architecture for such process would be a cost effective solution. In this concept , a small scale cloud ( mini Cloud ) with localized database copy could be fielded at each district ( zone) area. Allthese mini clouds should be connected with a main cloud which would hold the central spatial data base. The back of mini cloud data will be kept at central cloud. The central cloud would also be able to hold disaster or natural calamity prone area data for speedy recovery from any calamities. The cloud having a resilience in providing on demand computefacility , would help in disaster models and loss thereof to be computed easily e.g. catastrophe model which compute & data intensive. Some of the major benefits which can be reaped from Cloud based solutions are :- ( either hosted by a service provider or provisioned ) are :
Map Views creations faster and affordable . example : Google Maps . Data Storage, Archiving, Disaster Recovery. Flexible design and resource Planning . SaaS functions easily possible to prevent more application available to large users

Present State of Spatial Cloud Computing Several companies are operating spatial cloud in one form or another such as Cloudgone , Google ,, ( Earth Builder, Maps and Fusion charts)Some service providers are mainly providing data services , data storage and some are research geo spatial cloud . Google were the first to open up this domain .now companies like , spatial are more towards traditional GIS solution providing GIs data analysis.ESRIs does provide web based map services and data .ESRI & amazon EC2 collaboration helps users in US to deploy geo data base images on Amazon cloud . Conclusion Cloud computing paradigm is best suited for Geo spatial storage and analysis .The Geo spatial data being voluminous and multivariate , requires compute intensive solutions for inference which cloud flexible provisioning system easily makes it happen.

About author : The author has 28 years plus experience in Digital Signal processing ( Image & Pattern Recognition) , Large secure networks design & fielding , and Network security. For last3 years actively involved in secure cloud computing design and algorithms.