Friday, May 4, 2012

An Open Source High Performance Geographic Data Processing Engine and Programming Toolkit, Geo Trellis released by Azavea

GeoTrellis enables analysis applications that have previously only been possible with a workstation GIS to be made available online and in mobile applications.

Azavea, an award winning geospatial analysis (GIS) software development company announces the release of its newest open source product, GeoTrellis, a high performance geographic data processing engine. The company is releasing the product source code under the GNU General Public License (GPLv3). It is available for download at:

Geographic data is crucial to a better understanding our communities, our society and our planet. The data that is gathered about our world is growing at an unprecedented rate. At the same time, the need to visualize and interact with that data in order to make better decisions has never been greater. GeoTrellis was designed to help perform common geographic operations on very large data sets with speed, scale and an open architecture, thus enabling analysis applications that have previously only been possible through complex desktop GIS systems to be made available online and in mobile applications.

The software was designed to solve three core issues, with a focus on raster processing: 
1. Create scalable, high performance geoprocessing web services
2. Create distributed geoprocessing services that can act on large data sets
3. Parallelize geoprocessing operations to take full advantage of a multi-core architecture

"As a software developer, it's incredibly exciting to me that our work is going to have a broader impact through its adoption as an open source project. The web has already transformed the ways we use maps, and my hope is that GeoTrellis will be a part of transforming a new generation of web applications into interactive decision making and analysis tools that help us all improve the world around us," said Josh Marcus, Senior GIS Software Architect, Azavea.

While GeoTrellis is a new product, the concepts are not new for Azavea. The company has been researching high performance computing techniques for processing large GIS data sets for several years.

Examples of applications that are already using GeoTrellis include:
A)CommonSpace, a collaborative destination discovery and sustainable transit planning web application:
B) City of Asheville's Priority Places application:
C) Visualizing Emancipation, a project of the Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond:

GeoTrellis is written in Scala, a language designed for parallel processing, and leverages Akka, another open source project, that support distributed computation. While GeoTrellis is is available as open source software under the GNU General Public License (GPLv3), that license is not appropriate for all customers, products or markets, so Azavea also offers commercial and OEM licenses.

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