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As Big Data Grows, Interest in GeoWave Does Too

Radiant Solutions
Dec 08 2017

Radiant Solutions is focused on revealing geospatial insight from big data through innovation.  So what happens when Big Data repositories grow too massive and diverse to analyze in a timely manner?  Insight revealed from big data in support of national security and industry challenges loses its value if it takes weeks to derive it.

GeoWave, developed by Radiant Solutions, is an open source software library that allows users to quickly and efficiently index and search massive sets of multidimensional data, enabled by the scalability of distributed computing frameworks. After a huge summer of conferences and the 0.9.6 release, GeoWave has started to cement itself as one of the premier geospatial big-data libraries. GeoWave sets itself apart from similar libraries because of how quickly it can run analytics on large datasets and the geospatial industry has started to take note. We are proud of what we’ve accomplished in the past few months and are excited for the next milestones that we have to hit.

After a successful presentation and workshop at the CalGIS/LocationCon Conference in May, Radiant Solutions’ own Kent Miller presented GeoWave at the DataWorks Summit in San Jose, California. Kent gave a broad introduction of GeoWave to a large audience and explain some of the capabilities of the software. Many attendees took great interest in the presentation and asked Kent to field a number of more specific, GeoWave-related questions. The presentation can be viewed here.

The GeoWave team was able to ride some of the recognition from earlier in the summer into August where we were given the opportunity to present GeoWave and run a workshop at FOSS4G 2017 in Boston. FOSS4G is an enormous conference with over 1,000 attendees, including Radiant Solutions’s own Rich Fecher and Michael Whitby who were given the opportunity to publish a paper that explores a GeoWave use case involving New York City taxicab trip data. Based on the GeoWave Quickstart Guide, the workshop was run by Rich and Michael to great success. It was one of the first workshops at the conference to have all seats taken, requiring Rich and Michael to find more chairs for additional guests. Attendees were able to test many of the major functionalities of GeoWave and were impressed by how quick and easy it was to ingest data, run a Kernel Density Estimation, and publish layers to GeoServer.

Later in the week, Rich ran the GeoWave presentation in front of a packed conference room. He presented the paper that had been published but also took the time to demonstrate some of GeoWave’s capabilities. He was able to ingest close to 300 million data points from S3 and use the new Zeppelin Notebook support (part of the 0.9.6 release) to run multiple clustering algorithms in front of a large crowd. The audience was wowed when they saw how quickly we were able to produce images from such large sets of data, and we appreciated how many people were interested in following up with us afterwards.

Just a week after FOSS4G, Rich and Michael presented at the 2017 International Symposium on Spatial and Temporal Databases (SSTD). Their paper on the underlying theories behind GeoWave was one of 17 papers chosen from a large pool to be published to “Advances in Spatial and Temporal Databases 2017,” and they were asked to present it at the conference. SSTD is primarily attended by people in academia, so it was valuable to be able to connect with and draw interest from a group of people who may not be at other industry conferences.

The presentation at SSTD went so well that we were actually approached about delivering a keynote speech at the IEEE International Workshop on Big Spatial Data, which is a workshop run in conjunction with the IEEE International Conference on Big Data. Michael Whitby agreed to be one of the two keynote speakers at the workshop and plans to talk about some of the time-saving and efficiency advantages that GeoWave can provide when dealing with multidimensional sets of coordinate data. We are very excited to have been asked to speak and feel like this opportunity reflects the community’s positive attitude towards and growing interest in GeoWave.

Along with of all of our travel and presentations in the last few months, we recently released the 0.9.6 build of our software. A major feature of 0.9.6 is the introduction of REST endpoints for GeoWave commands. Other features include the ability for users to ingest data directly from Amazon S3 buckets and that GeoWave now supports both Jupyter and Zeppelin notebooks. 0.9.6 is a prominent release for GeoWave because it will be one of the last releases leading up to 1.0.0 that we plan to have out in the early months of 2018. 1.0.0 will be a noteworthy release and will make GeoWave relevant to an even larger audience because of major features such as Cassandra and DynamoDB integration.

We have been encouraged by our experiences this year to continue exploring the applications of GeoWave in different markets. Many industries face big data problems and need to be able to spatially and temporally manage and query data. GeoWave has obvious applications in the geospatial industry but it can certainly be applied to other industries and has even garnered interest in fields such as Pharmaceuticals and Biomedical Engineering. We are optimistic that the exposure that we are gaining will allow us to find more applications in a larger variety of fields.

The GeoWave team has clearly been busy over the last few months and we plan on being just as productive in the next few. On top of working on 1.0.0, we plan on keeping up our strong conference attendance and will be hosting a series of webinars to continue to show of GeoWave, so please stay tuned for more information. We are proud of the recognition that our software has been getting recently, and our growing brand and team keep us excited for the future and the opportunities that it may bring.

Access a library of resources to help you get started on GeoWave here.  Stay tuned for more details on our upcoming release in the coming months. For more information please contact me at