Archive for June 12th, 2014

Jun 12 2014

Real-life geospatial in virtual machines – an adapted focus

Published by under SL In General

In the past 31 months of silence, there’s been both great focus on one topic and a transition to something new.

For 27 of those months, creative energy was given over largely to modeling of surface water flow on a seamless topographic-bathymetric surface for Marin County, California.  Creek mapping has been either pure-2D work, or 2.5-D work with storm water pipe diversions beneath the bare earth surface.  The model is produced to standards of the US Geological Survey’s National Hydrography Dataset and associated Watershed Boundary Dataset.  Collaborative discussion about workflow and product review may be forming at http://nhd.3dg.is over the next few months.

In the past three months, a new full-time day job has provided huge boosts of energy to some more urban applications.  A discussion site may be visible at https://www.yammer.com/standardgeospatialserversgeos .
The big new thing here is documented build instructions for an Open Source-maximized, Licensing cost-minimized modular standard design for geospatial servers.

The prime use case for the design is a local government agency that may have several department-level sites running Esri ArcGIS for Server, each configured in its own way and with different server operating systems and products from multiple database vendors.  There may be an existing applications over an Open Source GIS stack, or there may be interest in implementing such a stack for testing.  There may be a desire to connect SQL-skilled staff with geospatial data and analysis capabilities.  As new 3D geospatial data and field devices arrive, there might even be teams that want a virtual world simulator—maybe even OpenSim.

For that environment or one similar to it, the San Francisco Enterprise Geographic Information System Program (SFGIS) has devised a unified geospatial server platform to maximize performance while minimizing marginal licensing costs: the Standard Geospatial Server (SGeoS).

The SGeoS design packs many enterprise geospatial capabilities into a single configurable server module, including

  • Esri ArcGIS 10.2.2 for Server Standard
  • Esri ArcGIS 10.2.2 Web Adaptor
  • Esri ArcGIS 10.2.2 Enterprise Geodatabase
  • PostgreSQL 9.2.8 Enterprise Database
  • PostGIS 2.1.3 with SFCGAL database geoprocessing
  • Apache httpd 2.4.9
  • OpenSSL 1.0.1h
  • Apache Tomcat 8.0.8 Java 1.8 Servlet container
  • Django 1.6.5 / GeoDjango
  • OpenLayers 2.13.1 / Ext JS 4.2.1
  • Mono 3.2.8  for .NET 4.5 compatability
  • CentOS 6.5 (unbranded RHEL 6.5) operating system

Testbed deployment of one SGeoS device requires a single-core VM guest with 4GB memory and 40GB of storage.  Production deployment is anticipated to involve multiple SGeoS machines for each site; unused capabilities will be disabled.  This means that a web-tier module will have geoserver and database functions disabled, a geoserver-tier module can have httpd and database disabled, and a database-tier module can have httpd and geoservers disabled.

In testbed form, capabilities are configured to run all at once without conflicts, absent significant user load.

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