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Exploring Real‐Time Geoprocessing in Cloud Computing: Navigation Services Case Study

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Today, many real‐time geospatial applications (e.g. navigation and location‐based services) involve data‐ and/or compute‐intensive geoprocessing tasks where performance is of great importance. Cloud computing, a promising platform with a large pool of storage and computing resources, could be a practical solution for hosting vast amounts of data and for real‐time processing. In this article, we explored the feasibility of using Google App Engine (GAE), the cloud computing technology by Google, for a module in navigation services, called Integrated GNSS (iGNSS) QoS prediction. The objective of this module is to predict quality of iGNSS positioning solutions for prospective routes in advance. iGNSS QoS prediction involves the real‐time computation of large Triangulated Irregular Networks (TINs) generated from LiDAR data. We experimented with the Google App Engine (GAE) and stored a large TIN for two geoprocessing operations (proximity and bounding box) required for iGNSS QoS prediction. The experimental results revealed that while cloud computing can potentially be used for development and deployment of data‐ and/or compute‐intensive geospatial applications, current cloud platforms require improvements and special tools for handling real‐time geoprocessing, such as iGNSS QoS prediction, efficiently. The article also provides a set of general guidelines for future development of real‐time geoprocessing in clouds.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh

Publication date: October 1, 2011


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