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The Cloud is Now Making its Way to GIS

The Cloud is Now Making its Way to GIS

There is one truth to life today, and that is our lives will always be filled with information and data.  It can have an impact on people on both a personal and professional level.  For instance, with the advent of social media, we can now get access to many forms of content and share it with others.

In terms of the latter, businesses and organizations these days, through the use of big data tools, can now capture data about their customers in real time.

However, now the problem is, with all of this information and data now coming in, where can it be all stored?  Well, the answer is the in the Cloud.  Essentially, an individual or a business can open up an account with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and, with the use of a secure protocol, transfer all of those huge files in just a matter of a few seconds.  There is no need to purchase extra hard drives or extra servers.

In fact, even the world of GIS is facing an explosion in the growth of information and data.  To make it easier for scientists and other professionals to access all of this, a GIS Vendor known as “Esri” and NASA have just launched two new software services to help with this:

  • The Meta Raster Format (MRF)
  • The Limited Error Raster Compression (LERC)

MRF is a Cloud-based application that has been designed specifically for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The LERC is also a Cloud-based application that has been created to store images that are large in terms of file size, as well as other geospatial applications.

By offering these two Cloud services, numerous advantages will be offered, which include the following:

  • Much lower information and storage costs (as opposed to on premises storage).
  • Faster access to imagery.
  • A deeper and further understanding as to how to analyze the geophysical changes which are occurring to the Earth.

According to Kevin Murphy, NASA Earth Science Data Systems Program Executive, “Our collaboration with Esri and the release of Esri’s patent on LERC ensures that more people can enjoy efficient, accurate transmission of imagery and data over the web.”  (SOURCE:

GeoTel is a telecommunications research and GIS mapping firm that researches and provides telecom datasets for more than 5,500 cities in the United States and worldwide. GeoTel’s expertise includes specialists in economic geography, geospatial engineering, web GIS, and telecommunications GIS Data infrastructure.

Valerie Stephen