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Release Update: Open Source Community Accelerates Big Data Analytics for Geospatial Solutions

LocationTech, an Eclipse Foundation Working Group and a community that builds software for geospatial technology, is pleased to announce the release of five open source projects that provide core technology used to build geospatial big data analytics solutions. These project releases reflect the growing commitment of the LocationTech community to be a leading source of innovation for the geospatial industry.

LocationTech is an open source community that provides technology for the $500 billion worldwide geospatial industry. For instance, LocationTech projects can be used to efficiently process satellite images, analyze maps for the agriculture industry, visualize smart city sensor data, and in many other geospatial use cases. The community is a collaboration among key geospatial organizations, including Boundless, Red Hat, Radiant Solutions, IBM, and Oracle. The LocationTech community has grown to include nine open source projects, 18 member organizations, and over 100 developers.

“Geospatial big data analytics technology is becoming more and more important across all industries, such as agriculture, transportation, and government,” explains Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation. “LocationTech is delivering on the promise of providing key technology for companies that enable large-scale analytics of geospatial data. Having an open source community, like LocationTech, that accelerates adoption and innovation of geospatial technology will have a significant impact on the entire industry.”

The vision of the LocationTech community is to be the leading provider of core technology for geospatial big data analytics. The five projects being released reflect the growing investment towards achieving this vision. The new project releases include the following:

  • GeoWave is a software library that connects the scalability of distributed computing frameworks and key-value stores with modern geospatial software to store, retrieve, and analyze massive geospatial datasets. GeoWave takes multidimensional data, such as spatial or spatial-temporal, and indexes it into a key-value store such as Apache Accumulo or Apache HBase. These distributed storage technologies, in addition to complementary distributing processing frameworks such as Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark, have proven capabilities to unlock the potential of massive datasets across a variety of domains.
  • GeoGig 1.2 is a tool for geospatial data versioning. It enables users to leverage versioning of their geospatial data and to enable replication and synchronization workflows, in addition to supporting end-to-end data management workflows. The new GeoGig 1.2 release improves the collaborative version workflow by improving cloning and push/pull performance and provides an updated Web API to align with the latest version of GeoServer.
  • GeoTrellis 1.2 is a geographic data processing Scala library designed to work with large geospatial raster datasets. The tool provides developers with a set of utilities to help create useful, high performing web services that load and manipulate raster data (data normally used to represent satellite or aerial images). The new release includes a number of optimizations and new features including distributed computation support for viewshed and Euclidean distance through Apache Spark
  • GeoMesa 1.3.5 is a distributed, spatio-temporal database built on a number of distributed cloud data storage systems, including Apache Accumulo, Apache HBase, Apache Cassandra, and Apache Kafka. The suite of tools brings spatial-temporal data, real-time IoT, and sensor workloads to the cloud. GeoMesa’s novel indexing schema enables efficient queries resulting in rapid access to large data stores for any client application.
  • Java Topology Suite (JTS) 1.15 is a Java library for vector geometry providing spatial data types, spatial relationships and spatial operations. JTS is an established open source project that recently moved to the LocationTech community. New technical features for JTS 1.15 include K-Nearest Neighbor search for STR-Tree, improved handling of Quadtree queries, support for GeometryCollection, and a new JTSTestRunner command-line application. This initial LocationTech release the project is changing from LGPL to a dual license of Eclipse Distribution License (EDL) / Eclipse Public License (EPL) . This license change opens up JTS to a wider range of organizations and applications.


“LocationTech is becoming the critical nexus for organizations looking to develop and deploy geospatial Big Data solutions,” says Eddie Pickle, Managing Director of Open Source Programs at Radiant Solutions.

"The latest release of GeoGig to LocationTech represents a huge leap forward.  Not only does it support versioning workflows for traditional geospatial data, but it is now optimized for spatio-temporal analysis of big data and streaming datasets from IoT sensors,”  says Anthony Calamito, Chief Geospatial Officer and Vice President of Products

Additional information about the five project releases and the other LocationTech projects is available at

The LocationTech Working Group is also organizing the annual FOSS4G NA conference on May 14-16, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri, followed by a Community Day on May 17. Members of the LocationTech community will be speaking and showcasing the open source projects at this conference.

About the Eclipse Foundation
The Eclipse Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that supports a community for individuals and organizations who wish to collaborate on open source software. There are over 300 open source projects with the Eclipse Foundation, ranging from tools for software developers, geo-spatial technology, system engineering and embedded development tools, frameworks for IoT solutions, tool for scientific research, and much more. Eclipse Foundation Working Groups allow organizations to collaborate on building innovative new technology to meet specific industry needs. More information is available at

Join LocationTech at FOSDEM 2018

Call for Papers: FOSDEM 4-6 Feb 2018, Brussels

For the 4th time there is a Geospatial devroom at FOSDEM 2018 on Sunday 4/2/2018!

FOSDEM is a free non-commercial event bringing together 8000+ open source software developers and communities in Brussels, Belgium. Participation is free of charge (donations welcome). The next edition will take place on 3-4 February 2018.

Next to more traditional spatial technology, are specially invited :
* Collaborative editing / versioning of geodata & metadata;
* Collection of data using sensors / UAVs / satellites;
* Geo-analytic algorithms / libraries;
* Big geodata, distributed & scalable GIS applications;


Like to run a discussion, present your work, any other ideas? Submit your proposal at:
Make sure to select the 'Geospatial devroom' as 'Track'. If you have an account from previous years, you should be using the same.
Please specify in the notes if you prefer a short timeslot (lightning talks ~10 min) or a long timeslot (20 min presentation + discussion). Note that time slots are indicative and will be assigned according to the timing of the session.

The DEADLINE for submissions: Thursday 1st December 2017

Notification of acceptance will be sent to the Authors by 11/12/2017 at the latest.
For questions, please get in touch with the organizers at!
Check out the videos and presentations of our previous editions.

Organizers: Johan Van de Wauw, Margherita Di Leo, Anne Ghisla, Martin Hammitzsch, Marc Vloemans



FOSS4G North America 2018 Call for Papers is open!

Get your abstract or workshop proposals in today! 

Open source superpower: GeoMesa, GeoTrellis and GeoWave


"In 2017, GIS is now moving in new and exciting directions. The industry has become more outward looking and more open to new opportunities than ever before. The current deluge of big-data (from IoT, social media, tracking, and other apps) requires spatially-aware big-data platforms which are capable of performing geospatial analytics on cloud and distributed computing systems.While there are numerous commercial products on the market, this short article will give an overview of three powerful open-source standards-based systems which are turning often unassuming geospatialists into big data superheros!"

FOSS4G North America 2018!

Mark you calendar for May 14-16 2018 in St Louis, MO. Stay tuned for ways to get involved, submit a talk or sponsor. 

Processing big data with GeoWave (part 1)

GeoDocker Development Workflow

This blog was originally posted on the Azavea Blog. This is the first part of a two part series written by Eugene Cheipesh on February 2nd, 2017


The GeoTrellis team recently had an opportunity to benchmark GeoMesa and GeoWave, two big data projects aimed at providing distributed persistence and analysis for geospatial applications based on Apache Accumulo. We used GeoDocker, a collection of Docker containers, to overcome challenges associated with developing, testing, and deploying these projects.

Benchmarking Big Data Projects

In order to provide a meaningful benchmark we had to treat the project as if it was a production application based on these technologies. It had to be developed, tested, and deployed to AWS facing all the DevOps challenges that come with the territory. We leveraged Docker to mitigate these challenges and curated a collection of Docker containers we’ve released as GeoDocker.


As is often the case with applications of this sort (multiple interdependent systems which, in production, live on different machines), a fully functioning cluster is presupposed for even basic operations. For instance, Accumulo requires both HDFS and ZooKeeper to be configured and running to even initialize. Maintaining a local installation of these resources is guaranteed to introduce unnecessary pain. It increases complexity, slows down the development workflow, and introduces opportunities for environment incompatibilities.


Why use Docker?

Using Docker allows us to sidestep these difficulties by encapsulating configuration and scripting changes to state. This can ensure a consistent and predictable state that can be versioned and shared. Because these components are designed around the socket interface, they provide a natural boundary on which we can decompose their dependency.

Thus, the expectation is that each Docker container will listen on a network port and possibly communicate with other containers over their socket. Currently the existing GeoDocker images provide a “good enough” state to start development and can be extended and and re-used for deployment.


GeoDocker Accumulo docker-compose in action

Customizing GeoDocker

A customized configuration of GeoDocker may be handled in a few ways:
  1. Environment variables passed to the container for minimally required configurations.
  2. Volume mounting configuration files when they are available from existing shared resources.
Using GeoDocker image as base to bring in additional artifacts and configurations. Each GeoDocker repository is responsible for a single component, e.g. Accumulo or HDFS, which is versioned and published independently. Each repository also contains a `docker-compose` file which launches a minimal cluster, bringing in dependencies as necessary. These `docker-compose` files are suitable for development and integration testing in a projects that require that piece of infrastructure.
GeoDocker Accumulo Component Diagram

Keep an eye out for Part 2…

Next we need to see exactly how we can use these Docker containers to deploy our application on top of AWS. In part 2, we’ll look at the tricks we used to overcome the problem of resource discovery on AWS.

CalGIS/LocationCon Call for Papers


As many of you know, LocationTech has been working closely with Bay Geo to organize the one of the biggest cross community events in our industry. Called CalGIS/LocationCon 2017, this event is bringing together the very best in open source and proprietary geospatial technology. The event will be held in Oakland, California on May 22 - 25, 2017 at the Oakland Convention Center. 

I would to encourage everyone on this list to submit papers and workshops. This is a fabulous way to demonstrate your open source tools to a new audience. I will have space set aside for a LocationTech code sprint. It would be amazing if we could get lots of projects doing workshops and demos, as well as traditional talks.

I also would like to encourage all of our member companies to support this new hybrid community event and format via sponsorship. As the home of commercially-friendly open source software projects it would be great to show the traditional GIS community what we have in our working group.

Let me know if you have any questions about the event or need help during the submission process. 

Submit your paper now

New Member: Temple University's Professional Science Master's in GIS

Please join us in welcoming Temple University's Professional Science Master's in GIS as a new member of LocationTech.
Thank you to the team at the Professional Science Master's in GIS  program, and to Julia Falcon, Program Coordinator, as their member representative.