Does GeoTrellis replace the need for traditional GIS software?
No, GeoTrellis complements traditional GIS software by accelerating a commonly used set of operations to enable radically different user interactions with geospatial data. By integrating GeoTrellis with your GIS infrastructure and applications you benefit by decreasing the time required to execute computations, enabling you to conduct more complex analysis upon larger data sets within your applications.
What do you mean by "distributed geoprocessing"?
Distributed processing breaks computational operations into discrete units of work. These units of work are then distributed across multiple cores, processors, and servers. In general terms, this technique is called "distributed computing". Since many units of work can be concurrently processed via a highly optimized algorithm, the time required to complete the entire operation is reduced by orders of magnitude.
Just how fast is GeoTrellis?
It varies. Some geoprocessing routines are more conducive to distributed processing and optimization than others. In developing individual routines, we benchmark GeoTrellis’s performance for various parameters and sizes of datasets against common GIS software packages. Our goal is to reach sub-second response times for typical datasets and workflows that users employ within web-based applications. For some operations, GeoTrellis can reach response times as low as 50 milliseconds (or lower) but it really depends on the operations you are utilizing and the specifics of your data.
In what language is GeoTrellis written and how does it integrate with other applications?
GeoTrellis is written in a language designed for distributed computing called Scala. Scala is a distinct language, but it has a relationship with the Java framework in the sense it runs on the Java virtual machine (JVM). Applications integrate with GeoTrellis through a set of web-service APIs (application programming interfaces). Since GeoTrellis is open source, applications can also directly embed functionality (subject to the open source license).
How is GeoTrellis deployed and what does it cost?
GeoTrellis harnesses the power of many processors and servers to accelerate geoprocessing operations and can be deployed on-premise in a private server farm or in the cloud on popular services such as Google Compute Engine and Amazon EC2.
GeoTrellis is available under either an open source Apache 2 license. This is a relatively open license with few restrictions, including integration with commercial products. There are no license fees. Azavea also offers support subscriptions, software development services and managed instances of GeoTrellis hosted by Azavea.
What type of datasets can GeoTrellis use?
GeoTrellis can consume commonly utilized GIS data formats including GeoTIFF, ASCII Grid, and PostGIS databases. Our clients have used GeoTrellis across a wide variety of domains including crime, natural resources, arts and culture, and government data sets. Users include government agencies, commercial entities, academic research projects and nonprofit organizations.