GeoTrellis Selected for Three Google Summer of Code 2014 Projects

GeoTrellis Selected for Three Google Summer of Code 2014 Projects

Azavea’s open source GeoTrellis framework is a recipient of three Google Summer of Code fellowships, a global competitive program that offers students stipends to write code for open source projects.

Philadelphia, PA, July 1, 2014 – Azavea, an award-winning geospatial analysis (GIS) software development company, announced that GeoTrellis, the company’s high performance geoprocessing open source framework, has been accepted for three Google Summer of Code projects this summer.  Google received 6,313 proposals from 4,420 students and awarded almost 2,000 fellowships to open source projects around the world.  Each Summer of Code fellow works on an open source project to implement a single significant feature.

Azavea submitted GeoTrellis to the Eclipse Foundation’s LocationTech initiative in December 2013.  The Eclipse Foundation was awarded several Summer of Code fellowships and then allocated these three to GeoTrellis:

  • Johan Stenberg from the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, will be working on a GeoTiff reader written in native Scala.  The goal will be to have a flexible reader of the GeoTiff format that performs better than any other JVM-based reader.  This will allow GeoTrellis to easily add GeoTiffs as native format alongside the existing ARG file type, as well as supporting importing GeoTiffs on HDFS (the Hadoop distributed file system). 
  • Kelum Deshapriya from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, will be working on support for a multi-band imagery in GeoTrellis.  Satellite imagery and other data are often captured and stored in multiple bands, with each band representing a different wavelength of light.  Kelum’s work will add support for processing of multi-band imagery.
  • T. Tharindu Madushanka Peiris from the University of Colombo School of Computing, Sri Lanka, will be working on a mechanism for converting text-based descriptions of geospatial operations into executable code on the GeoTrellis platform.  This will enable software to be written in other languages and take advantage of the full power of GeoTrellis without having to program in Scala or Java.

Rob Emanuele of Azavea and Eric J. Christeson of North Dakota State University will serve as mentors for the Summer of Code fellows.

“It’s exciting to be participating in the Summer of Code program.  Google operates the program in order to advance the state-of-the-art in computing, and this aligns well with Azavea’s own objectives for the GeoTrellis framework and our other open source work.  We’re very grateful to Google for funding and operating the program,” said Robert Cheetham, President and CEO of Azavea.

GeoTrellis is designed to support very fast geospatial data processing.  It is based on the Scala language and the Akka framework.  Now at version 0.9, the GeoTrellis framework provides an ability to process large and small raster and network data sets with low latency by distributing the computation across clusters of multiple threads, cores, CPUs and machines.  GeoTrellis was designed to solve three core problems:

  • Create fast, scalable geoprocessing web services;
  • Create batch geoprocessing services that can act on large data sets; and
  • Run geoprocessing operations in parallel to take full advantage of cloud computing architectures.

The software includes the ability to both rapidly process geospatial data and chain together multiple processing tasks to support simulation and modeling.  The goal of the framework is to transform user interaction with geospatial data by bringing the power of geospatial analysis to real-time, interactive web and mobile applications.

“We’re thrilled to be chosen to participate in the Google Summer of Code program.  Not only will we be getting valuable contributions to the project, we will also have the chance to mentor a new generation of open source developers. Previous student contributions to GeoTrellis have helped push the software forward while mentoring programmers as they contribute to GeoTrellis has been a very rewarding experience, and I’m looking forward to more of the same from these bright young coders,” says Rob Emanuele, Team Lead, GeoTrellis

For more information about GeoTrellis, visit:

About Azavea – Azavea is a certified B Corporation that applies geographic data and technology for civic and social impact while advancing the state-of-the-art through research.  Find out more at

If you would like more information about Azavea or to schedule an interview with Robert Cheetham, Azavea CEO and President, please contact Amy Trahey at (215) 558-6184 or e-mail