Thursday, October 15, 2009

How Does ERDAS Support Open STANDARDS?

ERDAS expends a large effort to support Open Standards and in the end, interoperability with other software implementations that as well support open standards. We invest in the development and implementation of Open Standards because as an organization, we believe in our software products working seamlessly with any other geospatial package that exists on the market and providing our customers with a large variety of deployment and design options for geospatial solutions. We support open standards to additionally be a compelling and viable option in ANY geospatial system under design irregardless of an organizations existing systems "vendor". We also measure each component and feature we develop with any pertinent existing IT and Geospatial standard to ensure that we maintain a high degree of interoperability.

So "how" does ERDAS support Open Standards then?

We support the entire array of IT and Spatial Standards. On the IT side of the house, we support a variety of Operating Systems, credentials stores (LDAP, Active Directory, DB, etc), Application Servers, Databases, chip-sets and virtualization environments (both hardware and OS) and of course, industry web service standards of WSDL/SOAP/UDDI.

On the GeoSpatial side of things, we support the web mapping standard WMS, the gridded data delivery service of WCS, vector feature delivery service of WFS, open catalog service of CSW, map context WMC, WRS, URN, OWS common, Filter, on and on an on....

We also participate in the development of standards within the OGC standards body. There is a "cost" to participating in these standards development bodies of which ERDAS is more than willing to participate to ensure the standard meets our customers use cases and to bring to the table the wealth of industry proven "knowledge" to ensure the standards meet in the end, market needs.

Why support Open Standards?

We do this because it's important to our exiting customers and a market driving initiative in the geo-market space. We do it because the standards are becoming "mature" and capable to meet customer use cases (not just a prototype, actually used in a production environment). We also do it to proliferate the standards within the industry and prove the capabilities of the standards within extremely high volume, rapidly changing production environments.

Why point these facts out?

There's been quite a bit of "noise" superimposing Open Standards with "Open Source" that can be confusing to non-IT decision makers and a propensity of some open source pundits to raise an argument that "commercial"="proprietary"="vendor lockin"=an advantage to open source. This is definitely not the case in the market today, whereas ERDAS is not the only vendor ensuring a high degree of open standard support and interoperability.

This "noise" rises from the organization and productization of the disperate open source projects in the geo-space and to create competitive marketing against the existing commercial products. It is now officially a "vendor" option to customers. ERDAS stands firm in out position in the market and our capabilities to provide highly interoperable, entire end-to-end geospatial processing and analysis chains with market proven maturity and market leading segment to PROVE it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

ESRI Bails on FOSS4G Performance Shootout

ESRI has withdrawn from the FOSS4G Performance Shootout. There hasn't been any official statement on the Performance Mailing List announced as to the reason why yet, just that they will no longer continue with the exercise.

Why would ESRI pull out so late in the game?? The performance numbers were supposed to be completed this week?? Why put in so many WEEKS of effort in getting the system setup and deal with all the "issues" that were encountered during the setup and testing period to "bail" right at the end??

I've been following the mailing list quite closely, and I have a couple of observations:

1. There was a lot of disorganization in terms of the coordination of the hardware topology, testing procedures, the data configuration, what data to use, what tests would be performed and "who" was responsible for what! It was a total free for all with no scheduling, responsibility and probably the "hand holding" necessary to keep ESRI engaged. It was up to ESRI to meander through the minefield of issues presented with the data, changes to the system, test scripts and hardware.

If your ESRI and you feel like you just jumped into a circus, would you continue to parade in line with the rest of the show?

2. I am EXTREMELY glad I didn't waste any resources on attempting to participate in what should be an EXTREMELY interesting and engaging exercise.

I highly recommend that an independent organization provide a non biased, preapproved methodology, preapproved dataset with the opportunity to put the data in a vendor recommended format (which every customer usually does anyways), capable and diverse hardware set to limit the non-functional limitations, proven performance testing software and methodology to measure LOAD not throughput and the right to review, control the rights of the results to be published/non published, there will be very high participation from ALL the available vendors.

This is even after the publication announcing the "shootout" which I felt was aimed at throwing ESRI under the bus anyways.

What a disaster...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

WorldView II Successfully Launched!!

So the WorldView II sensor is in orbit! I can't wait to get some of the products into the APOLLO and the Web Processing Service!!

The sensor has a short wave IR band that REALLY is needed for lots algorithms that can only use LANDSAT TM and MODIS imagery...but WorldView II will do it at 46 cm!

I will definitely be showing that data off on the demo site as soon as we gain access to it!