Building a Simple Geodata Service With Node, PostGIS, and Amazon RDS


This post describes the construction of a simple, lightweight geospatial data service using Node.JS, PostGIS and Amazon RDS. It is somewhat lengthy and includes a number of code snippets. The post is primarily targeted at users who may be interested in alternative strategies for publishing geospatial data but may not be familiar with the tools discussed here. This effort is ongoing and follow-up posts can be expected.

Continue reading “Building a Simple Geodata Service With Node, PostGIS, and Amazon RDS”

Arkansas Evaluating Geospatial Cloud Infrastructures

My company has recently begun working on a project for the Arkansas Geographic Information Office (AGIO) to evaluate options for potentially migrating the GeoStor geospatial infrastructure to a cloud computing environment. If you are unfamiliar with GeoStor, it is the official geospatial platform for the State of Arkansas and is maintained by AGIO. I realize, as does AGIO, that “the cloud” has become a buzzword that has lost any meaningful context. So, for purposes of discussion, we’ll go with the NIST draft definition available here:

For this effort, we are open to considering any service model but we have strict guidance that the only deployment model of interest is the public cloud model. Continue reading “Arkansas Evaluating Geospatial Cloud Infrastructures”


I spent the vast majority of my time at the 2010 ESRI User Conference working the Zekiah/Arc2Earth booth. That was fun as I got meet/reconnect with a lot of people but I didn’t see much of the conference itself. As a result, I haven’t really blogged it.

ESRI continued with the “cloud ready” theme that was rolled out at the Federal User Conference but with more details about how they are moving to “the cloud.” This generated a lot of buzz amongst many of the attendees from what I could tell. One of the big new features of Arc2Earth v3 (disclaimer: my company is an Arc2Earth reseller) is Cloud Services. As a result, we had a banner in our booth that had the word “cloud” on it, prompting lots of people to stop. Continue reading “Clouds”

A Couple of Updates

Shortly after my previous post, about browsing and downloading data from GeoCommons, hit the wires, I got quite a few back-channel requests for the code. I sent it out via e-mail to a number of people and then posted it via DropBox. I have finally gotten around to posting it up on Google Code, making things much more manageable. It is now available here.

I have made a few updates since the original post. Some were administrative but were functional. They are:

1. The code was updated to replace SharpZipLib with DotNetZip for handling zip files.
2. The code now attempts to identify the default KML handler on the user’s system and pass KML directly to it for previewing.
3. The user now gets a wait cursor when the tool is processing downloads and such. This should make it a little more usable.
4. The code headers had been pasted in from SharpMap and I missed some references to SharpMap in the text. Those have been corrected.

Anyway, thanks for all the interest. It sort of caught me off guard but at least the code is more accessible now. I’ve got a few more updates planned so this should streamline things.

Importing Data From GeoCommons Into ArcMap

UPDATE: The code for this post is available at the bottom of the page.

I have been doing a lot of development with the ESRI Silverlight API recently. One of the requirements of my project is to be able to dynamically add KML data at runtime. The incorporation of KML was handled for us through one of the ESRI samples on the resource center so we pretty much just had to integrate that code and test against our use cases. For testing, I typically reached out to GeoCommons since any data set available there can be streamed as KML.

Obviously, this is not my first exposure to GeoCommons but, when discussing it, I found that many of the analysts I spoke with were not aware of it and did not use it much. So I decided to tackle developing a simple ArcMap extension to allow a user to search GeoCommons and then download/add data to ArcMap without the need to manually download, unzip and add the data themselves. Continue reading “Importing Data From GeoCommons Into ArcMap”