Technology to be used as processing engine for geospatial library.

The Computational Geospatial Technologies Center (CGTC) at Mississippi State University (MSU) has entered into a strategic partnership with ImageLinks of Melbourne, Fla. As part of this agreement, CGTC has purchased ImageLinks RasterWare Appliances technology to serve as the spatial data processing engine in MSU’s Geospatial Library.

The CGTC, which is part of the MSU Engineering Research Center (ERC), is developing the Geospatial Library in collaboration with the MSU Remote Sensing Technologies Center (RSTC) as an online spatial data archiving, access and distribution system. The Geospatial Library will be a web-based source of remote sensing and geographic information for geospatial research and to support federal agencies and related organizations in conducting natural resource, transportation planning and environmental assessment programs.

“The Geospatial Library will provide researchers and federal organizations access to remote sensing data, maps, and spatial information required to assess the human and natural environment and to plan transportation and infrastructure development projects,” said Dr. Chuck O’Hara, Associate Research Professor at MSU. “In addition, users may feed new geospatial data back into the library during projects for access by the public and other organizations.

O’Hara added, “We selected the ImageLinks RasterWare Technology because it can handle the enormous data management and image processing tasks, as well as custom product generation, which will be required of the Geospatial Library.”

The ImageLinks RasterWare technology combines management of raster-based geographic information with advanced processing functions and algorithms to generate custom spatial data products on the fly in any format, map projection or other output parameter required by the end user.

Integration of the ImageLinks RasterWare technology with ERC’s massive computer capabilities will create one of the most powerful spatial data processing systems in the academic and commercial sectors. The digital library will be part of an ERC 1,024-node Beowulf Cluster with 14 servers dedicated to Geospatial Library functions and the ability to allocate more processing power to the library as needed or desired.

O’Hara said, “Participation in the ERC research cluster provides the ability to research the scalability of geospatial data processing, to evaluate where parallel processing algorithm improvements are needed, and to provide the needed computational horsepower to process massive, high-resolution geospatial data sets for large geographic areas.”

The ERC Geospatial Library hardware system is comprised of IBM dual processors with Intel-based servers running on Linux.

“In the IBM-Linux environment, the RasterWare technology will perform highly complex spatial processing tasks very quickly for rapid output of custom map products,” said Mark Lucas, ImageLinks Chief Technical Officer.

The strategic partnership calls for MSU and ImageLinks to work jointly in development of the Geospatial Library. In addition to implementation services, ImageLinks is supplying Landsat 7 imagery, National Elevation Data, and Digital Raster Graphics to complement the large data archive already compiled by MSU.

Development of the Geospatial Library is underway. CGTC accepted delivery of the RasterWare system last month and expects to complete installation and training within two to three months. MSU is now finalizing funding agreements with several federal agencies that will utilize the Geospatial Library.