A look at LocationTech open source geospatial solutions

December 21, 2017  - By

LocationTech open source project provides core technology for geospatial big-data analytic solutions.

LocationTech has released five open source projects that provide core technology used to build geospatial big data analytics solutions.

A working group of the not-for-profit Eclipse Foundation, the LocationTech community builds software for geospatial technology. The Eclipse Foundation enables collaboration on open source software. Besides geospatial technology, the foundation’s 300-plus open source projects include tools for software developers, system engineers and scientific research.

LocationTech provides technology for the $500 billion in worldwide geospatial industry. Its projects can be used to efficiently process satellite images, analyze maps for the agriculture industry, visualize smart-city sensor data, and in many other geospatial use cases.

The LocationTech community has grown to include nine open source projects, 18 member organizations and more than 100 developers.Collaborating geospatial organizations include Boundless, Red Hat, Radiant Solutions, IBM and Oracle.

“Geospatial big data analytics technology is becoming more and more important across all industries, such as agriculture, transportation, and government,” said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation. “LocationTech is delivering on the promise of providing key technology for companies that enable large-scale analytics of geospatial data. Having an open source community, like LocationTech, that accelerates adoption and innovation of geospatial technology will have a significant impact on the entire industry.”

The new project releases include the following:

GeoWave is a software library that connects the scalability of distributed computing frameworks and key-value stores with modern geospatial software to store, retrieve, and analyze massive geospatial datasets. GeoWave takes multidimensional data, such as spatial or spatial-temporal, and indexes it into a key-value store such as Apache Accumulo or Apache HBase. These distributed storage technologies, in addition to complementary distributing processing frameworks such as Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark, have proven capabilities to unlock the potential of massive datasets across a variety of domains.

GeoGig 1.2 is a tool for geospatial data versioning. It enables users to leverage versioning of their geospatial data and to enable replication and synchronization workflows, in addition to supporting end-to-end data management workflows. The new GeoGig 1.2 release improves the collaborative version workflow by improving cloning and push/pull performance and provides an updated Web API to align with the latest version of GeoServer.


GeoTrellis 1.2 is a geographic data processing Scala library designed to work with large geospatial raster datasets. The tool provides developers with a set of utilities to help create useful, high performing web services that load and manipulate raster data (data normally used to represent satellite or aerial images). The new release includes a number of optimizations and new features including distributed computation support for viewshed and Euclidean distance through Apache Spark.


GeoMesa 1.3.5 is a distributed, spatio-temporal database built on a number of distributed cloud data storage systems, including Apache Accumulo, Apache HBase, Apache Cassandra, and Apache Kafka. The suite of tools brings spatial-temporal data, real-time IoT, and sensor workloads to the cloud. GeoMesa’s novel indexing schema enables efficient queries resulting in rapid access to large data stores for any client application.


Java Topology Suite (JTS) 1.15 is a Java library for vector geometry providing spatial data types, spatial relationships and spatial operations. JTS is an established open source project that recently moved to the LocationTech community. New technical features for JTS 1.15 include K-Nearest Neighbor search for STR-Tree, improved handling of Quadtree queries, support for GeometryCollection, and a new JTSTestRunner command-line application. This initial LocationTech release the project is changing from LGPL to a dual license of Eclipse Distribution License (EDL) / Eclipse Public License (EPL) . This license change opens up JTS to a wider range of organizations and applications.

“LocationTech is becoming the critical nexus for organizations looking to develop and deploy geospatial Big Data solutions,” says Eddie Pickle, Managing Director of Open Source Programs at Radiant Solutions.

“The latest release of GeoGig to LocationTech represents a huge leap forward. Not only does it support versioning workflows for traditional geospatial data, but it is now optimized for spatio-temporal analysis of big data and streaming datasets from IoT sensors,” says Anthony Calamito, Chief Geospatial Officer and Vice President of Products

The LocationTech Working Group is also organizing the annual FOSS4G NA conference May 14-16, 2018, in St. Louis, Missouri, followed by a Community Day on May 17. Members of the LocationTech community will be speaking and showcasing their open source projects at this conference.

The vision of the LocationTech community is to be the leading provider of core technology for geospatial big data analytics. The five projects being released reflect the growing investment towards achieving this vision.

This article is tagged with , , and posted in Featured Stories, GIS News, GIS Software, Technology

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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