met_office   7

Cache is King
The use of web based open geospatial standards for data and services has made it easier than ever to put mapping online, however as in the move from web version 1 to Web 2.0, simply enabling the WMS on your favourite geo server is not going to be good enough, trust me. If your data is interesting or someone has a great idea and uses it – the slashdot (or digg) effect will strike and your single server (or servers) will fall over or timeout, and if the public attention is on you for that crucial moment…. not the best PR.

When mapping gets serious (TM) we must look to another domain, also not special, that has to deliver large volumes of content over restricted bandwidth, namely IPTV and video. The BBC iPlayer, ITVPlayer and 4OD all use Content Delivery Networks or CDN to deliver the huge volumes of data to the general public over their broadband links. This use of networked peer based intelligent caching technology is the only cost effective way to deliver the Quality of Service required for the content over the current internet bandwidth available in peoples homes – no amount of load balancing, local cache or pre-rendered tiles is going to measure up to the demand of the general public.

The best example of CDN usage in the geospatial domain that your author has seen recently, has been the way the UK Met Office provide their data online to the users of their website. A use of OGC standard services in the delivery tier with a (heaven forfend) non standard content delivery network using Akamai technology, enables the high quality of service to be maintained for many users – the general public – for the large volumes of data involved. Convergence of internet design patterns and their exploitation for other domains is one of the key benefits of basing community domain standards on widely used web technologies and standards.

The message for online geospatial service providers is to use internet thinking, technology and design patterns with Content Delivery Networks, or the digg effect will get ya.  An illustration of some of the worst web application failures (albeit written in Feb 2006 and not totally geospatial in nature) is here.

A slide set where the UK Met Office shared their high level design is here, Envitia is not responsible for the content of external websites and certianly does not promote any particular CDN vendor or cache software implementation.
Innovation  OGC  Public_Sector  akamai  cache  Met_Office  squid  UK  from google
december 2010 by alexisbrooker

related tags

2015  akamai  cache  clouds  equinox  forecasts  googlemaps  guide  innovation  mashup  mashups  met  meteorology  office  ogc  opendata  public_sector  sky  solstice  squid  uk  weather 

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