GIS Thoughts

Peer to Peer Geodata anyone ?

I have just come across a website offering links to geodata sets hosted using the bit-torent peer to peer network protocol. The idea of distributing large geodata datasets as small chucks is quite appealing and I have no doubt that when open geodata becomes more mature – this will be the obvious mechanism of supply. One of the aspects of the age of broadband internet often overlooked is that most ISP’s impose some sort of bandwidth limit, which is easily broken hosting large geodata libraries – bit-torent’s architecture neatly gets around this problem.

But what about commercial data providers.. despite all the advantages there is a big problem – peer to peer means piracy in many minds, an unfortunate perception ,but one that needs to be disproved if the GI industry is to really make use of a valuable technology.

Written and submitted from home, using my home 802.11 network.

2 replies on “Peer to Peer Geodata anyone ?”

Very interesting! I was wondering when something like this would appear!
Perhaps one step closer to Schuyler Erle’s proposal “Towards a Distributed WMS Cache: A Call to Action” that was presented at the Open Source Geospatial Conference/MapServer User Meeting this past June ( P2P has certainly been vilified by some and the copyright issue would undoubtedly be of concern to commercial resellers of geospatial data. However, the use of grids and networks for purposes such as this is the next logical progression for the open dissemination of geodata – as the wide popularity of Google Maps has demonstrated.

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