I have just come across geoTorrent.org 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.