Hootenanny crowdsources geospatial data analysis

Hootenanny crowdsources geospatial data analysis

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has publicly released Hootenanny, a software toolkit designed to harness the power of crowdsourced mapping for geospatial big data analytics.  Posted on GitHub, the open source project provides a scalable processing engine and interactive editing interface to help users rapidly conflate, or reconcile, map features generated from satellite imagery, unmanned aerial vehicles and mobile devices, NGA said.

 “The commercialization of [geospatial-intelligence] is leading to exponential growth of publicly available geospatial information,” said Chris Rasmussen, NGA’s public software development lead. “Hootenanny as an open source project will enable new levels of data sharing across the community that will increase our nation’s ability to quickly respond to emerging threats.”

NGA worked with DigitalGlobe – a private company that provides public imaging and mapping services to the public – to build Hootenanny. It leverages the open architecture of OpenStreetMap – a collaborative project to create a free and editable map of the world that, along with other crowdsourced mapping communities, has attracted over 2.5 million volunteers – to easily integrate diverse geospatial datasets into common data structures.  According to NGA, conflated datasets can be exported in several GIS formats. 

NGA has open sourced similar projects in the past such as MapReduce Geo, or MrGeo – a tool for simplified storage and processing of large-scale raster data used for geospatial imaging and tracking.  Disconnected Interactive Content Explorer, or DICE -- another opensourced NGA project,  provides access to geospatial-intelligence for consumers operating in environments with limited or unreliable Internet connections.   

About the Author

Mark Pomerleau is a former editorial fellow with GCN and Defense Systems.

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