IBM's PAIRS Geoscope helps developers wrangle geospatial data

Frederic Lardinois

IBM today announced PAIRS Geoscope, a new experimental cloud-based service that makes it easier for developers to work with large amounts of geospatial data from across a wide variety of sources. The service handles ingesting, integrating and managing the data and allows developers to focus on their queries.

Indeed, it's the part of the service that handles the data ingesting and indexing that sets PAIRS Geoscope apart from other big data analytics services. It can take in anything from geotagged IoT data from sensors to weather data, census data, aerial imagery and even tweets or news data from the Google-backed GDELT Project.

If you are interested in how IBM does this, you're in luck, because the team recently published a paper that goes into more detail about how this integration engine works. From the developer's perspective, though, the most important feature here is that PAIRS converts all the data into common formats and units and automatically aligns all the spatial data.

IBM says that it built this service on a "highly-scalable, cloud-based repository especially crafted for the complexities of geospatial-temporal information." And while there is a REST API that developers can use to access the service, there also is a web-based interface that makes it easy to select different layers, manipulate them and combine them to generate new queries.

If you would like to give PAIRS Geoscope a try yourself, just head over to the project's homepage and give it a shot. Currently, it looks like using any of the public data sets in the service's repository is free and the service will walk you through the process, making this one of the easiest tools to play with this kind of data.

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