[OSGeo-Discuss] Does rasdaman CE solve an open source geospatial problem?

Peter Baumann p.baumann at jacobs-university.de
Sat May 21 00:56:37 PDT 2016

Hm, first of all: this is opening a different thread, talking about
functionality of rasdaman community. Next, it is based on assumptions - without
details (because off topic): conclusions are wrong.

But to respond to the core message emphasized in the first paragraph: I
respectfully disagree. In particular, such a position does not benefit the open
source community very much as I am trying to explain below.


You have a strong expertise in Geoinformatics, I know something about Computer
Science. This is where we can talk as professors and scientists. Your statement
is about economics, industry etc. Having an opinion there (and articulate it) is
fair, but in these fields our opinion weighs not more than anyone else's in the
street. We should not attempt to attain importance through inapplicable roles.

Let us look at a professor. They have a conveniently high salary which is paid
by society, that is: tax payers. Nobody can influence what a professor does and
how much return s/he generates for society.

A single open source developer (or a small group, whatever) do not experience
this convenience. They have a dream where they invest, they try to not make
money for getting richer than a professor ;-) but merely for their economic
survival. Some (in particular scientists) enjoy the money rain coming from
publicly funded projects (again: the tax payer subsidizes), but most in the
community have to struggle hard. They face reluctant customers, competition by
the giants in the market, and many more obstacles.

From the cosy place of a lifelong position with a secured salary and decent
retirement funds it is easy to say that all software should be free like free
beer (quote from below: "can be reproduced by other scientists without
prohibitive license costs").

If the open source movement cannibalizes itself it will make it all so easy for
the big players to maintain their dominance, they will silently applaud. Quoting

That said: It is entirely ok to have the opinion you have. Others, though, may
disagree. I am one of those.


On 05/20/2016 09:30 AM, Edzer Pebesma wrote:
> As a scientist, I teach my students that for doing science it is a
> requirement to work with open source software, because only then
> workflows are fully transparent and can be reproduced by other
> scientists without prohibitive license costs. Currently, working
> with large amounts of earth observation (EO) or climate model data
> typically requires to download these data tile by tile, stitch them
> together, and go through all of them. Array databases may simplify
> this substantially: after ingesting the tiles, they can directly
> work on the whole data as a multi-dimensinal array ("data cube").
> Computations on these array are typically embarassingly parallel,
> and scale up with the number of cores in a cluster.
> Rasdaman is an array data base that comes in two flavours, the open
> source community edition (CE) and the commercial enterprise edition
> (EE). The differences between the two are clear [1]. When I want to
> use rasdaman CE (open source) for scalable image analysis, I get
> stuck waiting for one core to finish everything [1]. This is not
> going to solve any problems related to computing on large data,
> and is not scalable. The bold claim that rasdaman.org opens with
> ("This worldwide leading array analytics engine distinguishes itself
> by its flexibility, performance, and scalability") is not true for
> the CE advertised. This has been mentioned in the past on mailing
> lists [2,3], but the typical answer from Peter Baumann diverts into
> other arguments. Also the benchmark graph (photo from an AGU poster)
> [4] that Peter sent this week [5] must refer to the enterprise
> edition, since Spark and Hive both scale, but rasdaman CE does not [3].
> I assume that on the discussions on this list, ONLY the open
> source community edition is considered, compared, and discussed,
> as a potential future OSGeo project.
> OSGeo supports the needs of the open source geospatial community [6].
> Given
>  * the bold claims and continuing confusion about whether,
>    and which, rasdaman is scalable,
>  * the need for OSGeo to give good advice to prospective users
>    about technologies that do scale EO data analysis,
>  * the current (unfilled!) needs of scientists for good, open source
>    software for such analysis, and
>  * the potential conflict of interest of its creator [7],
> I wonder wether OSGeo should recommend rasdaman CE to the open
> source geospatial community.
> [1] http://rasdaman.org/wiki/Features
> [2] https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/incubator/2014-October/002540.html
> [3] https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rasdaman-users/66XL3tmDDQI
> [4]
> https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/discuss/attachments/20160515/49200cd4/attachment.jpg
> [5] https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/discuss/2016-May/016099.html
> [6] http://www.osgeo.org/content/faq/foundation_faq.html
> [7] https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/discuss/2016-May/016045.html
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss

Dr. Peter Baumann
 - Professor of Computer Science, Jacobs University Bremen
   mail: p.baumann at jacobs-university.de
   tel: +49-421-200-3178, fax: +49-421-200-493178
 - Executive Director, rasdaman GmbH Bremen (HRB 26793)
   www.rasdaman.com, mail: baumann at rasdaman.com
   tel: 0800-rasdaman, fax: 0800-rasdafax, mobile: +49-173-5837882
"Si forte in alienas manus oberraverit hec peregrina epistola incertis ventis dimissa, sed Deo commendata, precamur ut ei reddatur cui soli destinata, nec preripiat quisquam non sibi parata." (mail disclaimer, AD 1083)

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