WP3 – Cloud Services

This work package will advise and coordinate the adaptation of simulation modules, the interaction frontend and of the GIS/data-warehouse to the cloud. Cloud services pose several business opportunities: (a) high availability of computing resources and storage, (b) high scalability of computing resources and storage (c) simple business concepts available to license data to the cloud as well as to publish existing simulation environments to the cloud. Potential customers can be acquire use time from potential cloud providers (such as Microsoft Azure) and can license cloud hosted applications, which are ready to run instead of to be set up in an IT environment of the final costumer. Further, at any time a customer can easily add an increase the kind and the number of computing and data services as presented in the following work packages. Cloud computing can be seen as key technology to work more efficiently with computing resources (instead of owning hardware the customer has access to processing times) and enables low cost devices to have access to simulation environments where internet access is available. This is extremely relevant for publishing the results of Smart Urban Adapt to emerging market where little cover on computers exist but more and more access to smart phones and tablet pcs is available.

In that sense the cloud based Data and Visualization Platform is the central part of the project where all information from the GIS/data-warehouse will be converted and processed into visualization data. Therefore, the cloud based data and visualization platform features key technologies such as cloud based computing services for the processing of the contents of the GIS/data-warehouse such as the computation of the visualization data needed for the real time exploration of the procedural model. Pre-computed data sets and scenarios are stored in the platform for fast access and visualization and minimized computational time. However, cloud based computing provides high capabilities in computing power, which enable post-processing of the scenarios on the fly (module warm start), independent of any local and hardwired computing power.

Very important are data access schemes and access rights for data published to the cloud. Sensitive data, which cannot be transferred and, or stored in locations outside Europe (e.g., due to legal constraints, need to be isolated or anonymised.

The main objectives of the cloud based data and visualization platform in more detail are:

  • Cloud based data management, storing, repository
  • Integration of the GIS/data-warehouse to the cloud
  • Providing models with consistent data across all project partners
  • Providing cloud-based simulation models
  • Providing web-based access to the modules with computers and mobile devices
  • Data interface for visualization and interaction frontend
  • Cloud based property right management
  • Aggregation features for key values and different spatial resolutions
  • Cloud computing access and interface
  • Availability of real-time sensing data within the cloud based data services