When I was in my college, I tried to implement Web Map Service (WMS) and Web Feature Service (WFS) as a foundation for a distributed Geographical Information Systems (or better known as GIS). My academic advisor at that time told me that this idea is not entirely new, but there are still a lot of people didn’t know about it yet. So with this topic as my thesis, he wished that one day people will know about this technology.
The implementation that I made was quite simple actually. But let me tell you the complete story. At first, I was thinking about develop a geographical operation that can be operated via web service in the clouds. After some weeks of analyzing and gathering informations, I found out that this work could be really hard and time consuming. I didn’t have background in geography–I’m a computer science student–and I didn’t have much time before the next graduation. Finally, I just created a spatial data repository and make it accessible across the network using GeoServer,an Open Source implementation of WMS and WFS. I, then, created a simple web application to pull the spatial data and display it to the browser. I also provided a simple data update feature, utilizing one of the feature of WFS. I used OpenLayers to create the application. It’s really simple actually.
In my graduate study, right now, I want to try something entirely different. I want to explore MapReduce, a programming model for processing a large scale of data in a distributed environment. I heard about this model from some mailing lists and websites, surprised that the paper [pdf], the lecture notes and videos are easy to get. So, for the time being, I decided to do some experiments in order to learn something about it.
It’s still a plan in my head actually. I never talked about it to my thesis advisor (because I have none yet). But I can predict some problems that I will be dealing with if I do this research plan. They are:
- The case. I don’t have any idea about the case that I should solve with this research. My college’s advisor told me about doing something in bioinformatics like genome assembling. I think I will cosider it. But I’m open for an idea.
- The machine and its network. The lab are always busy with the other graduate student. Fortunately, one friend of mine told me that there is another place that I can use in the campus to do experiments. But I should create a permission letter first. Okay, I’ll do it.
In the mean time, I’ll focus myself to learn about MapReduce. Maybe I’ll post something about it in this blog. If you have a suggestion about what should I do with this programming model, let me know. I’d be really glad to hear it.