GeoWeb Clients
.geo & ICANN
ICC 2001 Article
Technology Review Article
NY Times Article

The GeoWeb infrastructure offers a number of advantages over today's state-of-the-art technology. It was specifically designed as an extremely scalable, open, and global geographical index to the Web. Below are a few of the key benefits of this technology.

  • Open opt-in scheme.
    No one company or instituition can hope to index all geographically related information for the whole planet. Therefore, the GeoWeb is an opt-in scheme where any user can register their own data, be it information about their bed and breakfast, or pictures of their trip to the Big Island.

  • Integrate disparate data sources.
    Instead of being restricted to one company's view of the world, the GeoWeb allows users to discover and integrate disparate sources of information for improved decision making.

  • Massively scalable architecture.
    The entire GeoWeb index could be stored on one server, but as demands and database size grow individual cell servers can be split off on to additional physical machines. To illustrate the inherent scalability, there are over 60,000,000 1-minute servers possible over the land regions of the earth.

  • No one-server bottleneck.
    Most contemporary search and indexing interfaces require going through a single point-of-failure server. In the GeoWeb, the client works out which cell server to contact based on the geographic extent of the query.

  • Transparent load balancing.
    Using the domain name system (DNS) hierarchy enables transparent load balancing by moving data to new servers and organizations as needed. The IP addresses change, and the bandwidth improves, but the domain names remain the same.

  • Index any content.
    The GeoWeb can index any content, not just HTML. Movies, sound files, text, 3D models, terrain, etc. can all be indexed. Content such as HTML with geographic meta tags allows an easy way to register that content in the GeoWeb.

  • Built-in security.
    Security is imperative to ensure that private data remains private, while still providing easy access to public information. In addition, validation and endorsement scheme are proposed to allow appropriate organizations to stamp content as being authoritative.

  • Support high bandwidth demands.
    Massive distribution of the geographic database enables many clients around the world to retrieve data simultaneously and at high speed.

  • Reduced server costs.
    As the GeoWeb infrastructure is distributed over many cell servers, there is no need for a single massive server with huge storage requirements. The size and speed needed per server is therefore reduced, for example, divided by 10,000 or more for 1-minute servers.

  • Local control.
    Companies, institutions, or local governments can manage the cell servers for their region of the world, and also host the cell servers in the geographic region they represent.



Copyright ©2001 SRI International. All rights reserved.

For more information, please contact:
Last updated: Wednesday, 24-Oct-2001 00:23:05 PDT.