On Parallelizing Large Spatial Queries Using Map-Reduce

  • Umesh Bellur
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8470)


Vector Spatial data types such as lines, polygons or regions etc usually comprises of hundreds of thousands of latitude-longitude pairs to accurately represent the geometry of spatial features such as towns, rivers or villages. This leads to spatial data operations being computationally and memory intensive. A solution to deal with this is to distribute the operations amongst multiple computational nodes. Parallel spatial databases attempt to do this but at very small scales (of the order of 10s of nodes at most). Another approach would be to use distributed approaches such as Map-Reduce since spatial data operations map well to this paradigm. It affords us the advantage of being able to harness commodity hardware operating in a shared nothing mode while at the same time lending robustness to the computation since parts of the computation can be restarted on failure. In this paper, we present HadoopDB - a combination of Hadoop and Postgres spatial to efficiently handle computations on large spatial data sets. In HadoopDB, Hadoop serves as a means of coordinating amongst various computational nodes each of which performs the spatial query on a part of the data set. The Reduce stage helps collate the result data to yield the result of the original query. We present performance results to show that common spatial queries yields a speedup that nearly linear with the number of Hadoop processes deployed.


MapReduce Hadoop postGIS Spatial Data HadoopDB 


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Umesh Bellur
    • 1
  1. 1.GISE Lab, Department of Computer ScienceIndian Institute of Technology BombayMumbaiIndia

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