ACES, Inc @ GeoHackJam

This March, ACES, Inc. was able to participate in the first ever GeoHackJam presented by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) &  The purpose of the event was to explore technical solutions for several different problem sets faced by the USGS and supporting agencies.

ACES members Travis Scheponik and Michael Siegel were able to team up with Michael Flores of IBM to successfully prototype and showcase an FOSS solution for their mineral data set issues. Utilizing open source tools such as ElasticSearch and Kibana hosted on IBM Bluemix, the team was able to present a viable prototype solution that could be built and expanded to solve other problem areas.

The designed solution utilized the following technologies:

First, the team was given a large set of semi unstructured mineral records.  In order to improve the data integrity and reliability, the content was uploaded through an IBM Bluemix service known as Data Connect.  With this software, the data could be cleaned and manipulated easily to be compatible with other exploration tools.

Next, the team implemented ElasticSearch and Kibana instances via docker images uploaded to Bluemix.  This combination was chosen due to ease of setup, its flexibility, and its FOSS licensing.  After importing and indexing the data in ElasticSearch, Kibana was used to create insightful visualizations of the data.

A high level video overview of the project can be found here:

The application was well received and led to discussions of larger scale projects involving API Gateways and enterprise level data management for not only the USGS, but potentially the Department of Interior as well.  The solution presented gave a good example of how open source tools could be leveraged to bring new insights to government data.

A github repository was created with a walkthrough to replicate this project:

There will be two more GeoHackJams this year, one in April and May.  Anyone interested should checkout their website for more information:

Anyone interested in learning more about IBM Bluemix should contact Michael Flores @ IBM.

If you would like to know more about the solution and how ACES, Inc can help your organization, please reach out to us on our contact page:

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