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Web Mapping Cloud Deployment – Lessons from the Field

Blue Raster’s Michael Lippmann presented at the Location Intelligence Conference 2010 held in Washington, D.C. where the focus was on GeoCloud.  The presentation entitled Web Mapping Cloud Deployment – Lessons from the Field was part of the Applications Moving to the Cloud panel.  Blue Raster utilized an ESRI/Amazon/Hosting.com Cloud hybrid, including ESRI ArcGIS Server on Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3/CloudFront. The web mapping application was deployed for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to assist bidders for grants in deciding where to propose new health centers. This mapping and decision-support tool – UDS Mapper is built from zip code level Section 330-funded health center reporting data found within the Uniform Data System (UDS), paired with other sources of population data that allow a user to better understand where federally-funded health centers currently serve, where gaps in the safety net might exist, and which neighborhoods or regions might hold the highest priorities for health center expansion.  The initial grant application period was only 90 days and required the rapid delivery of files, the cloud deployment was an exceedingly cost effective-choice and provided the ability to scale up or down, which permitted successful peak use. Lessons learned from the project included the need for keeping up with Cloud technology as it changes rapidly, keeping it simple, and setting up tools to watch all servers to minimize any issues.