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March 26, 2019

Elastic Upgrades Geospatial Data Tools

George Leopold

Elastic N.V has released a batch of new features to the latest version of its flagship Stack platform, including a visualization tool for geospatial data on the Kibana open source data visualization plugin for Elasticsearch.

The new applications arrive as Elastic locks horns with cloud giant Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN) over the direction of the Elasticsearch community.

Along with the geospatial data analysis tool, Elastic Stack 6.7 also includes an application monitoring tool that allows DevOps teams to proactively spot problems before they disrupt downstream systems. The idea behind the tool called “Uptime” is to move “operations analytics” beyond passive monitoring to actively track hitherto hidden system functions.

The company (NYSE: ESTC) also said Tuesday (March 26) it will offer Chinese language support for the Kibana user interface, which generally refers to Mandarin and so-called Simplified Chinese. Elastic said the Chinese localization feature addresses “a significant need in one of the fastest growing Elastic user bases.”

Together, the new “layers of geospatial analysis” address the growing amounts of location and geotagged data generated by sensors and telemetry technologies as more devices and services churn out location signals.

“Geospatial analytics is a search problem. Today’s location-based services and applications require real-time analysis of geospatial data,” said Shay Banon, Elastic’s founder and CEO of Elastic. “We’re super excited to release Elastic Maps, a new Kibana solution that expands upon our existing powerful geospatial querying, aggregation, and visualization features with pre-configured vector layers and base layer maps for developers, geo analysts, and business analysts to customize their maps any way they want.”

The Maps application based on Elasticsearch is designed to boost visualization and analysis of geospatial data in Kibana. It is being launched as a beta feature in Elastic Stack version 6.7, delivered as a free default distribution, Elastic said. It can be downloaded here.

The company emphasizes Maps’ ability to layer data from different sources on a single map. For example, weather patterns and air traffic could be layered to reveal the impact of weather conditions on flight paths in real time.

The tool also allows analysts to incorporate contextual map data by indexing features via Elasticsearch, then adding them into the Maps app as a layer. The indices also can be filtered via the Kibana query language or using Apache Lucene queries.

Meanwhile, the Uptime monitoring feature is billed as a “transparent data shipper.” The tool is aimed at users already sending logs, metrics and application performance management data to Elasticsearch. The value proposition is allowing IT teams to analyze application performance and spot problems before they get out of hand.

Elastics’ upgrades arrive amidst a war of words between the Elasticsearch developer and AWS, which earlier this month announced a partnership with Expedia (NASDAQ: EXPE) and Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) to promote a new version Elasticsearch. The distribution was said to respond to concerns over the mixture of proprietary code with the open source Elasticsearch project.

Elastic CEO Banon responded in a blog post alleging the AWS gambit is part of a broader campaign to undermine his company and its open source efforts.

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated.

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