What are the pros/cons for storing storing spatial data in Google Fusion Tables versus Amazon Web Services?

Factors would include: Cost, performance, ease of update.

  • 2
    what did you plan to do with it? – Ian Turton Feb 28 '11 at 18:21
  • I've been wondering this too, good question! – WolfOdrade Feb 28 '11 at 19:16
  • @iant I have polygon featureclasses that I'd like to make available for display on top of a web maps. – Kirk Kuykendall Feb 28 '11 at 19:55
  • @iant More specifically, I was looking at this global reef site, that James Fee mentions. James said it uses Fusion Tables. I wonder if doing something like this with AWS would be more or less difficult. – Kirk Kuykendall Mar 1 '11 at 0:16
  • hey kirk - how large are the feaureclasses? Do they need to be private? How much web traffic do you anticipate? – bFlood Mar 1 '11 at 13:09

Fusion Tables has storage limitations where AWS/EC2 is fully scalable to 5000TB.

S3 users could only store objects up to 5GB. Amazon Web Services has decided to lift that limit and allow block storage up to 5TB


Fusion storage limits - 250 MB per user account: 1 million characters per cell. And upload limits - 1 MB per spreadsheet, 100 MB per .csv or KML.

[There is no option currently to purchase or upgrade this]


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  • Thanks Mapperz. I was thinking of putting file geodatabases onto EBS, how would that compare with putting each featureclass from the geodb into a fusion table? – Kirk Kuykendall Feb 28 '11 at 19:52
  • EBS wins [easy to import via sFTP] - help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisserver/10.0/help/… Fusion Tables large than 1MB need to be .csv [more hassle] – Mapperz Feb 28 '11 at 21:05

There are some major differences in the two products, so it isn't exactly "apples to apples".

Fusion Tables is extremely easy to use, just load in some data and you can have a Google Map displaying your data in no time. The back-end doesn't matter at all, you just need a place to store data and start working with it. So Fusion Tables is more of a product/solution.

AWS is more infrastructure/environment. It isn't as simple as Fusion Tables, because you don't only manage the front-end, but also need to manage the back-end, as in the case of EC2. If you want to store polygon data, the simplest means on AWS would probably be to fire up a server instance with PostgreSQL/PostGIS and start loading data. So all of a sudden you have a server to administer and a database to configure, optimize, etc. Nowhere as simple as Fusion Tables. And it costs money, whereas Fusion Tables doesn't.

Really it comes down to what you're trying to accomplish. If you're trying to build a simple web map that displays polygons on a map and gives some infowindow functionality to display attributes, Fusion Tables is made for that. If you need a full database with spatial functionality and have multiple clients that you need to build, and maybe an overall IT infrastructure that it will all fit into, then AWS might be the way to go.

Right tools for the job is what it's all about.

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