MapD Blog: Thoughts on databases, data visualization, and GPUs

On behalf of all of us here at MapD, I invite you to help us help you, by completing our first survey on the needs of community members. Take The Survey Are you a data scientist trying to make sense of a billion rows of performance data? Are you an operations manager attempting to forecast your business’ needs for the next five years? Perhaps you’re developing real-time visualizations of millions of geo points, or a researcher looking for the patterns that are worth deeper in... read more

Advanced Immerse Features in MapD 3.4 Release We are pleased to announce MapD Immerse Enterprise as part of the MapD 3.4 release. MapD Immerse Enterprise is generally available as part of MapD Enterprise edition and includes three important features: multisource dashboards, multilayer geo charts, and dashboard auto-refresh. These features greatly enhance the visual analytics capabilities of MapD Immerse. MapD Community users can try these features by requesting a 30-day trial... read more

GPU-powered visual analytics to enable exploration and interaction of big data for Machine Learning H2O World 2017 was held in the beginning of December at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. The sold-out conference featured more than fifty speakers from across industries, who presented on a wide variety of topics. Data scientists, data engineers, and business analysts all gathered to learn how deep learning, data science, and artificial intelligence are transfo... read more

MapD and Python At MapD, we've long been big fans of the PyData stack, and are constantly working on ways for our open source GPU-accelerated analytic SQL engine to play nicely with the terrific tools in the most popular stack that supports open data science. We are founding collaborators of GOAI (the GPU Open Analytics Initiative), working with the awesome folks at Anaconda and H2O.ai, and our friends at NVIDIA. In GOAI, we use Apache Arrow to mediate efficient, high-perform... read more

Amazon has been very vocal about its selection criteria for its 2nd headquarters. Since the request for proposals was released on September 7th, there has been a buzz across North America about the best location for this second headquarters. Amazon will announce the winning city in 2018, and cities across the country are vying for this honor. Amazon has reported that its investments in Seattle, its first headquarters city, have generated $38B to the city’s economy since 2010... read more

In May 2017, MapD along with H2O.ai and Continuum Analytics announced the GPU Open Analytics Initiative (GOAI), with the goal of accelerating end-to-end analytics and machine learning on GPUs. Adoption of GPUs for general purpose computing is a computing revolution driven by NVIDIA’s hardware innovations. The first project of the initiative was to develop a GPU Data Frame (GDF), providing a mechanism for different processes on the GPU to interchange data more efficiently.... read more

I’d say I kinda love basketball. I spend far too much time prowling reddit.com/r/nba and other basketball forums gathering the latest buzz from around the league. Being that I work in the data analytics space, I’m always on-watch for statistical insights that Kerr or Lue might have missed. I recently came across Big Data Ball, an NBA stats distributor. They offered a dataset called: “NBA Play-By-Play Stats – 2004 to 2017”. It includes all events that occur in a game inclu... read more

Twitter is an excellent way to gain insight into a wide variety of social phenomena. Data can be sliced in many different ways, looking at user, geography or topic/hashtag as well as diving down to the level of individual tweets. In fact, MapD originated when Todd Mostak needed to build a better interactive analysis tool to understand the Arab Spring. Streaming data from Twitter was added later. MapD recently released an open source Tweetmap Demo online showing roughly 390 m... read more

First, clone the repo to your local workstation and refer to platform-specific tips. https://github.com/mapd/mapd-charting Mac OS X Overview Easy install. No problems. Very few external dependencies. npm install #downloads all dependencies and devDependencies npm install mapbox-gl@https://github.com/mapd/mapbox-gl-js/tarball/9c04de6949fe498c8c79f5c0627dfd6d6321f307 #downloads mapbox peer dependency npm run start Community tested configurations Node v6.11 Mac OS X 10.12.5 Xcod... read more

Today we are pleased to announce the release of 3.2.2 version of MapD. This release brings some key capabilities and performance improvements to both our interactive visual analytics client, MapD Immerse, and our GPU-accelerated SQL engine, MapD Core. New Geo Heatmap Chart Type Average taxi fare in NYC across one million taxi rides You can now create geo heatmaps to display density or clusters of activity over a geographical area. The heat map is like a choropleth map (also s... read more

It's nearing the end of my summer as an intern at MapD, and looking back, I've learned quite a few essential engineering skills and completed some impactful work. At the top of my list of projects is a redesign of the Tweetmap Demo. Tweetmap is a living visualization of Twitter data built on top of MapD database technology. There are a lot of gems hidden in this dataset, including the path of the 2017 solar eclipse. The new Tweetmap is open source and serves as a guide for bu... read more

For some of us, summer is synonymous with salt water and waves. For many others, the sea is a year-round occupation. The US has 12,383 miles of coastline and 95,471 miles of shoreline, and it buzzes with billions of trips each year, all tracked by the US Coast Guard. Our latest demo of MapD Core and MapD Immerse reveals the vast scope of marine activity around America’s shores–everything from the tracks of commercial freighters to the patrols of military vessels to the lazy p... read more

Today, with great pride, MapD is announcing a partnership with the Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis (CGA). We will be working with CGA to build new geospatial functionality into the MapD Core database, to improve hydrological modeling and visualization and allow for more accurate flood prediction and water-supply estimation. By combining CGA’s geospatial expertise with our team’s knowledge of high-performance analytics, we hope to build MapD into an even better platform... read more

We’re excited to announce our newest addition to the MapD executive team. Aaron Williams joins us today as VP of Global Community, responsible for fostering our growing developer, user and open source communities. He will lead our team of developer advocates and community managers. Aaron is an industry veteran in the building and growth of software communities, having led ecosystem efforts for some of software’s most familiar platforms. He previously led the open source launc... read more

Based on the deluge of commercials and ads in this competitive industry, it seems every major player claims that they do. The competition is apparently so fierce that even their spokesmen are being headhunted. Admittedly, it can be a bit confusing when you find these results in one city: And these in another: By the way, how do you even define ‘best’ network? It’s a loaded question for sure. We’ll get back to that in a minute. Who cares? It’s a question with relevance to near... read more

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We’re delighted to announce the availability of Vega, the JSON specification for creating custom visualizations of large datasets. Using Vega you can create server-rendered visualizations in the community version and enterprise versions of MapD. MapD Vega is based on the open-source Vega specification developed by Jeffrey Heer and his group at the University of Washington. We’ve adapted the original specification to the MapD platform so you can use the power of SQL to inves... read more

This week we release version 3.1 of MapD, which comes after some truly giant news over the last few weeks, and adds a number of useful new features. First, we’ve brought into Immerse a feature from the MapD Core Rendering Engine called Density Gradient, which helps you spot areas of concentration when you’re looking at visualizations of big data. For example, let’s say you’re looking at the New York City street grid and trying to find the heaviest areas of taxi drop-offs. B... read more

One of the things we are most excited about as a newly open source company is the potential to help kickstart a larger ecosystem of GPU computing. This is why we are particularly excited about our work with Continuum Analytics and H2O.ai to found the GPU Open Analytics Initiative (GOAI) and its first project, the GPU Data Frame (GDF), as our first step toward an open ecosystem of end-to-end GPU computing. A revolution is occurring across the GPU software stack, driven by the... read more

Since starting work on MapD more than five years ago while taking a database course at MIT, I had always dreamed of making the project open source. It is thus with great pleasure to announce that today our company is open sourcing the MapD Core database and associated visualization libraries, effective immediately. The code is available on Github under an Apache 2.0 license. It has everything you need to build a fully functional installation of the MapD Core database, enabl... read more

We’re very happy to announce that with today’s release of version 3.0 of the MapD Analytics Platform we're bringing GPU-accelerated analytics onto distributed clusters! We’ve been hard at work for months to extend the unique advantages of our SQL-compliant GPU database from being able to run on one server to now being able to scale across multiple servers, allowing our customers to take on even larger datasets while still maintaining the fluid, instant data exploration experi... read more

The MapD Immerse visual analytics client has a core feature we refer to as crossfilter, which allows a filter applied to one chart to simultaneously be applied to the rest of the charts on a dashboard. This provides a natural interface for data exploration, allowing a multi-dimensional view of data even as a user drills deep into a dataset. From a technical perspective, crossfiltering is not difficult (on the surface). Behind each Immerse chart is a SQL statement. When an e... read more

Today I’m proud to announce that MapD Technologies has secured $25M in funding in a Series B round lead by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) with participation from NVIDIA, Vanedge Capital, and Verizon Ventures. This new investment will allow MapD to scale up its engineering, sales, and marketing teams to accelerate product development and deepen customer adoption. It will help us move faster toward our vision of making GPU-powered analytics ubiquitous in the enterprise. There... read more

Organizations are visualizing and exploring data in ways we once only associated with science fiction films. Analysts live a world with access to a plethora of data visualization and reporting tools. Long gone are the days of Excel charting as the primary means for visualizing data. As the toolkit has evolved, the amount of data we collect and analyze has exploded. Websites and phone apps track a user’s every click or swipe. IoT devices record the location of every vehi... read more

Creating charts in the MapD framework can happen in a number of different ways. All of them involve our hyper-fast GPU-powered, SQL-compliant, relational database, MapD Core. To start with MapD Immerse has a large library of standard charts to choose from as you build your dashboards. These include line, bar, pie, histograms, chloropleths, scatter plots and point maps. One can also use MapD’s published API to create entirely custom front ends on top of MapD Core. Finall... read more

We felt it wasn’t fair that only features in our major releases were getting the limelight, so this will be the first in a series of short blog posts featuring an interesting feature or improvement in our regular minor releases of MapD’s GPU-accelerated Core database and Immerse visualization software. This week, we celebrate the addition to Immerse of a tool known to cowboys and data analysts across the land: the lasso tool. Named after the looped rope which tamed the West,... read more