Amazon WorkSpaces for Western Australia’s Topographic Information Maintenance at Landgate

Mafkereseb Kassahun Bekele Posted 03 April 2020

Landgate needed to migrate to the cloud its Topo application used by Landgate Topographic and Geospatial teams for maintenance and dissemination of Western Australian topographic information.

The Scenario

As part of Landgate’s digital strategy to adopt cloud-based solutions, Modis has migrated of a range of applications and their underlying resources to the AWS Cloud in a secure and scalable fashion. Following this strategy, a cloud-based solution was needed to migrate the Topo application.

With a large number of ArcGIS Desktop applications, custom geospatial tools and geodatabases, the solution needed to be easy-to-use, secure and scalable to meet the demands of topographic editing and spatial maintenance tasks.

The Solution

The solution required the capability to provide secure and scalable platform to run ArcGIS Desktop applications and custom geospatial tools without worrying about the management of underlying hardware inventory. To this end, Amazon WorkSpaces Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution was selected as a platform for the configuration and deployment of Topo application. The solution that was selected was based upon components and services:

  • Simple Active Directory to grant administrative privileges to Modis developers when creating and updating WorkSpace images
  • WorkSpace bundles of different compute capacity (Power, Power Pro and Graphics Pro) to meet Topo application’s requirement at different computational level
    • Active Directory Connector to integrate with Landgate Active Directory for WorkSpaces and ArcGIS Workflow Manager users’ authentication
    • WorkSpaces Client installed on users’ physical PC for streaming Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution
  • Amazon RDS for a managed database to store spatial and non-spatial data
  • ArcGIS Workflow Manager to automate GIS and topographic editing work
  • ArcMap for geospatial processing and topographic information editing
  • ArcCatalog for geodatabase administration and metadata management
  • Custom Landgate spatial tools
  • AutoScale to create EC2 instance(s) to host ArcGIS License Administrator
  • Amazon Virtual Private Cloud to contain the deployed compute resources
  • Amazon S3 object storage to store installation files to be used for WorkSpaces image preparation
  • AWS CloudFormation to template the creation of RDS and ArcGIS License Administrator
  • Amazon Simple Email Service for sending notification to users when topographic jobs are created and assigned to users in ArcGIS Workflow Manager
  • Default CloudWatch Logs to monitor WorkSpaces sessions
  • Microsoft OneDrive for user data synchronisation and transfer files between physical PC and WorkSpaces

The solution was mostly automated except some parts that needed manual configuration. The automation was done using EC2 AutoScale and CloudFormation for geodatabase and ArcGIS License Server creation.

PowerShell scripts were used to automate the base WorkSpaces image preparation and manual process to configure WorkSpaces bundle and actual WorkSpaces.

The Outcome

Since the new solution has been implemented, the Landgate Topographic and Geospatial teams’ requirement for compute capacity has changed frequently and the requirements was met by the scalability of the solution adopted. The solution has offered the teams with capability to address demands of geospatial processing and ArcGIS Desktop applications from computational resource perspectives.

The use of ArcGIS Desktop Application in Amazon WorkSpaces has provided a solution that has the flexibility and scalability to update the platform and scale the underlying compute resources that the Topo applications requires. Modis continues to maintain the Topo application and update the platform, WorkSpaces images and bundles.

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