GeoWorld September 2012

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software running powerful applications such as Google search, e-mail, databases, simulations and more. One of the main benefits of cloud computing is reduced operational and capital costs, as expensive servers and storage appliances don't need to be purchased, IT resources aren't required, and electrical power and cooling expenses can be avoided. Figure 1 provides a logical view of cloud-computing technology. Specifically, for the land mobile, aviation and marine fleet industries, cloud computing enables a real-time view of assets and, with integration of GPS technolo- gies, allows fleet managers to track and locate assets anywhere in the world. Moreover, events, alerts and other knowledge (e.g., sensor data, driver ID, OBDII data, etc.) collected from assets can immediately be observed at a command-and-control center, allowing appropriate action to be taken, if required. Satellite Tracking Networks Generally, a cloud-based fleet-management solution works in combination with satellite modulator-demodulator (MODEM) hardware, which can be installed on land, aviation and marine assets. When selecting a cloud- computing solution, it's important to consider features such as over-the-air parameter settings, automated event reporting, local sensor-data capture and two-way messaging capabilities. A cloud-based fleet-management application can deliver more than just tracking and/or mapping. The data received in the cloud can be downloaded in a report format and help fleet managers make criti- cal decisions regarding dispersed assets that can be tracked, mapped or ported to Goggle Earth for further analysis. Figure 2 shows an example of a cloud-computing-based satellite tracking network. Cloud computing also can help streamline trip and mileage reports. For example, trip reports can be generated for land mobile assets when used in com- bination with tracking hardware. Some technologies currently in the marketplace allow drivers to input a unique personal identification number (PIN) via a touch screen at the asset, and then enter the origin and des- tination of a trip. A database of driver PINs also can be stored in the cloud. Data then are collected from the asset and sent via the network to the cloud, where the data are processed and stored. With this technology, fleet managers can access the data stored in the cloud Figure 1. A logical diagram of cloud computing can be found on Wikipedia. SEPTEMBE R 2O12 / WWW . GEOPLA CE . COM 23

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