Docker, Mesos, Marathon, and the End of Pets

A Few Words on Pets and Cattle The pets vs cattle metaphor is not a new one, and with apologies to my vegan friends, not mine, but bears briefly repeating. Essentially, ssh-ing into a machine, configuring it just so, and naming it after something cute or an erudite allusion — that’s a pet. You’re sad [...]

Bug Du Jour: CDH5 upgrade

We upgraded our Hadoop cluster to YARN/CDH5 last weekend, which brought along the usual flurry of “oops, gotta fix this” commits as various services had hiccups, and in many cases refused altogether to do anything useful. Last week Tom sent me my favorite message: “I just want this to work” (seriously, it’s awesome to get these because [...]

Validating Mobile Ad Location Data at Factual

Location Data appears straightforward on first blush: two numbers — longitude and latitude — combine as a coordinate to identify an unambiguous point on the earth’s surface: X marks the spot, unequivocally. Location data in the Mobile Ad-tech Ecosystem, however — especially that used by marketers and advertisers — has a number of distinguishing characteristics [...]

Changes in our Global Places Data – Q1 2015

The global business landscape is not static. Places open, close, move, shift ownership, update their names, and change in all other manner of ways every day. So, we put in a great deal of effort to continually ensure that the Global Places data we provide is the most accurate snapshot of the real world. Below [...]

A Day in the Life of a Factual Engineer: Polygon Compression

In this series of blog posts, Factual’s blog team asked engineers to describe what a typical day looks like. Background Chris Bleakley, our resident polygon and Lucene expert, had written meticulous documentation about the problem he was solving. The first paragraph read: “Because search times are dominated by the cost of deserializing JTS objects from [...]