spatial ecology


GRAPPOLO a supercomputer in a superbox is a project designed to teach cluster computation.

We have prototyped and developed a portable micro cluster computer (replicating the functioning of the biggest cluster computer facility in the southwest UK ). This tool is similar to the Raspberry pi cluster developed at Southampton University but is aimed towards teaching Geographic Information Systems methods rather than raw computation, it is very low cost ( ~ £130), portable and a perfect replica of an operating system running on a true high performance cluster computer.

Aur goals are :

  • Build a micro cluster compurer with the same operating system and software of a real HPC (High Performance Computer) for simulating big data processing.
  • Make it as small as possible so that grappolo can fligh in your hand lugage toghether with your laptop, book, toothbrush and newspaper.
  • Make it awsome so when you test supercomputing in a pub it will attract people's attention and they might want to learn more about it.
  • Make it low cost and open source so that is potentially replicable in schools or by any V2 open minded citizens willing to learn new amazing stuff.

Software and hardware

We used 3 Raspberry pi's running a light distribution of Linux operating system. Here you can find codings for software installation and hardware assembling:


The best box ever conceived in the history of boxes....

We used an awesome reddish perspex and sawed an alluminium squared box section 15x15.


Project team and collaborators:

Stefano Casalegno (Project leader)

Andrew Cowly (brainstorming - software / OS installation)

Oliver Hatfield (box design and construction)

Andy Smith (software ideas support / cabling)

Victoria O'Brien (software OS / installation)

Giuseppe Amatulli (software applications for teaching)

This progect was sponsored by a not for profit organization in the UK helping people to learn open source technology for spatio-temporal data analyses, modelling and big data processing.




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