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Amazon launches Sustainability Data Initiative to boost sustainable development through Cloud and open data

Amazon has launched its Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative for the promotion of sustainability research, innovation and making data easily accessible and widely available.

The Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative utilizes the technology and infrastructure of Amazon Web Services. It is a collaborative endeavor between the teams of AWS Open Data and Amazon Sustainability. The collaboration began last year for the initiation of warehousing of a huge amount of public data and better explaining the earth. AWS Open Data gathers multiple datasets from it Open Data Registry on AWS.

Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative envisions democratizing access to data by making it available on AWS, developing new cloud access technologies and above all encouraging the development of communities who can reap the benefit from access to shared datasets

The initiative tracks data for sustainability and cooperates intimately with data providers like NOAA to store data in AWS Cloud. This provides them total control over how their data would be shared. Though the datasets were available for free, it was difficult to access them and many times researchers lacked the resources in their own data centers. Some of the datasets that have been made available are weather observations and forecast data, climate projections data, satellite imagery, hydrological data, air quality data, and ocean forecast data.

Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative is cost effective and less cumbersome as there is no need for data acquisition. For encouraging application development there are AWS Promotional Credits, which can be applied by researchers via AWS Cloud Credits. Reduction in costs will provide more opportunities to researchers and foster greater innovation.

AWS has also teamed with the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) for providing around $1.5 million in cloud credits to projects that would lead to a better world. The partnership between GEO and AWS would provide GEO members in the developing world access to cloud services for hosting, processing and data analysis for improved decision making that would take us closer to our goal of sustainability.

Data shared in the cloud allows the user easy access to large datasets for data modeling and analysis that was mainly about instructions and accessing supercomputers through data centers. For facilitating knowledge exchange, Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative works with users and documents everything that can be stored on AWS or Open Data registry. Millions of users across the globe have started innovative work by leveraging open data and AWS.

For Instance: Element 84 explores use of AWS open satellite imagery and Machine Learning algorithms through Amazon SageMaker for adeuate and timely response during disaster response. NASA is joining forces with Development Seed for creating a Deep Learning based hurricane intensity estimator. GREENSPIN uses data from the European Union’s Copernicus program to improve agricultural practices. While projects like CalAdapt and Temperate are assisting local communities to grasp climate change. StormSense provides automated flood alerts using integrated real-time IoT sensors, while

Josh Hacker, Co-founder of Jupiter Intel, which helps organizations prepare for climate change and weather risks, says, “AWS allows us to do things at scale that have not been done at scale before,”

The Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative will lead to new innovations and take sustainability to the next level.