Houston Geophysical Society learns of Amazon’s open geodata repository for ‘sustainable’ data research

Speaking at a recent meeting of the Houston Geophysical Society, Amazon Web Services’ Kyle Jones presented ‘Earth@AWS’, a.k.a. ‘open source data’ for earth observation, remote sensing and geophysics. The idea is to make getting data ‘as easy as shopping online’, with a ‘seamless self-service cloud-native experience’ providing access to real time earth observation data. Earth@AWS promises access to public datasets ‘natively integrated’ with AWS analytical functionality and cloud-based high performance computing. There are currently nearly 100 datasets online including the NOAA Global Forecast System, Copernicus Digital Elevation Model, bathymetric, Landsa and emissions data.

Oil and gas company users may have to jump through some hoops to make full use of the facility which is a companion to the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative. ASDI seeks to accelerate sustainability research and innovation by minimizing the cost and time required to acquire and analyze large datasets. ASDI supports innovators and researchers with the data, tools and expertise they need to ‘move sustainability to the next level’.

Earth lets researchers build cloud-hosted applications, software, or tools for sustainability-related work. Researchers are encouraged to perform proof of concept or benchmark tests to evaluate the efficacy of moving research workloads or open data sets to the cloud. Amazon wants to train a broader community on the usage of cloud for sustainability workloads via workshops or tutorials. Researchers can apply for AWS Cloud Credits to conduct research using Earth Observation data on AWS. Real money funding of up to $80,000 is available to faculty members at academic institutions worldwide for research in several areas, particularly those that advance the state-of-the-art in machine learning. A Global Data Egress Waiver discounts refunds all data transfer charges from AWS out to the Internet and a Public Dataset Program covers the cost of storage for publicly available high-value cloud-optimized datasets*.

Jones wound up his presentation by introducing the ‘Poseidon Dataset’, which will be available on Earth@AWS ‘real soon now’. While you wait, there is a ‘Poseidon Dataset’ that is freely available on DataUnderground with data and documents hosted on, err… Google Drive.

Visit Earth@Amazon and checkout the use case videos from NASA, Esri, Digital Globe and others.

* Not charging for storing ‘publicly available’ datasets is not exactly the height of generosity.

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