Amazon today announced the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative to promote sustainability research, innovation, and problem-solving by making key data easily accessible and even more widely available.

The Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative leverages Amazon Web Services’ technology and scalable infrastructure to stage, analyze, and distribute data, and is a joint effort between the AWS Open Data and Amazon Sustainability teams. The AWS Open Data program already makes numerous datasets available for public use through its Registry of Open Data on AWS. Amazon’s Sustainability Team began collaborating with AWS last year to start warehousing the vast amounts of public data that describe our planet. The initiative identifies foundational data for sustainability and works closely with data providers like NOAA to stage their data in the AWS Cloud by giving them complete ownership and control over how their data is shared.

While these datasets have always been freely available, they aren’t always easily accessible, and researchers may not have the compute power necessary to take advantage of these resources through their own on-premises data centers. Examples of datasets already available through the initiative include weather observations and forecast data, climate projections data, satellite imagery, hydrological data, air quality data, and ocean forecast data. Amazon has maintained that providing easier access to massive datasets (i.e. petabyte-scale) in the cloud will help researchers and innovators address a wide range of sustainability challenges, such as the impacts of climate change and weather extremes.

By removing the burden of data acquisition, the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative enables faster research at lower cost. To encourage application development, researchers can apply for AWS Promotional Credits through the AWS Cloud Credits for Research program. Offsetting these costs will encourage experimentation and promote innovative solutions. For example, AWS is collaborating with the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) to provide up to $1.5 million in cloud credits for projects to improve the understanding of our planet. The new GEO-AWS collaboration will offer GEO member agencies and research organizations in developing countries access to cloud services for hosting, processing, and analysis of Earth observation data to inform decisions for sustainable development.

Read more at Environmental Leader