Welcome!

Eclipse Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Roger Strukhoff, Lori MacVittie, Kevin Jackson, Mark R. Hinkle

News Feed Item

Amazon Web Services Announces Eight Winners of the Global City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge

Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), today announced the winners of the first City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge. The New York City Department of Transportation, City of Asheville, London City Airport, and the City and County of San Francisco Planning Department were each awarded $50,000 in AWS credits, and application developers Azavea, Neptune Technology Group, NuCivic, and Str LLC were each awarded $25,000 in AWS credits. The eight winners were selected by AWS and a panel of worldwide experts based on the impact of their solution, likelihood of long-term success, implementation of AWS services, and the potential to help other local governments solve similar challenges. To learn more about how public sector customers are using AWS and the AWS GovCloud (US) Region, visit http://aws.amazon.com/publicsector/.

Four grand prize winners were selected for the Best Practices Award, recognizing innovative and impactful local government projects running on the AWS Cloud:

  • New York City Department of Transportation – Mobile and web applications that make real-time transportation information more accessible and useful to residents and visitors, including an interactive map of city parking regulations, a pedestrian city travel planning app, and online maps of construction sites and capital projects.
  • City of Asheville – Modern, cloud-based disaster recovery system to keep essential city operations up and running in the event of power outages, earthquakes, and major weather events.
  • London City Airport – Traveler app that brings together real-time data from sensors, airline systems, and airport services to help passengers efficiently navigate the airport.
  • City and County of San Francisco Planning Department – Website for citizens, businesses, and city employees to access detailed property information for zoning, real estate transactions, and permitting.

Four grand prize winners were selected for the Partners in Innovation Award, recognizing applications that solve local government challenges:

  • Azavea (HunchLab) – Machine learning application that uses data on crime history, weather, neighborhood businesses, and other real-time information to help police departments employ “predictive policing” to forecast the likelihood of crime and redirect resources to high-risk areas.
  • NuCivic (NuCivic DATA) – Open source data management platform that allows governments to make a wide range of open data sets available to the public. Civil servants can use these data sets to benchmark their cities and inform decisions and policies; developers can use them to build services and applications for citizens.
  • Neptune Technology Group (N_SIGHT IQ) – Cloud-based data mart for local utility companies to leverage water usage data to better manage local resources. Utility companies have used N_SIGHT IQ to reduce local water usage and customer complaints by giving citizens the tools and information to better track and manage their water usage.
  • Str LLC (ePropertyPlus) – Property inventory management system that helps cities effectively manage community revitalization efforts by aggregating and mapping data on ownership, development grants, and construction plans for vacant and abandoned properties.

“We use the cloud to increase the availability and resiliency of our applications and systems,” said Cordell Schachter, CTO, New York City Department of Transportation. “It helps us provide important transportation information directly to the public and to our staff every day and during critical times.”

According to Robert Cheetham, president and CEO of Azavea, “We anticipate a world in which geospatial analysis is a broad foundation upon which government, private, and non-profit organizations operate. We use AWS to work toward that vision and we are thrilled that our application, HunchLab, has been recognized through this challenge.”

Government Agency Adoption

The AWS City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge winners are among the growing number of partners, government agencies, and nonprofits leveraging AWS for a wide range of applications and initiatives, including the US Department of the Navy, National Institutes of Health, Securities and Exchange Commission, the US Department of Interior, The US Food and Drug Administration, The US Department of Treasury, and the City of Melbourne. With more than 800 government agencies worldwide, AWS and its partners have made it easier than ever for government agencies to procure reliable, secure cloud infrastructure from AWS by adding several contract vehicles over the last 12 months, including US Department of Treasury Public Cloud Web Hosting Services, the Department of Interior Foundation Cloud contract, the Texas Department of Information Resources contract, and the Federal Aviation Administration’s eFAST contract.

The US Department of Treasury runs its public web site, Treasury.gov, on AWS, and has made AWS services available for other agencies to purchase through the Department of Treasury Public Cloud Web Hosting Services contract. “We know that the cloud is a fantastic opportunity for government agencies to scale without limits – but within their budget constraints,” said Tim Womack, Director, Enterprise Business Solutions, US Department of the Treasury. “It’s very compelling for federal agencies to work with a vendor who is constantly innovating and refreshing its technology without raising prices.”

AWS Customers Innovating in Education

Today, more than 3,000 education institutions, including public and private universities, community colleges, and K-12 schools and districts are leveraging AWS. The AWS Education Grants program has provided millions of dollars in AWS service credits to students and researchers, who have made advances in health and disease research, scientific computing, and applied science. In the last 12 months, AWS has supported grants to students and researchers at more than 1,000 universities in 99 countries.

AWS Education Research Grant recipient and Penn State Assistant Professor Dr. Howard Salis developed a high-performance computing platform accessible to researchers via a web portal. “The DNA Compiler was designed to change the way that genetic engineering is done by leveraging high performance cloud computing technologies to replace trial and error approaches,” said Dr. Salis. “Thousands of registered users from 56 countries have designed more than 50,000 synthetic DNA sequences using the compiler. The AWS Cloud accelerates biotech research by allowing our predictive models and design methods to be immediately accessible to thousands of world-wide users who can receive useful results even before our research articles are published.”

By providing a technology platform with very broad functionality and a global footprint of datacenters, AWS is helping education technology companies such as Coursera, DreamBox Learning, Echo360, LiveSchool, and Knewton, Inc. innovate and scale education applications that are changing and extending the classroom experience, introducing new techniques such as gamification and adaptive learning, and increasing communication and collaboration between educators, families, and students.

Knewton, Inc., an education technology company that personalizes digital courses, was able to launch its educational technology quickly by operating its infrastructure on AWS. The company has been able to rely on AWS as more than 3.5 million students have used its adaptive learning platform for personalized learning plans. “At the beginning of the school year, we’ll see hundreds of thousands of students coming into the system all at once,” said Ryan Prichard, CTO, Knewton “One of the best things about AWS is the ability to scale quickly with very little advance notice.”

To learn more about the City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge, visit http://aws.amazon.com/stateandlocal/cityonacloud/. For a complete description of prizes and applicable territories, read the contest official rules at http://aws.amazon.com/stateandlocal/cityonacloud/rules/.

About Amazon Web Services

Launched in 2006, Amazon Web Services, Inc. began exposing key infrastructure services to businesses in the form of web services -- now widely known as cloud computing. The ultimate benefit of cloud computing, and AWS, is the ability to leverage a new business model and turn capital infrastructure expenses into variable costs. Businesses no longer need to plan and procure servers and other IT resources weeks or months in advance. Using AWS, businesses can take advantage of Amazon's expertise and economies of scale to access resources when their business needs them, delivering results faster and at a lower cost. Today, Amazon Web Services provides a highly reliable, scalable, low-cost infrastructure platform in the cloud that powers hundreds of thousands of enterprise, government and startup customers businesses in 190 countries around the world. Amazon Web Services offers over 30 different services, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS). AWS Cloud services are available to customers from data center locations in the U.S., Brazil, Europe, Japan, Singapore, Australia and China.

About Amazon.com

Amazon opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by three principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire phone, Fire tablets, and Fire TV are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...