AWS Public Sector Blog

AWS announces simpler access to sustainability data and launches hackathon to accelerate innovation for sustainability

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Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are critical tools being used in healthcare research, autonomous applications, predictive maintenance, and also a key tool used to advance sustainability solutions. However, to use AI and ML to solve sustainability problems, innovators need specific datasets that are prepared for analysis and training of the models. According to Anaconda’s 2021 State of Data Science survey, survey respondents said they spend “39% of their time on data prep and data cleansing, which is more than the time spent on model training, model selection, and deploying models combined.” To help create and accelerate sustainability solutions, the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative (ASDI) today announced simpler identification of sustainability datasets with integration in AWS Data Exchange from Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the launch of a sustainability hackathon.

Making data available to accelerate sustainability solutions

ASDI was founded on the mission to accelerate sustainability research and innovation by minimizing the cost and time required to acquire and analyze large sustainability datasets. ASDI currently works with scientific organizations like NOAA, NASA, the UK Met Office, and Government of Queensland to identify, host, and deploy key datasets on AWS to help solve complex sustainability challenges, like climate change. The datasets are publicly available to anyone, with open access and at no-cost. The ASDI catalog currently contains over 130 datasets organized into 14 categories including weather observations and forecasts, climate projection data, satellite imagery, hydrological data, air quality data, and ocean forecast data. Through the curation of relevant and authoritative datasets, and making the data available alongside AWS scalable compute and AI resources, ASDI customers can shorten the time to starting their analysis.

To make it even simpler to find sustainability data, ASDI today announced that the ASDI catalog of datasets are now searchable and discoverable through AWS Data Exchange. AWS Data Exchange is a comprehensive service for third-party datasets with more than 3,000 products from 250 providers delivered — through files, APIs, or Amazon Redshift queries — directly to the data lakes, applications, analytics, and ML models that use it.

The integration with AWS Data Exchange gives customers streamlined access across third-party data sources, which now includes no-cost and open access to sustainability data sets in the ASDI catalog alongside custom or licensed datasets. Customers can now search and obtain the data assets needed to support sustainability solutions, all in one location.

Driving sustainability solutions with sustainability hackathon

In support of this new integration, and ASDI’s commitment to sustainability, we’ve launched the new Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative Global Hackathon, part of a new collaboration with the International Research Centre in Artificial Intelligence, under the auspices of UNESCO. Sign up today and compete for a total of $100,000 in prizes. We’re excited to see what sustainability solutions you create.

Customers can also apply for AWS promotional credits through the ASDI cloud grant program to explore the use of AWS technology and scalable infrastructure to solve complex, long-term sustainability challenges with the data. This allows sustainability researchers to analyze massive amounts of data in mere minutes, regardless of where they are in the world or how much local storage space or computing capacity they can access. Customers are already applying AI and ML to datasets from the ASDI catalog for a variety of important sustainability use cases highlighted below.

DigiFarm works to bring accurate and up-to-date field boundary data to farmers and government agencies. DigiFarm’s software product is powered by a deep learning model that takes satellite imagery and builds additional, higher-definition layers on top of each geospatial data point. Currently, DigiFarm uses data from the Sentinel-2 satellite constellation, some of the highest-quality imagery of the Earth available today.

Radiant Earth Foundation is a nonprofit focused on delivering open geospatial data and analytics to the global development community (GDC) in support of their mission to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other key targets. Radiant Earth supports the GDC by aggregating open geospatial data and providing access through its cloud-based platform, generating open Earth observation (EO) ML tools and training data libraries, and creating new metadata standards through its MLHub Earth initiative.

terraPulse is a technology company devoted to creating timely, accurate information about the changing world to address the need for more accurate land use data. Using algorithms vetted through rigorous peer review and published in major scientific journals, terraPulse mines long-term, global satellite imagery with AI to map changes in ecosystems over time.

With the increase in demand for compute and machine learning becoming more pervasive, continually innovating at the chip level is critical to ensuring that we can sustainably power the workloads of the future so we focus on improving the power efficiency of Graviton and Inferentia. Our Graviton3-based Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances use up to 60% less energy for the same performance than comparable Amazon EC2 instances. Learn more about conserving resources in our AWS blog, “Optimize AI/ML workloads for sustainability.”

Getting started

If you’re at the re:MARS conference this week (June 21-24, 2022), come by the ASDI booth #102 and find out more about sustainability datasets, check out demos with Amazon SageMaker Studio Lab, and get started on your entry to the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative Global Hackathon.

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Ana Pinheiro Privette

Ana Pinheiro Privette

Dr. Ana Pinheiro Privette is the Head for Sustainability for AWS Impact Computing, and the Global Lead for the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative (ASDI). ASDI seeks to accelerate sustainability research and innovation by minimizing the cost and time required to acquire and analyze large sustainability datasets. Ana was trained as an environmental engineer and as an earth scientist at the New University of Lisbon (Portugal) and at MIT. She spent most of her career as a research scientist at NASA and NOAA. Later, Ana worked on the US National Climate Assessment (NCA) focusing on bringing more transparency and traceability of the data sources supporting this climate report, and led projects for the White House climate portfolio, including the Obama Climate Data Initiative (CDI) and the Partnership for Resilience and Preparedness (PREP).