AWS Public Sector Blog

City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge: Dream Big Award Winners

At our AWS Public Sector Summit in Washington, DC, we announced the winners of the third City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge, a global program to recognize local and regional governments and technology companies that are innovating for the benefit of citizens using the AWS Cloud. In a previous post this week, we highlighted the five winners of the Best Practices category and today we are focusing on the Dream Big Award.

The Dream Big Award recognizes five local and regional governments that have innovative ideas for how they will use AWS cloud technology. The winners of the Dream Big Award will receive credits for AWS services in order to help them implement their ideas. This year’s winners include the City of Boston, Massachusetts; City of Denver, Colorado; Miami-Dade County, Florida; the South Central Planning and Development Commission (SCPD), Louisiana; and Eduserv, based in the United Kingdom.

The winning ideas span several applications of cloud technology, including: analyzing transportation data to better deploy city resources; designing an interactive website to improving citizens’ experience with call centers; and equipping building inspectors with drones to better facilitate the inspection of dangerous locations, like rooftops. Read each description to learn more about each project.

Miami-Dade County – Citizen Relationship Management (CiRM) is an open-source Semantic Web system created to support Miami-Dade County’s 311 Contact Center operations. The system was developed as a platform for case management, GIS and problem reporting modules that improve business processes, promote open data, and enable integration with agency applications. CiRM is innovative in its willingness to challenge traditional government vendor relationships and in its technological design.

City of Boston – The City of Boston is looking to leverage AWS to develop a comprehensive data warehouse and analytics stack to empower research into transportation, crashes, and mobility. Through combining a multitude of data sources, the city will be able to derive more insights and dive deeper into these pressing and salient issues. Through these insights, the city will be able to deploy resources more effectively that will have a positive impact on the citizens of Boston.

City of Denver – Denver’s Smart City Program can be summed up in one simple phrase – connect more with less. With data as the core of a Smart City, a key first step in the approach is to create an Enterprise Data Management (EDM) platform. The EDM platform will allow Denver to use data it already has for its existing operations while serving as the foundation for the expansion of future services. Denver currently collects, manages, and shares data quite effectively. However, the challenge is that many of their systems are constrained by the “silo effect,” which means that any data sharing and analytics across systems must happen manually. The EDM platform will help to remove organizational barriers and conflicts by implementing a structured data delivery strategy – from data producer to data consumer.

Eduserv – Local government organizations are making increasingly large amounts of data available as part of the UK government’s move towards greater transparency. This data often includes details about the current occupancy of council and privately-run car-parks in town and city centers. This project takes that data and uses it to build data-rich websites about the historical use of car-parks, coupled with twitter feeds about current and expected occupancy. Because the data is kept historically, it becomes possible to make increasingly accurate estimates of likely occupancy levels in the future, giving citizens greater ability to plan their journeys into city centers.

South Central Planning and Development Commission – The South Central Planning and Development Commission (SCPDC) is interested in creating a solution that would equip jurisdictional building inspectors with drones to better facilitate the inspection process of locations that place the inspector at risk. These high risk areas include high-pitched rooftops, solar panel installations, and mechanical inspections where HVAC units are placed on rooftops. SCPDC is also studying the possibility of pairing the drone with tablets that run inspection software to integrate and seamlessly link photographs and video into the inspection report. Through the AWS Dream Big award SCPDC has an opportunity to improve the safety and efficiency of many jurisdictional inspectors.

To learn more about the City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge, visit