AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofits Blog

Twitch Episode 1: Getting Started With Secure App Dev: Job 0

Security is job zero at Amazon Web Services (AWS). What should that mean to you as a new user of the AWS Cloud? How does it translate to a regulated environment, such as healthcare, government, education, or financial services? Securing your AWS account is the first place to start.
How you set up your account depends on your organization. It’s possible your account was created for you by your central IT organization, using AWS Control Tower or AWS Organizations. If that’s the case, some of the below may have already been done for you. The following can serve as a helpful check as you get started.

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Texas Homeless Network uses AWS to Prevent and Combat Homelessness

Communities across the country are searching for ways to end homelessness. Many experts point to disparate data as an inhibitor to understand and address the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness. Although the causes of homelessness vary, people who find themselves homeless often interact with multiple agencies – housing, healthcare, law enforcement, and nonprofits providing support services. But those organizations rarely share information with each other – a challenge that, if addressed, can be a game changer in the national efforts to prevent and combat homelessness.

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BlueDot Observatory – keeping an eye on our planet’s water resources

Managing water crises is one of the Sustainable Development Goals and the decline in the available quality and quantity of fresh water is ranked as one of the top ten most serious societal risks by the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Global Risks report. Using satellite imagery available through the AWS Open Data Program and the AWS Cloud, BlueDot Observatory is establishing a global monitoring system for all at-risk water bodies. This monitoring reveals a sad truth – the total loss of water bodies is in the not too distant future.

We invited Anze Zupanc, a data scientist who manages the BlueDot Observatory at Sinergise, to share how the AWS Open Data Program and the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative support this work.

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How Ride Data Helps Drive a Car Share Business

The British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) started the mobility revolution in B.C. over 100 years ago when a small group of British Columbians, passionate about cars and mobility, joined together to form an auto club. A century later, BCAA continues to help new generations get to where they need to go, and Evo is one way BCAA meets their changing mobility needs. Evo Car Share is Vancouver’s free-floating car sharing service offering a full fleet of 1,500 four-door, hybrid vehicles.

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City of Louisville Builds Open Source Traffic Tools using Data, Collaboration, and the Cloud

Cities spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to do point-in-time traffic studies. Those studies assist cities in planning traffic signal timings and detours during street-closures. The City of Louisville, Kentucky, was paying every year for traffic studies and analysis and was getting static reports back. Instead, Louisville decided to use real-time congestion data freely available to governments through the Waze CCP (Connected Citizens Program). Combined with other information like built environment data and collision reports, Louisville could bring this together in the cloud for advanced analytics.

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AWS Disaster Response Program: Aiding Disaster Relief

2018 saw many natural disasters devastating areas of the United States. To enable disaster response organizations’ access to cloud services at the edge, even in the harshest conditions, we announced the launch of the AWS Disaster Response Program (AWS DRP). he AWS DRP team focuses on building strategic relationships with governments, non-governmental organizations (NGO), nonprofit organizations (NPO), and educational institutions focusing on disaster response. Additionally, the AWS DRP is developing a capability to deploy technical AWS staff during disasters and directly aid disaster-responding organizations in leveraging AWS technology called the AWS Disaster Response Action Team (AWS DRT).

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AWS Field Trips Expand to Global AWS Summits with AWS Educate

As part of our commitment to making science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and careers accessible to students, we host AWS Field Trips to engage young students with cloud technology. Three years ago, the AWS Field Trip program started at AWS re:Invent to inspire and engage middle school students to pursue STEM education and careers by exposing them to fun, hands-on engagements with technology. Since then, the program has scaled to Madrid, Spain, and Ottawa, Canada, reaching middle school students globally. This year, AWS Field Trips are expanding to several 2019 AWS Summits globally, reaching more students and providing a pathway for continued learning through AWS Educate.

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Finding Answers in the Cloud: MIT’s Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel Re-design

MIT is replacing the Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel (WBWT) with a new, state-of-the-art facility. And they’re relying on AWS to do it. Post-refresh, the WBWT, first commissioned in 1938, will be the largest and most advanced wind tunnel to reside in a U.S. academic setting. But first, it helps to understand why the re-design is happening in the first place.

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No downtime on learning – Prince William County Public Schools commitment to the cloud

Recalling back to when he was a teacher, Andy Wolfenbarger, Supervisor of Student Information Systems at the Department of Information Technology Services at Prince William County Public Schools, was pulling triple duty – coaching football and tennis on top of teaching his four high school classes. With grades due, Andy had a small block of time after school to get them in. But unbeknownst to him, the switch in the network closet next to him needed to be upgraded. In the middle of inputting his grades, the system went dark.

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The War on Poverty: Hope, Empathy, Technology

At AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas, Compassion International participated in the Nonprofit Hackathon for Social Good. People don’t usually connect the dots between cutting-edge technology and nonprofits, but this is where it’s needed most. Hackers were challenged to bridge the communication gap between those in need and empathetic people who want to help. No matter your origin or the language you speak, you can connect and meet the needs of a child in poverty.

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