In order to provide a reliable service with the flexibility and reliability required of our citizen and government end users, we selected Amazon Web Services.


Matthew Berryman IT Architect, SMART Infrastructure Facility, University of Wollongong

PetaJakarta is an applied research project originally supported by the University of Wollongong’s Global Challenges Program and a Twitter data grant. It brings together mobile mapping and local flood information for the city of Jakarta, Indonesia. The platform lets the 28 million citizens of Jakarta share real-time flood information in a part of the world increasingly affected by flooding. In addition to the collection and dissemination of information by community members through location-enabled mobile devices, researchers can complement existing manual water gauges with water-level-sensing devices to inexpensively increase monitoring across the waterway network in Jakarta.  

• Need for immediate access to accurate, time-critical flood information anytime, anywhere.

• Ability to scale in order to meet peak demand during emergency situations.

• Ability to allow emergency-response organizations to securely input data into the platform.

• Uses AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances to collect social media and flood-gauge data.

• Uses AWS IoT services to manage sensor devices and collect data from deployments in the field in Jakarta.

• Uses Elastic Load Balancing, Auto Scaling, and Amazon Route 53 to securely transmit data for mapping.

• Scalability and reliability: AWS automated failover capabilities and scalability provide continuity of service during traffic peaks in the midst of flood events. During the 2015-2016 monsoon, 23,000 people used the PetaJakarta site, with 3,500 reports of flooding on social media and more than 1.6 million Twitter impressions.

• Cost management: PetaJakarta’s platform can scale to handle high volumes of traffic during disaster situations without requiring expensive servers that sit idle during off-peak times.

• Security: Users can connect devices to AWS services securely to process data, and can enable applications to interact with devices even when they are offline.

• The PetaJakarta team is now based at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is preparing for the launch of, which will serve more cities, have a wider social media reach, pull from additional data sources, and utilize a new architecture.

• The new architecture uses Amazon CloudFront and Amazon API Gateway to improve the scalability and resilience of the site. In the future, API calls will be handled by AWS Lambda.

• The University of Wollongong will continue development on its IoT water-level sensors, leveraging solar power and power management to make the sensors suitable for long-term, wide-scale deployment in Jakarta and other cities.

Learn more about running IoT solutions on AWS.