This Guidance demonstrates how to stream location data from your assets and devices with Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, helping you record and monitor the movement of your assets through a centralized management system. IoT-enabled devices, such as a smart bicycle, a delivery truck, or a shipping container, can be configured with AWS IoT Core, a fully managed service that lets you connect billions of IoT devices and route trillions of message topics to AWS. These message topics can then interface with a host of other AWS services, such as Amazon Location Service, which helps you add location data to your message topics. Other AWS services can be configured with this Guidance to alert you for geofencing events, allow you to receive location updates, and help you visualize asset positions from an interactive web application.

Please note: [Disclaimer]

Architecture Diagram

[Architecture diagram description]

Download the architecture diagram PDF 

Well-Architected Pillars

The AWS Well-Architected Framework helps you understand the pros and cons of the decisions you make when building systems in the cloud. The six pillars of the Framework allow you to learn architectural best practices for designing and operating reliable, secure, efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable systems. Using the AWS Well-Architected Tool, available at no charge in the AWS Management Console, you can review your workloads against these best practices by answering a set of questions for each pillar.

The architecture diagram above is an example of a Solution created with Well-Architected best practices in mind. To be fully Well-Architected, you should follow as many Well-Architected best practices as possible.

  • Location Service, Lambda, and AWS IoT Core were used for this Guidance to automate your workloads and help you respond to events appropriately. Location Service does this by sending metrics to Amazon CloudWatch, giving you the visibility into how many geofences you are evaluating, and how many position updates you are ingesting. Lambda provides detailed metrics about function performance and optimization. AWS IoT Core sends metrics to CloudWatch to monitor incoming messages and alert you when ingestion stops or slows, indicating possible network or other issues. Understanding the metrics for each service allows you to identify ways of optimizing the event workflow, as well as ensure the workflow can scale in the event of a large influx of new events.

    Read the Operational Excellence whitepaper 
  • Location Service, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), and AWS IoT Core were selected for this Guidance to help you protect your data, systems, and assets in a way that improves your security posture. First, IAM policies are scoped to allow for only the minimum level of permissions. Next, Location Service allows for the scoping of permissions to only update permitted trackers and devices. Finally, AWS IoT Core policies create a layer of permissions controlling which devices can send data to MQTT topics, and how those devices can interact with the cloud. Limiting unauthorized access to these services prevents additional charges from being accrued, as well as prevents a device from being tampered with and sending malicious operations, or commands, to the cloud.

    Read the Security whitepaper 
  • Your data is ingested into AWS IoT Core, processed by Lambda and Location Service, and then stored in Amazon S3. Lambda is designed to spread invocations across AZs, while AWS IoT Core is built with a multi-AZ architecture. Amazon S3 replicates data across AZs, and offers high levels of availability. Finally, Amplify uses Amazon S3 to host the web front-end, making it highly available. By using services built with serverless technology, such as these, and designed across multiple Availability Zones (AZ), your workloads can be resilient against failures.

    Read the Reliability whitepaper 
  • AWS IoT Core and Lambda help you maintain efficiency as your business needs evolve. For example, AWS IoT Core scales as messages are ingested, and offers very low latency. And Lambda allows you to set concurrency reservations to reduce cold start times and improve performance. By using services that scale as data is ingested, you can ensure your application will remain up and performant even under heavy load.

    Read the Performance Efficiency whitepaper 
  • Location Service offers filtering to save costs on location updates that may be jitter or if a device has not moved in a time period. By filtering location updates, you reduce costs when retrieving location events or evaluating geofences. Also, Amazon S3 offers multiple storage tiers for long-term location storage, and by setting a colder storage tier for long term storage in Amazon S3, you reduce storage and retrieval costs. Moreover, AWS IoT Core provides a very low-cost ingestion environment with multiple pricing tiers, depending on the number of messages sent. AWS IoT Core pricing scales with the application, and a higher throughput of messages does not mean significantly higher costs.

    Read the Cost Optimization whitepaper 
  • Most services in this Guidance are built using serverless technologies, reducing the compute footprint required. Lambda, for instance, will not run unless invoked by AWS IoT Core. Athena is a serverless application that will only consume compute resources when invoked. And Amazon S3 can use slower, more energy-efficient storage volumes for longer-term storage of location events. By building on top of serverless services, you can reduce your overall compute usage, and build a completely event-driven architecture that can scale up and down as the traffic scales, using less energy during slower periods of ingestion. 

    Read the Sustainability whitepaper 

Implementation Resources

A detailed guide is provided to experiment and use within your AWS account. Each stage of building the Guidance, including deployment, usage, and cleanup, is examined to prepare it for deployment.

The sample code is a starting point. It is industry validated, prescriptive but not definitive, and a peek under the hood to help you begin.


Tracking Assets using AWS IoT Core and Amazon Location Service

This blog post explores the recently launched “location action” feature that connects AWS IoT Core with Amazon Location Service trackers, creating a scalable, simple, and cost effective way to track and store IoT device location updates.


The sample code; software libraries; command line tools; proofs of concept; templates; or other related technology (including any of the foregoing that are provided by our personnel) is provided to you as AWS Content under the AWS Customer Agreement, or the relevant written agreement between you and AWS (whichever applies). You should not use this AWS Content in your production accounts, or on production or other critical data. You are responsible for testing, securing, and optimizing the AWS Content, such as sample code, as appropriate for production grade use based on your specific quality control practices and standards. Deploying AWS Content may incur AWS charges for creating or using AWS chargeable resources, such as running Amazon EC2 instances or using Amazon S3 storage.

References to third-party services or organizations in this Guidance do not imply an endorsement, sponsorship, or affiliation between Amazon or AWS and the third party. Guidance from AWS is a technical starting point, and you can customize your integration with third-party services when you deploy the architecture.

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