NOAA amasses torrents of environmental data daily. The project will explore ways to take it to the cloud.

Commerce Secretary Announces Big Data Project Launch

Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, IBM, Microsoft Corp., and the Open Cloud Consortium will explore ways to take NOAA’s environmental data to the cloud.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has announced a big data project involving Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, IBM, Microsoft Corp., and the Open Cloud Consortium, all of which will explore ways of bringing the department closer to its goal of making its vast resources of environmental data broadly available. Pritzker announced it during a keynote address at the American Meteorological Society’s Washington Forum.

Data alliances led by each of the anchor companies will research and test solutions for bringing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s vast information to the cloud, where both the public and industry can easily access, explore, and create new products from it, fostering new ideas and spurring economic growth, she said.

"As America's Data Agency, we are excited about these collaborations and the opportunities they present to drive economic growth and business innovation," Pritzker said. "The Commerce Department's data collection literally reaches from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and this announcement is another example of our ongoing commitment to providing a broad foundation for economic growth and opportunity to America's businesses by transforming the department’s data capabilities and supporting a data-enabled economy."

NOAA gathers more than 20 terabytes of data every day, more than twice the data of the entire printed collection of the United States Library of Congress. But only a small percentage of it is easily accessible to the public. The demand for this data has increased, and it is imperative to find ways to effectively and efficiently distribute this data to decision makers and industries, according to the agency, which issued a Request for Information last year to engage private industry to help make NOAA's data available in a rapid, scalable manner to the public. This led NOAA to the agreements with Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, IBM, Microsoft, and Open Cloud Consortium.

Additional information about this project, including contacts for each of the anchor companies, can be found at http://data-alliance.noaa.gov.

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