The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a new milestone in its big data program, enabling more access to its ever-growing troves of data in the hopes of sparking new economies and a better understanding of our environment.
The agency launched the Big Data Project as a way to push the petabytes of data it collects daily out to people who could use it. The program is based on the idea that NOAA—and the Commerce Department in general—collects the sort of data that is of interest to researchers and entrepreneurs alike.
NOAA penned a deal in 2015 with five cloud service providers to develop a pipeline for its data to be stored in those cloud providers’ systems, then be made available to the public at no cost. While the partners are not allowed to charge for access to the data, they could charge for value-added content, in much the way weather data is used by industry today.
On Thursday, NOAA announced awards to Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft under multiyear contracts to host NOAA data for public use.
“The Big Data Project’s cloud service providers have shown incredible commitment to open data principles, and they clearly understand the value of NOAA’s data to their customers and to the Nation’s economy,” Ed Kearns, acting chief data officer at the Commerce Department, said in a statement Thursday.