This Year’s ‘City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge’ Is Here

Downtown Chicago, Illinois

Downtown Chicago, Illinois Lubica Jelenova /


Connecting state and local government leaders

Winners will be chosen from among Amazon Web Services customers, if their cloud solution could inform other regional and local governments.

This weekend, Amazon Web Services issued a call to regional and local governments that are using its cloud services to enter the third annual City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge.

Cloud technology enhances geographical information systems (GIS), content management systems (CMS) and open data portals by reducing government IT workloads.

In November, the city of Chicago won $50,000 in AWS credits to scale its real-time, open-source GIS OpenGrid project.

“With the AWS Cloud, the City of Chicago was able to launch OpenGrid, a first-of-its-kind, open data website and mobile app that city residents can use to search for useful information and events around them ranging from real-time weather, Tweets and requests for city services to street closures, transit data, and potholes nearby,” said Tom Schenk Jr., Chicago’s chief data officer, in the announcement. “OpenGrid is representative of Chicago’s commitment to making city data available to all residents in a transparent, innovative, and open source platform.”

This go-around, AWS will award $250,000 in promotional credits among eight winners worldwide across three categories: best practices, partners in innovation and dream big—for the best ideas like Chicago’s.

Entries are due May 13 to be judged on their impact, sustainability, use of AWS’ cloud and usefulness to other governments. Winners will be announced June 21 at the AWS Public Sector Summit in Washington, D.C.

Check out the complete rules here, and find inspiration in the challenge innovation map and among last year’s winners.

Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive’s Route Fifty.

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