Promotional Credits Lure Open Source Earth Imagery Project to AWS

Startup Radiant said promotional credits helped persuade the company to host its open source Earth imagery platform on the Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) cloud.

With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Omidyar Network, Radiant launched operations for its geospatial technology platform last August. Aimed at developers, the project's goal is to provide "a geospatial and imagery technology platform that supports knowledge transfer to positively impact the developing world's greatest social, economic and environmental challenges."

The company today announced its platform will be hosted on the AWS cloud, a move spurred by promotional credits.

"Radiant received a grant of free usage in the form of AWS promotional credits to help get started, which will accelerate the development of the platform, establishing Radiant as a global steward of the world's increasing, yet disparate sources of open geospatial and Earth imagery and data," the company said in a statement. "Coupled with analytical tools and capacity building programs, open imagery and data will be used to create powerful insights and evidence-based support for transformative impact and change."

While the company didn't specify what promotional program was used to lure the Earth imagery platform to AWS, the cloud giant has used the scheme in a variety of ways to entice developers and other users to take advantage of its services.

Just last week, for example, AWS announced it was awarding $100 promotional credits to developers who publish Alexa skills, which provide natural language commands to voice-controlled home computing devices such as Echo. In that program, developers who see their Alexa skills projects attain popularity that take projects beyond the usage limits of the Free Tier will receive $100 credits each month to keep the projects running.

AWS also participates in other promotional programs, providing cloud credits for research and $250 infrastructure credits for AWS Marketplace security products, for examples.

Radiant may have taken advantage of the AWS Activate program, which provides startups "with the low cost, easy to use infrastructure needed to scale and grow any size business." In that program -- which has benefitted companies such as Airbnb, Slack and Robinhood -- one package provide up to $15,000 AWS Promotional Credit for up to two years, while a "Portfolio Plus Package" provides the same, or $100,000 for one year.

"Using the AWS Cloud will infuse Radiant's platform technology offerings with an initial set of best-in-class cloud capabilities," said Radiant CTO Dan Lopez. "We plan to support infrastructure that works with many cloud providers, and AWS is key to our scale and global reach. The AWS promotional credits will help Radiant begin development of the initial phase of our platform quickly, and we are very excited to work with AWS to bring additional Earth imagery to the cloud."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.


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