Event has ended
  • --
  • --
  • --

Event checklist


About this event

Before the 2014 Fall Meeting begins, join scientists, developers, and city planners for the first ever Amazon Web Services Hackathon hosted by AGU. Bring your colleagues and your computers and we’ll supply the coffee, pizza, beer, and other essentials for you and your team! Help enable new visualizations of your city’s climate for the rest of this century with data provided by NASA.

Register today! Space is limited. Once registered we will email you more details of the event. If you have any questions please email

PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT an Overnight Event Saturday: 3PM-10PM Sunday: 8AM-3PM

The Challenge: Climate change and my city: Visualizing climate-analogs This challenge focuses on the creation and visualization of climate-analogs for cities around the world with populations over 1M. Climate-analog analyses identify contemporary analogs for the future climates projected for a given city. Climate-analog analysis is a place-based and comparative approach to understanding and assessing the magnitude and potential effects of climate change.

Challenge #1: What apps would you build if you had access to climate projections for the rest of this century at the scale of individual cities?

Challenge #2 How would you visualize these climate projections to effectively engage policy makers, managers, planners, educators and the general public?

Background: Global models of the climate system are now the foundation for many important climate studies, but they typically quantify climate changes at very large geographic scales, on the order of 150 to 250 kilometers. Using supercomputing resources to analyze the latest generation of global climate scenarios, NASA recently created monthly climate projections for the world at a spatial scale of about 20km. This climate dataset, known as the NASA Earth Exchange Global Downscaled Daily Projections (NEX-GDDP), provides a view of future global temperature and precipitation patterns based on four different greenhouse gas emissions scenarios, spanning the period from 1950 to 2099, at the spatial scale of individual cities. These high-resolution climate scenarios, derived from the best physical models of the climate system available, make it easier for resource managers to quantify anticipated climate change impacts on a wide range of conditions and resources important to local communities, such as water supplies and winter snow packs, public health and the spread of insect-borne diseases, flood risk and potential impacts to critical urban infrastructure, wildfire frequency and severity, agricultural production, and wildlife and biodiversity. Climate-analog analysis is a useful tool for communicating climate change and in adaptation planning. In climate-analog analyses, the projected future climates for a target location are compared to all locations in a reference dataset (usually data from the late 20th century), and the closest matches (i.e. the closest analogs in the reference dataset) are identified. The closest matches in the reference dataset can be analyzed for information about growing season lengths, species present, dominant crop types and farming practices, insurance costs associated with climate extremes, and other natural hazards. Displaying the locations of the closest analogs itself provides a powerful visual impression of the potential magnitude of climate change.

Functional Specifications: 1. The solution should be a mobile app or a web application. 2. The solution should provide visualizations of climate analogs for a specific city based on geographic coordinates entered by the user or available from the GPS of the mobile device. 3. The visualization may utilize any other data, maps, and images that are in the public domain. 4. The solution should make use of resources and datasets available through OpenNEX. OpenNEX is a collaborative effort between NASA and Amazon, Inc. to enhance access to large scientific datasets, accelerate scientific discovery, and encourage collaboration among a wide range of users of Earth observation datasets. 5. The solution should contain: - A brief description of the app or the mashup goal and design – what does it do and how? - Description and links to other open source tools used in the development - Description and links to of other data, images, API used by the app - The source code should be provided on GitHub.

Resources: Websites Accessible by the Public 1. OpenNEX data description, and information about accessing the datasets on Amazon: 2. Additional information about OpenNEX: 3. Any description or API for the data access? We will provide a REST API that supports queries of the NEX-GDDP data series using latitude/longitude information.


  • Home-1st
  • 1st Place
  • $2500 in AWS research grant credits and 2 Kindles

  • Home-2nd
  • 2nd Place
  • $1000 in AWS research grant credits and 2 Kindles

  • Home-3rd
  • 3rd Place
  • $500 in AWS research grant credits and 1 Kindle



  • Saturday
  • 2:00 PM - Registration
    3:10 PM - Opening Ceremony
    4:00 PM - Networking and Team Building
    5:00 PM - Coding Begins
    6:00 PM - Dinner
    10:00 PM - End for Day 1

  • Sunday
  • 8:00 AM - Breakfast & Coffee
    12:00 PM - Lunch Served
    1:00 PM Hackathon Ends/Submissions Due
    2:00 PM - Judging of Demos
    2:45 PM - Judges deliberate
    3:00 PM - Winner's announced
    3:30 PM- Breakdown/ Clean-up



1. Fresh Code We all start coding at the same time. This is done to keep things fair. Please don’t come in and build on top of previous projects if you want to win. It’s cool ...

1. Fresh Code
We all start coding at the same time. This is done to keep things fair. Please don’t come in and build on top of previous projects if you want to win. It’s cool to work on designs beforehand, digital mockups, open source frameworks, and anything else available to everyone, but try to keep things within just limits.

2. Code Review
Winning teams will be subject to a code-review at some point following the event or immediately before winning.

3. Ownership and IP
Teams have full ownership of everything they build at our events and are free to do with it as they wish.

4. Team Size
Teams of up to 5 humans are allowed. You can also add 1 cyborg, Furby, drone, or Sphero.

5. Submissions
Each hackathon has it’s individual page, which projects should be submitted on. Submission time is normally 1pm Sunday unless stated otherwise.

6. DEMO your Hack
You must demo your hack in order to present. No slide-decks or power-points will be allowed. 2 minute presentation 1 minute Q&A from Judges