Building a Centralized Image and Video Library for NASA via AWS

Challenge

NASA wished to provide the public with easy access to imagery and videos that demonstrated the wonders of space. In the early 2000’s, NASA began providing online access to photos, video, and audio as media capture began to shift from analog and film to digital. Soon, each of NASA’s 10 field centers made its imagery available online including digitized versions. However, image discovery was difficult -it took a lot of digging around to find what one wanted, and duplication was an issue – searches often brought up five to six copies of the same image described in different ways.

Solution

By 2014, like many government agencies, NASA was trying to get away from buying hardware and building data centers, which were expensive to build and manage. The cloud provided the ability to scale with ease, as needed, paying for only the capacity used instead of having to make a large up-front investment. As the prime contractor for NASA WESTPrime and an advanced AWS consulting partner of the AWS Partner Network (APN), InfoZen (now ManTech) chose to build a single centralized image and video database with an intuitive and easy-to-use user interface, using Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Impact

Today, through its use of AWS, NASA is making more than 140,000 still images, audio recordings, and videos – previously in some 60 collections across NASA’s 10 centers – easily discoverable in one centralized web location. The benefits of this project include: easy access to the wonders of space through the NASA Image and Video Library, built-in scalability, an agile, and a flexible, scalable foundation upon which the agency can “do all kinds of amazing things” in the future, while also being good stewards of taxpayer dollars.

For More Information

Heather Frazier

Executive Director, Federal Civilian Sector

[email protected]