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Amazon built the most realistic version of SimCity we’ve ever seen

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Amazon’s new AWS service for massive simulations lets you place a whole lot of digital people in virtual spaces.

Amazon has a new AWS service, AWS SimSpace Weaver, that lets users build massive simulations that look like real-world SimCity maps. The idea of this new service is that users can take advantage of Amazon’s massive AWS resources to run simulations that scale across multiple servers without running into computing or memory limitations, which could be useful for things like modeling the foot traffic surrounding a new sports stadium.

You can see AWS SimSpace Weaver in action in this impressive video demo from uCrowds, which simulates 1 million people walking around Las Vegas. By layering in geospatial data with the hordes of simulated people, it can give you an idea of how people might move around the computerized streets of the city if they were all let loose at once. With 1 million people, there are “simply not enough walkways” to fit them, according to the video, and even reducing that number to 50,000 shows where people start to bunch together.

“Previously, if a customer wanted to scale up their spatial simulation, they had to balance the accuracy of the simulation with the capacity of their hardware, which limited the usefulness of what they could learn,” Bill Vass, vice president of technology at AWS, said in a press release. “AWS SimSpace Weaver removes the burden of managing simulation infrastructure, simplifying how customers run large-scale simulations and freeing them to focus on creating differentiated content and expanding access to simulation development.”

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AWS SimSpace Weaver also integrates with the popular development engines Unreal Engine 5 (which had its own city showpiece in The Matrix Awakens) and Unity, meaning it could be that much more enticing for developers to actually use.

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