Three Use Cases How Big Data Helps Save The Earth

DataFloq: “The earth is having a difficult time, for quite some time already. Deforestation is still happening at a large scale across the globe. In Brazil alone 40,200 hectares were deforested in the past year. The great pacific garbage patch is still growing and smog in Beijing is more common than a normal bright day. This is nothing new unfortunately. A possible solution is however. Since a few years, scientists, companies and governments are turning to Big Data to solve such problems or even prevent them from happening. It turns out that Big Data can help save the earth and if done correctly, this could lead to significant results in the coming years. Let’s have a look at some fascinating use cases of how Big Data can contribute:

Monitoring Biodiversity Across the Globe

Conservation International, a non-profit environmental organization with a mission to protect nature and its biodiversity, crunches vast amounts of data from images to monitor biodiversity around the world. At 16 important sites across the continents, they have installed over a 1000 smart cameras. Thanks to the motion sensor, these cameras will captures images as soon as the sensor is triggered by animals passing by. Per site these cameras cover approximately 2.000 square kilometres…. They automatically determine which species have appeared in the images and enrich the data with other information such as climate data, flora and fauna data and land use data to better understand how animal populations change over time…. the Wildlife Picture Index (WPI) Analytics System, a project dashboard and analytics tool for visualizing user-friendly, near real-time data-driven insights on the biodiversity. The WPI monitors ground-dwelling tropical medium and large mammals and birds, species that are important economically, aesthetically and ecologically.

Using Satellite Imagery to Combat Deforestation

Mapping deforestation is becoming a lot easier today thanks to Big Data. Imagery analytics allows environmentalists and policy makers to monitor, almost in real-time, the status of forests around the globe with the help of satellite imagery. New tools like the Global Forest Watch uses a massive amount of high-resolution NASA satellite imagery to assist conservation organizations, governments and concerned citizens monitor deforestation in “near-real time.”…

But that’s not all. Planet Labs has developed a tiny satellite that they are currently sending into space, dozens at a time. The satellite measures only 10 by 10 by 30 centimeters but is outfitted with the latest technology. They aim to create a high-resolution image of every spot on the earth, updated daily. Once available, this will generate massive amounts of data that they will open source for others to develop applications that will improve earth.

Monitoring and Predicting with Smart Oceans

Over 2/3 of the world consists of oceans and also these oceans can be monitored. Earlier this year, IBM Canada and Ocean Networks Canada announced a three-year program to better understand British Colombia’s Oceans. Using the latest technology and sensors, they want to predict offshore accidents, natural disasters and tsunamis and forecast the impact of these incidents. Using hundreds of cabled marine sensors they are capable of monitoring waves, currents, water quality and vessel traffic in some of the major shipping channels….These are just three examples of how Big Data can help save the planet. There are of course a lot more fascinating examples and here is list of 10 of such use cases….(More)”