When we talk about Big Data, many of the examples and use cases we share center around how Big Data is changing the way businesses must operate. But Big Data is changing the world on some exciting global levels as well. So let’s take a step back from the business impact of bigger data and check out some of the exciting ways Big Data is changing our lives.
Environmentalists and policy makers can monitor, almost in real-time, the status of forests around the globe with the help of satellite imagery. Tools like the Global Forest Watch, which was launched in 2014, uses high-resolution NASA satellite imagery processed through Google, to analyze over 700,000 satellite images. High resolution maps show annual forest cover change since 200 to assist environmentalists and government organizations to monitor deforestation in “near-real time.”
Scientists leverage Big Data technologies to predict weather to prevent disasters, save assets, and take precautionary measures. Research organizations and weather companies such as Basho’s Riak NoSQL, use 13 data centers to capture 2.2 million weather data points from all over the globe four times per hour. The Weather Company, which already monitors over 20 terabytes of data per day to create some of the most accurate forecasts, is integrating this new technology to bring weather predictions to a whole new level.
By 2050, the world’s population is expected to reach 9.2 billion people, 34% higher than it is today. To enhance crop production, farmers are using precision technology, a concept that collects real-time data on weather, soil and air quality, crop maturity, and equipment and labor costs, to develop predictive analytics used to make smarter decisions.
One study found that farmers using only one type of precision technologies increased their yield by 16% and cut down water use by 50%.