Crowd-sourced project on ?Big Data? to make global debut

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Elephant seals equipped with antennas on their heads to map the oceans; satellites being used to target mosquitoes; an SMS system preventing the sale of counterfeit medicines in Ghana; smartphones that can predict you?re going to get depressed; credit cards that know two years before you do that you?re headed toward divorce; pills that transmit information directly from your body to your physician. These and other stories are being told through ?The Human Face of Big Data,? the latest globally crowdsourced initiative from Rick Smolan, the creator of the ?Day in the Life? series. The project, made possible through primary sponsorship from EMC, is based on the premise that the real-time visualization of data collected by satellites, and by billions of sensors, RFID tags, and GPS-enabled cameras and smartphones around the world, is enabling humanity to sense, measure, understand and affect aspects of our existence in ways our ancestors could never have imagined in their wildest dreams. The multifaceted project kicks off on September 25 with an eight-day ?Measure Our World? event inviting people around the world to share and compare their lives in real time through an innovative smartphone app. The project also includes ?Mission Control? events in New York, Singapore, and London; ?Data Detectives,? a global student initiative being conducted in conjunction with the TED organization; a stunning large-format book featuring more than 200 photographs, essays from noted writers and infographics; an iPad app; and a documentary. ?My goal with this project is to spark a global conversation about Big Data, about its potential if used wisely and the danger if we aren?t very careful. Big Data represents an extraordinary knowledge revolution that?s sweeping, almost invisibly, through business, academia, government, health care and everyday life,? Smolan said. ?And, like all new tools, it carries the potential for unintended consequences. But if we are careful and wise, in the not too distant future this new set of technologies may have an impact on humanity as great as those of language and art.?]]>

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