“We question. We research. We catalog. We quantify. We aggregate, calculate, communicate, analyze, extrapolate and conclude. And eventually, if we’re fortunate and thoughtful, we understand.”
This quote, from Associated Press Editor-At-Large Ted Anthony, could be about librarians or even a treatise on human nature in general. Instead it is used to describe an ambitious multifaceted project from prolific photographer Rick Smolan, who is best known for his work on the “Day in the Life” series of photo collections. The Human Face of Big Data, which was released on December 4th and will soon be followed by a documentary, captures in photos and short articles the essence of big data real-world and personal applications.
In the book, big data is defined as the real time collection, analyses, and visualization of vast amounts of the information. “In the hands of data scientists this raw information is fueling a revolution which many people believe may have as big an impact on humanity going forward as the Internet has over the past two decades. Its enable us to sense, measure, and understand aspects of our existence in ways never before possible.” Amazon. The following interview with the author provides some great background information.
In addition to the book, a free mobile app has been launched, “to help you learn about yourself, how you compare to others, and what your phone can tell you about your life. Compare answers about yourself, your family, trust, sleep, sex, dating, and dreams with millions of others around the world. Find your Data Doppelganger. Map your daily footprint, share what brings you luck, and get a glimpse into the one thing people want to experience during their lifetime.”http://humanfaceofbigdata.com/about/
In less than two months, more than 3 million share and compare questions have been answered, in more than 100 countries. Through the app some interesting data insights have been extrapolated. Check them out!
This is a cool project and I look forward to watching the documentary when it comes out. In addition, the results of a worldwide, user submitted video contest will be coming out shortly which will undoubtedly provide us with some awesome snapshots of the “Human Face of Big Data”.
Just as a side note this article on, “5 Trends That Will Shape Digital Services In 2013” was pretty interesting and relevant!