We are surrounded by technology and sensors and even without noticing we use it everyday in our daily routine. When we roll our cars out of garage the door closes behind us or driving through our favorite coffee the swipe of card expedites the purchase or entering the office and swiping the badge enters us in the system.
Think of the future where the coffee machine would start as the alarm goes off, the thermostat would adjust when you leave the office, the office alarm would be set when the last person leaves or even get notification of movement of a pet in the house or location of the children when working in office.
With the accessibility of internet and smart things like smart phones has opened the area of natural way to communicate. Large companies and governments are moving towards manufacturing of so called Internet of Things based manufacturing. Global analyst look at these developments and project that by 2025 there will be 1 trillion network devices in consumer and industrial areas.
All these network devices around us gathering data continuous in time and space becomes large, large enough that it cannot be opened in Excel and that is when it can be termed as “BIG Data”.
Due to the increasing use of GPS and smart-phones with GIS technology the richest data set comes from automation of transit systems. For this reason there are a lot of applications that are developed on transit weather it is to identify the traffic ahead or the arrival of a public transportation. One use of this is shown in London where the Oyster cards are used which start recording the location when tapped into the subway and stops recording the location when one taps out of the subway.
The data is not only from transit but by use of social media like Facebook, Twitter, uTube, Foursquare. Some points to keep in mind when measuring and analyzing the data are:
1. What is being analyzed?
2. Who is it being analyzed for, private sector, government?
3. Who has access to measurement?
4. What is not being measured and analyzed?
5. Who is being excluded and what is the cost of exclusion?
Read on the related topics are
Spatial Complexity where there are articles on Big data and smart cities.
Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing by Adam Greenfield