Rick Smolan, photographer for National Geographic and Time magazine and head of Against All Odds, started a project to capture a ‘snapshot’ of the world in regards to big data and the quantified self movement.
“Imagine the whole human race has been looking through one eye, until 18 months ago, and all of a sudden we opened up a second eye.”
The project consists of a series of events with 100 photographers. They are trying to send their photographers to really interesting areas of the world. He touches on how everyone is connected through their devices, which in turn creates an exhaust of data from everyone. Thus, people have now become sensors.
Smolan goes through examples of how big data has impacted our lives, from notifying people of earthquakes prior to it actually happen to finding solutions for preventing crimes by analyzing where criminals originate from.
“The Human Face of Big Data” project invites millions of people around to participate on a specific date by doing certain things on their phones. These tasks include: recording certain sounds, taking pictures, answering questions, etc. This data will be collected and analyzed to show journalists and others invited at the New York Stock Exchange to show what they’re learning in real-time about the planet.
My favorite aspect about the project is the connection of these concepts to children. They want to assign certain projects to students, deputizing them, and have them collect their own data in their communities. This will allow them to compare how their communities are with others.
Rick Smolan seems to be very excited and ambitious on the applications of big data, which the project shows. I’m looking forward to seeing how this impacts others, and it will inspire others to do the same.
Video Link: http://vimeo.com/37869516